Friday, 24 October 2014

A Fantastic BYOB Evening - Vega Sicilia, A Conterno, Mouton, La Mouline, Gaja, Masseto & More!

Peter invited to a BYOB dinner with a demanding requirement - all was to bring a red wine that would make the other attendees go WOW!

And it really became a WOW evening. All wines tasted blind except the one I brought and the 91 Dow.

We started with four bottles of Champagne and some nice seafood dishes.
2008 Camille Savés
This is a 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay blend and it has a open, fine nose with notes of Lilies of the valley, red apples, road dust and vanilla ice cream. A touch light but very yummy.
The taste is young and elegant with notes of red grapefruit, pear, some bread and minerals. A long, structured finish. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2014/10)

2008 Pierre Peters L´esprit
A ripe, bready nose with notes of model clay, sea shells and yellow apples. Good but a tad anonymous.
The taste is fine and creamy with a high acidity and notes of yellow apples, crushed rocks and almonds. There is some bitterness in the end of the taste. Still young, could come around.
87p   (tasted 2014/10)

2008 Andre Clouet Millésime
I tasted this a year ago and even though it didn´t perform at same high level, it still is a really fine bottle of bubbly. The nose is deep and elegant with notes of dried strawberries, chalk, flowers and a touch of bonfire.
The taste is young and focused with notes of ripe lingonberries, chalk, red grapefruit and some smoke. Long and fine with a fine acidity. Needs some more years in the cellar.
90p   (tasted 2014/10)

2008 Drappier Millésime Exception
A steely, racy nose with notes of lime cream, white currants, salt bank and freshly washed clothes. Very refined, almost aristocratic. This is fine.
The taste is pure and intense with notes of lime and lemons, dried flowers, gravel and a salty note that is fantastic. A long finish with a high, mouth cleansing acidity. Great.
92p   (tasted 2014/10)

2005 Agrapart Venus Brut Nature
A extra Champagne hits the table, and what a wine! A young, searing, intense nose with notes of ripe yellow apples, wet cement, dried flowers and a hint of gun powder smoke. Very, very deep and concentrated.
The taste is young, tight and complex with notes of white currants, grapefruit, chalk and dusty earth. Very long and persisting finish with a gorgeous purity. A stunning wine!
94p   (tasted 2014/10)

2011 Lioco Pinot Noir Klindt Vineyard
As an interlude before the main course and main wines we were poured this beauty. The nose is very expressive and deep and full of ripe Pinot fruit in the shape of sweet strawberries, forest floor, liquorice and some root vegetables. A touch of smoke after a while. This is fine.
The taste is young and tight with a great combination of sweet raspberry fruit and a taut structure with a high acidity and a long. long finish that ends dry. Needs some years in the cellar.
93p   (tasted 2014/10)

2006 Valbuena 5, Vega Sicilia
A big, earthy nose with notes of ripe red and black fruit, a porty touch to the fruit, some maturity and lots of warm herbs. There is a old fashioned feeling over this, in a good way. A little restrained.
The taste is big and meaty with lots of sweet black fruit, a touch of VA, scorched earth and some foursquare tannins in the long finish. Very old fashioned, and very good.
90p   (tasted 2014/10)

2001 Barolo Granbussia Riserva, Aldo Conterno
Aaah, what a nose! It is deep and highly strung in a great way, with notes of fresh red cherries, rosehips, dried ceps and new, expensive leather. Very, very fine. Still rather young though.
The taste feels even more young than the nose with lots of ripe tannins and a gorgeous red fruit in the shape of red cherries and red currants. A very long finish. A touch of mint in the end of the taste.This will need another 10 years before it is remotely mature.
94p   (tasted 2014/10)

1998 Château Mouton Rothschild
I tasted the 98 Mouton seven years ago, and then it performed on the same level as the 1982. Not on this night, but it was far from being a slouch! The nose shows of notes of ripe black currants, fresh stables, ginger bread cookies, graphite and tobacco leaves. Deep and complex. Has started to nature ever so slightly but this is still young.
The taste is intense and concentrated with an almost jammy note alongside other components, like tobacco, autumn leaves and a touch of mint. The finish goes on for over a minute. Very polished tannins. Great stuff!
94p   (tasted 2014/10)

1998 Côte-Rôtie La Mouline, Guigal
And things kept getting better... Within the last year I have been lucky to taste the 98 La Landonne and 98 La Turque. And now the La Mouline! This is usually my favourite of the three. The nose is a wonder with its notes of white pepper covered raw meat, moist earth, fried herbs and some bonfire aromas. Very deep and hauntingly beautiful.
The taste is the proverbial "iron fist in a velvet glove" with glorious sweet red and black fruit, leather, bonfire and crushed white peppers. The finish is looong and impressive. Still on the upside maturity wise, I would love to drink this nectar the coming 15+ years.
97p   (tasted 2010/14)

2003 Darmagi, Gaja
A big, ripe nose with notes of black cherries, black currants, cold coffee, earth and some sweet oak notes. Big and brawny, but in a good way. A very fine warmth to the fruit.
The taste is big and steady with sweet black currants, graphite, tobacco and scorched earth. A long, warm finish with some bruising tannins. This is a big boy of a wine, and not completely harmonious, but I like it!
92p   (tasted 2014/10)

2001 Masseto
When I will do my Most memorable bottles of the year list, there will be another Masseto eager to do that list, the 98.  The 2001 is as good.
The nose is deep and intoxicating with the ripest black cherries imagenable alongside notes of plums, pipe tobacco, burning autumn leaves, Zegna leather and a hint of a vanilla pod. Stunningly beautiful!
The taste is very concentrated and focused with notes of black cherries, Cohiba cigarr, new leather, cold coffee and warm tiles. The finish goes on forever as it seems, and ends with a fine dry twist. Still young, but drinking just great tonight.
97p   (tasted 2014/10)

1991 Dow´s Vintage Port
The 23 year old Dow has a deep, intense nose with notes of toasted almonds, cooked black cherries, figs, fried red peppers and Christmas Spices. Some maturity. Very, very good.
The taste is big, sweet and tight with notes of black cherry jam, licorice, figs and assorted nuts. A long, warm finish. Ripe and almost ready to go. Very fine.
90p   (tasted 2014/10)

2007 Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese, C. H. Berres
It may be that I´m to weak, but TBA wines are normaly to much for me. And this was no exception. A big, big, overly sweet nose with notes of sugar cooked oranges, a hint of rubber and some VA. Very deep, I give it that but not my cup of tea.
The taste is very sweet, very viscous and very intense with notes of ornage marmelade, overripe peaches and a hint of licorice. The finish is very long, and there is a high amount of acidity but the parts doesn´t really act together. Maybe 20 years in a cold cellar would do the trick?
85p   (tasted 2014/10)

2008 Château de Fargues
This on the other hand, is right up my alley! A creamy, complex nose with notes of ripe peaches, apricots, almond paste, glue and some detergents. A nice amount of botrytis. Very, very fine.
The taste is young, ripe and concentrated with notes of dried apricots, almond cookies, saffron and a hint of glue. Very long and intense. This is really good and will become even better in 8-10 years time.
92p   (tasted 2014/10)

More impressions here.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Summing Up Two Trade Tastings - 120 Wines Tasted - Part III

See the earlier parts here and here.

These notes were taken at Prime Wine Group´s autumn tasting called Celebrations!


First, the bubblies - Alexandre Bonnet Brut has a light, fine aroma of fresh bread and lemons and a young, fairly elegant, fresh taste (~87p). The sister wine, Alaxandre Bonnet Rosé is more liniar and seedy on the nose while the taste is light, steely and with lots of lingonberries. Only good (~84p).

The Diebolt-Vallois line up is of a higher class. The only exception is their NV Rosé which is cool and seedy with some dry raspberries and gravel. Fair but simple (~84p). The rest was much more fun, the NV Tradition Brut shows of a fine, creamy nose with lots of flowers and sweet lemons and a dry, long, finely tuned taste (~90p). The NV Blanc de Blancs has a Deep nose with notes of bread and lemon cream and a tight, focused taste. Very, very good (~91p). Moving up the quality ladder, the 2006 Blanc de Blancs reeks of elegance and intensity while the taste is crisp, cool and concentrated (~92p). On the same level, the 2006 Fleur de Passion displays fine aromas of Almond paste, tangerines and flowers, while the mouthfeel is young, racy and promising. This will need +5 years to blossom (~92p).

Moving on to Henriot. The NV Brut Souverain is light, easy going and quaffable but lacks depth (~85p). A big step up is the NV Blanc de Blancs with its scents of hyachint, fresh bread and sweet minerals. The taste is young and creamy. Very, very good (~89p). Then I was able to compare their Brut Millesime from 2005 and  2006. The younger vintage is Deep and elegant with notes of hay, flowers and butter cookies. It has a tight, restrained taste that needs time (~90p). The one year older version is more open and full of ripe apples and a long, refined taste. Better today (~91p). Last up is the NV Rosé which is big on the nose and in the mouth with notes of ripe raspberries, earth and a hint of chocolate. This I like (~89p).

More Champagne! The NV Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs from Launois oozes purity and refinment alongside notes of vanilla ice cream, sweet/sour lemons and dried flowers. Great! (~91p). Even greater is the 2008 Grand Cru Cuvée Reservée with its deep, racy nose  with notes of almonds, hyachint, cold butter and wet rocks. The finish is pure, aristocratic and just lovely. This is going in the cellar (~93p).


I start the white wine foray with three Chablis from Domaine Laroche. The 2010 Premier Cru Les Vaudevey is light, cool and displays lots of ripening lemons on the nose, but the taste is tight like a knot and a bit sharp (~83p). Then two Grand Cru´s, first up is the 2009 Les Blanchots which is Deep and powerful on the nose while the taste is more restrained with nice fruit and acidity. This will need time (~89p). The 2009 Les Clos is even deeper and tighter on the nose while the taste displays a smoky, intense, pure mouth feel. This will turn out great in +5 years (~91p).

I have a soft spot for Vincent Girardin´s Whites, and these two were no exceptions. 2011 Puligny-Montrachet is all about creamy, focused Chardonnay fruit on the nose paired with a stringent taste with a very fine acidity. Drink now and the coming +6 years (~90p). The 2007 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot is a hedonist dream with its complex, deep, beautiful nose and its pure, racy, concentrated taste. Drinking fine now but wait +3 years for the real reward. Great stuff (~93p)!

The 2011 Clos de Val Chardonnay has a spicy, fine lemon and tangerine nose with some butter cookies thrown in. The taste is fresh, cool and drinkable. Very good (~87p). The 2006 Rijk´s Private Cellar Chardonnay is big, ripe and mature with a fine depth and lots of creamy lemon fruit with some pineapple tossed in. Big yes, but it works. The taste is also big and warm but the structure is there and it offers up a big mouth ful of juicy Chardonnay fruit (~90p).
Finishhing of the white wines is a beauty, the 2012 Reyneke Reserve White which is made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc. It has a penetrating, fresh and salivating nose with freshly cut grass, assorted flowers and lime with a refined, tight taste with a fresh acidity and purity. Classy (~92p)!

I start the reds with two bottles from Bodegas Roda. The 2008 Roda Reserva has a warm, concentrated nose with vanilla cooked red fruit and a mix of leather and undergrowth. The taste is warm, mellow and finely concentrated (~90p). The 2001 Roda I Reserva has a nice maturity with notes of dill, cooked fruit and moist undergrowth. The taste is mature and warm with soft tannins and mellow fruit. Very good but a little soft (~89p).

The 2011 Chianti Classico from Querciabella is not good. It has a cooked nose and a dry, foursquare taste with a big dollop of alcohol (~73p). On the other hand, the 2008 Camartina, Querciabella is a whole Another creature. This blend of 70% Cabernet and 30% Sangiovese has a fine nose with notes of sweet black cherries, Tobacco and new leather and a tight, focused taste with a fine character (~90p).

The 2010 Barolo, Andrea Oberto has a deep, refined nose with notes of rosehips, licorice and some coffee powder. The taste is young, tight and intense with young perky tannins. Very promising (~91p). Sandrone is one of my favourite producers, but the 2009 Barolo Le Vigne is no Winner. It has a big, mature (!) and earthy nose and a fairly dry, tight nose with dried red fruits and dry chocolate (~85p).

Next up is a classic young Bordeaux in the shape of 2010 Château Grand Tayan. It has a nice nose with notes of tobacco, black currants and fresh stables, while the taste is tight and elegant with velvety tannins. Should turn out very good (~90p).
2011 Boekenhoutskloof Syrah is a great example of juicy Syrah. The nose oozes hand pounded meat, crushed black peppers and a fine animal note. The taste is big and intense with black fruit, sweet tannins and lots of fresh pepper. This is awesome (~93p)!
Last out of the reds is the 2010 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is upfront with black currant jam, chocolate wafers and some autumn leaves. The taste is Young and seedy with lots of juicy black currants and soft tannins. Drinkable fron now (~88p).

Last up Before staggering home is two wines from Kopke. The 2009 Late Bottled Vintage has lots of sweet nuts and figs on the nose and a fiery, long finish. Very good (~87p). The 1984 Colheita is more structured yet creamy with an added complexity only age can achieve. This is really good (~91p).

Monday, 20 October 2014

A Bottle Of Bubbly - NV La Vida Al Camp

Not a Champagne this time, but a Cava. This was a tasting sample from Mondowine.

NV La Vida al Camp, La Vida al Camp
The nose is light, fresh and steely with notes of grapefruit, birch sap, nuts and salty minerals. Not that deep but with a fine stringency. Very good.
The taste is tight, light and cool with notes of grapefruit, stale nuts, slate and some steely notes. A decent level of acidity. This is a very accessible and drinking fine. For the price of 12 Euro this is perfect to open for those that your Salon, Selosse or Krug is wasted upon...:-)
87p   (tasted 2014/10)

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Drinking Tonight - 1964 Pommard, P. A. André

In fact, I opened two Pommard´s from the greatest vintage ever, but the bottle from Louis Affre turned out to be a poster child for a corked wine. I could smell the wet cardboard several meters away...
But the other bottle made up for it.

1964 Pommard, P. A. André
The nose is deep, mature and hedonistic with notes of dried strawberries, moist forest floor, coffee powder, veal stock and dried flowers. This has a gorgeous mix of red and black fruits in perfect maturity. While writing this it is on its third hour in the glass and has not budged a bit, in fact it has got better, more sweet and harmonious. Really fine.
The taste is velevety, mature and intense with notes of dried raspberries, liquorice, forest floor, cold coffee and worn leather. A long, balanced finish with a nice warmth. This has matured into a great drinking Pommard.
91p   (tasted 2014/10)

Friday, 17 October 2014

Some Baroli From Enzo Boglietti

Time for our monthly tasting group get together. This time it was HG that presented us with 5 decanters of red wine.
Enzo Boglietti is a relative new producer of La Morra Baroli, they started the estate in 1991 and now produces 5 different bottlings of Barolo.
More info here.
Tasted double blind.

2008 Barolo Brunate, Enzo Boglietti
The youngest wine displays a nose with notes of sweet/sour cherries, undergrowth, mushrooms, rosehips and some rubbery notes. Very young. A touch of mint after some time in the glass. Promising but a bit locked in for now.
The taste is young and tight with lots of seedy cherry notes and focused tannins. In the medium long finish there are notes of licorice and rosehips. It ends very dry. Need some years to flesh out. Better with food.
87p   (tasted 2014/10)

2006 Barolo Fossati, Enzo Boglietti
The 06 Fossati has a gorgeous nose with notes of dried cherries, rose petals, road dust and a hint of truffle. Deep and fine. After an hour in the glass there is some new oak aromas as well. Very, very good.
The taste is young, tight and spicy with notes of red and black cherries, asphalt, rose petals and mushrooms. A long, tannin loaded finish with lots of stuffing. Will need +5 years to really open up.
91p   (tasted 2014/10)

2005 Barolo Fossati, Enzo Boglietti
The one year older Fossati shows why 05 isn´t up to par with 06 or 04, see below. It has at large the same characteristics as the 06 but the fruit is a tad dryer and dustier. A pretty good wine all the same.
The taste is big and brawnier with good red cherry fruit and a long, dry finish with some warmth. Very good with food. A fine wine that stands in the shadow of the two other Fossati´s.
88p   (tasted 2014/10)

2004 Barolo Fossati, Enzo Boglietti
The 04 is a little bit more mature version of the 06. The cherry fruit is a tad warmer and it has a really fine leathary aroma. Deep and hedonistic. Warm earth. Really fine.
The taste is big and steady with notes of sweet red and black cherries, licorice, rosehips and a hint of truffle. Very long, very intense and very good. Give this beauty another +3 years.
91p   (tasted 2014/10)

2004 Barolo Brunate, Enzo Boglietti
The best of the bunch. When combining a great year with a hint of maturity with one of my favourite spots in Barolo, magic happens. The nose is deep, pure and lovely with a more old fashioned feeling than the Fossati´s. Notes of rosehips, dried cherries, leather, mushrooms and some pine/resin scents. Very, very fine.
The taste is intense and structured with notes of cherry pips, rosehips, rose petals, dried mushrooms and leather. A long, lingering finish with a fair amount of ripe tannins. Still young of course but offers plenty of enjoyment today. Give it another 3-5 years for an even better experience.
93p   (tasted 2014/10

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Tasting Dinner With 12 Bottles Of 1964 St Emilion

As I noted in my previous post it was time to almost evaporate my stock of 1964 St Emilion. Friends were invited, food was prepared and this is how it went.

We started with some foie gras de canard and a truffle tapenade and a bottle of
1964 Blason de France, Perrier-Jouet
A rich, mature nose with a lovely scent of an old apple cellar alongside notes of almond paste, model clay, dried flowers and a touch of ginger. There is a whiff that reminds me of a fine Manzanilla, but ever so slightly. Perfectly mature.
The taste is gorgeous with tiny, tiny bubbles and notes of dried flowers, fudge, sweet minerals and a cold Tarte Tatin. Long and rewarding. Fully mature and drinking great.
92p   (tasted 2014/10)

I had split the twelve bottles of St Emilion into four flights. All wines got one hour breathing time in a decanter before the first pour.
To go with the first flight I served a terrine of sweetbreads.
1964 Château Cadet-Piola
The Cadet-Piola has a mature, round nose with a fine coffee scent paired with notes of dried plums, stable leather and autumn leaves. Very good but lacks a bit of definition.
The taste is mature, dry and medium bodied with notes of red currants, plums, tobacco and iron. Soft tannins. The finish is on the short side. The taste of iron gets more pronounced with air. Very good.
85p   (tasted 2014/10)

1964 Château La Dominique
A rather big, warm and mature nose with notes of ripe red currants, dried strawberries, tobacco and a rich earthiness. A very fine warmth. Some cold coffee scents with air.
The taste is medium bodied with a nice warmth and notes of red currants, tobacco, old leather and warm tiles. A long, finely tuned finish. Fully resolved tannins. Drinking fine tonight.
88p   (tasted 2014/10)

1964 Château Grand-Mayne
The winner of the first flight. A hedonistic, deep nose with notes of black plums, cherry chocolate, sugared coffee, aurumn leaves and some funky stable scents. Really good.
The taste is big, warm and steady with notes of black plums, pipe tobacco, worn leather and a warm earthiness. Very long and structured. Mature but there is no hurry to drink any remaining bottles. Very, very fine.
92p   (tasted 2014/10)

Flight two was served with a chanterelle risotto.
1964 Château l'Arrosee
As good as flight 1 is, the seconf flight is even better! The l´Arrossé opens with a stunningly ripe, intense nose with notes of sweet plums, Cohiba cigarrs, coffee powder, leather and a touch of mint. This is a beauty. Deep and complex.
The taste is tighter than the nose leads you to believe with lovely notes of red and black currants, graphite, cold coffe and iron like minerality. Long and taut with some sandy tannins. Very, very good. Mature but not overly so.
93p   (tasted 2014/10)

1964 Chateau Pavie Decesse
And it keps getting even better! I can´t say that I have tasted many older Pavie Decesse and if the 1964 is anything to go on, I have missing out!
The nose is delectable with aromas of dark tobacco, plums, sandelwood and coffee. With air a stunning combination of meat and flowers rises from the glass. Really something special. Feels old viney. Great!
The taste is as good as the nose with creamy fruit, a fine tannin structure for support and long, long warm finish with a upliftning freshness. This bottle has faired well over the years. A treat.
94p   (tasted 2014/10) 

1964 Chateau Troplong Mondot
The last one this flight didn´t match the previous two, but was still a decent drink. The nose is mature, dry and a bit foursquare with notes of cooked plums, red currants, chocolate biscuits and autumn leaves. It evolves with air and becomes a bit softer and less squary (if that is a word...).
The taste is dry and mature with a rich plum fruit, some not so finely sanded tannins still present and a nice warmth. Notes of cigarr ashes, red currants, hot earth and coffee. A bit barnyardy. Hanging is there but after reading several reviews, I would guess that there could be beter bottles out there.
84p   (tasted 2014/10)

Flight three was the creme de la creme of St Emilion, and they proved their part.
1964 Chateau Ausone
The most willful and yet fantastic nose of the whole line up. And that is spectacular, given that this bottle had the lowest fill of the all. If you look at - länk - the Ausone is in the middle with a mid shoulder fill. And yet, it performed. The nose is deep and complex with notes of pipe tobacco that have been lying in the rain, smoked sausages, warm earth, plum marmelade and cold coffee. Impressive, different and just gorgeous.
The taste is tight, intense and also different from the crowd with notes of cranberries, smoke, hot earth and some dental notes! Long, long and impressive in structure and complexity. This I would love to drink every day. Well almost.
95p   (tasted 2014/10)

1964 Chateau Cheval-Blanc
Aaaaaaaah! On paper the best. Beforehand the expectations were, of course, sky high. Did it fulfill? Oh yes...
The nose is to die for - a deep, complex, hedonistic nose with notes of sweet plums, smoke, mint, expensive leather and the best chocolate money can buy. Soo deep. Soo complex. Soo beautiful. And still young. Keeps on evolving all night long.
The taste is the proverbial "iron fist in a velvet glove" with its structure, sweet plum fruit and its long, long finish full of finesse and backbone. It doesn´t get much better than this.
98p   (tasted 2014/10)

With flight four I had prepared lamb filets baked in puff pastry with a red wine sauce.
1964 Chateau Beausejour
The last flight started with a return to reality. A mature, nice going, mature Bordeaux. The nose is cool and lean with notes of ripe red currants, old leather, autumn leaves and some iron. Good.
The taste is mature, tight and warm with notes of red and black currants, fresh stables, old leather and a nice warmth. The finish is medium long and dry. Has kept well. Good.
86p   (tasted 2014/10)

1964 Chateau Belair
This is strange - good but not in a Bordeaux kind of way. The nose is big and expressive with notes of sugared coffee, animal scents, rubber and lightly peppered meat. Given this blind I wouldn´t have guessed Bordeuax... And still it is good.
The taste is warm, caressing and fine with notes of black fruits, smoke, old leather and tobacco. The taste is more restrained than the nose. Very good. Maybe not the most St Emilion poster child, but I like it.
88p   (tasted 2014/10)

1964 Chateau Figeac
This kept on growing in the glass all night. Offers up gorgeous aromas of ripe plums, dark chocolate, tobacco and forest floor. Very rich fruit. Deep, dark and profound. A high density. This is very, very good.
The taste is opulent, velvety and perfectly mature with dark, creamy plum and black currant fruit and some additional notes of sugared coffee, leather and fresh stables. Very long and mouth filling. A lovely drink.
94p   (tasted 2014/10) 

1964 Chateau Pavie
The last wine is surely not the least. On the contrary, besides Ausone and Cheval Blanc, the best wine in the line up. Deep, complex, mature notes of red and black currants, cigarr smoke, moist autumn leaves and expensive leather oozes up from the glass. Layers upon layers of sweet, ripe fruit. Some warm tiles. Stunning!
The taste is rich, velvety and focused with notes of sweet lingonberries, red currants, tobacco leaves, iron and graphite. A very finely tuned finish. Ends with a nice dry twist. Very refined. Mature but could live on for many years. Grand Vin!
95p   (tasted 2014/10)

Last but not least
1964 Boal, Blandy's
The two Boal´s were decanted three days before the tasting, to really open up. The Blandy version has a high pitched, interesting, complex nose with notes of molasses, old chocolate, detergent, saw dust and assorted nuts. Very, very good.
The taste is powerful and intense with notes of nuts, figs, candied orange peel, black tea and nuts. The acidity is high and mighty and the finish can be counted in minutes. This is a stunner!
93p   (tasted 2014/10) 

1964 Boal, Justino Henriques
The second Boal doesn´t have the power and intensity of the first one but offers up a fine enjoyment nevertheless. The nose is deep, rich and medium sweet with notes of roasted nuts, nougat, chocolate and some band aid scents. Very good.
The taste is big and mature with dried black fruit and notes of chocolate biscuits, nuts, molasses and the same band aid note as on the nose. Long and fine. More mature than the Blandy.
89p   (tasted 2014/10)

More impressions here.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Preparing For Tonight

Tonight I will further diminish my stockpiles of bottles from the greatest vintage ever. We will, hopefully, be drinking some fine, mature bottles from Bordeaux.
And a few other ones as well, there will be 15 bottles in total. Notes to follow.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Could They Have Survived? A Tale Of Two 1964 Barbera Bottles

You shouldn´t think so. The people's wine, as Barbera is called by Burton Anderson, was not meant to be kept for 50 years. Victor Hazan, in his book Italian Wine from 1982, states with reference to Barbera d'Alba - "It is the most long-lived of Barberas, in some cases capable of entering well into its second decade without signs of fatigue". Not 50 years. 
These were also produced 20 years before Braida presented Bricco dell'Uccellone, a Barbera from selected spots and use of new oak, which changed the perception of what Barbera could be.
The question lingers, could they have survived? Lets pull the corks and find out. Both popped and poured.

1964 Barbera Riserva, Cantina Vinicola Ariani
The first impression is a big, mature, funky nose wiith notes of overripe strawberries, meat stock, moist earth and some dog fur. Still clinging to life, but with air it becomes more unsound and funky. After three hours the smell of decay is strong.
The taste keeps better over time, and has a mature, dry taste with notes of lingonberries, dried raspberries, autumn leaves and canned mushrooms. Rather short. On a downward slope, but still breathing. Still drinkable after three hours if you don't smell it... The score reflects the first two hours.
Interesting enough, and something you don´t see everyday, the producer have both their adress and phone number on the label!
74p   (tasted 2014/10)

1964 Barbera Riserva Speciale, Luigi Bosca
This bottle has stood the test of time better than the previous one. The nose is big, mature and spicy with notes of lightly peppered raspberries, bonfire, orange peel and autumn leaves. This keeps well in the glass. Not deep and complex but soundly mature and good.
The taste is medium bodied, dry and mature with notes of dried raspberries, dusty earth, smoke and forest floor. Reminds me of a mature, simpler Burgundy. A high acidity in the medium long finish. This is actually drinking pretty well. Not a fine wine by any standards, but a sound, mature wine that went down well with a creamy chicken dish.
81p   (tasted 2014/10)