Saturday, 31 December 2011

The Perfect Ones - Part 6

In 2004 I celebrated my 40th birthday with a couple of tastings, one of them were a tasting of thirty 1990 Barolos. It was a great tasting, most of them really shined, and there were only one corked bottle. But the really shining star of the two nights of tasting was the 1990 Cannubi Boschis från Sandrone.
The other wines at the tasting are listed below.

1990 Barolo Cannubi Boschis, Sandrone
A bottomless deep, sweet, complex nose with notes of sweet red  and black cherries, dry tobacco, dried mushrooms, forest floor, leather and some smoke. Soooooo utterly stunning on the nose - both intense and hedonistic at the same time. The sour and sweet cherries are to die for. Captivating!
The taste follow up the nose with the sweetest fruit imaginable, underlying sweet, polished tannins and a minute plus long finish. The structure is just awesome. Rosehips, cherries, tobacco, porcini, leather are just a few of the multitudes of impression that hits you. There is some mature notes, but this has just begun its evolvement. Breathtakingly beautiful!
100p   (tasted 2004/10)

The other wines tasted:
Day 1:
1990 Jacques Selosse Blanc de Blancs   (92p)
1990 Barolo La Serra, Roberto Voerzio   (89p)
1990 Barolo Brunate, Roberto Voerzio   (91p)
1990 Barolo Brunate, Ceretto   (84p)
1990 Barolo Conteisa Cerequio, Gromis   (92p)
1990 Barolo Cerequio, Roberto Voerzio   (94p)
1990 Barolo Monprivato, Guiseppe Mascarello   (92p)
1990 Barolo, Bartolo Mascarello   (89p)
1990 Barolo Riserva, Marchesi di Barolo   (90p)
1990 Barolo Riserva, E Pira   (93p)
1990 Barolo Rocche, Corino   (95p)
1990 Barolo Cannubi, Prunotto   (87p)
1990 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Beerenauslese, Molitor   (92p)

Day 2:
1990 Cristal   (98p)
1990 Barolo Bussia, Prunotto   (88p)
1990 Barolo Bussia, Parusso   (91p)
1990 Barolo Vigna del Gris, Conterno Fantino   (92p)
1990 Barolo Le Gramolere, Manzone   (94p)
1990 Barolo La Villa, Seghesio   (86p)
1990 Barolo Vigna Big, Rocche Dei Manzoni   (83p?)
1990 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Scavino   (94p)
1990 Barolo, Scavino   (88p)
1990 Barolo Rocche dell´Annunziata   (97p)
1990 Barolo Briccoto Bussia, Domenico Clerico   (corked!)
1990 Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra, Domenico Clerico   (97p)
1990 Barolo Pajana, Domenico Clerico   (99p)
1990 Barolo Villero Riserva, Bruno Giacosa   (95p)
1990 Barolo Vigna Colonello Bricco Bussia, Aldo Conterno   (95p)
1990 Barolo Cascina Francia, Giacomo Conterno   (98p)
1990 Barolo Falletto di Serralunga Riserva, Bruno Giacosa   (95p)
1990 Barolo Granbussia Riserva   (96p)
1990 Barolo Monfortino Riserva, Giacomo Conterno   (97p)
1990 Vouvray Moelleux La Coulé d´Or, Bourillon Dorléans   (96p)

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Past Glory´s - Tasting Dinner with a vertical of Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand

This tasting dinner was held in the spring of 2010. I had been buying vintages of this monople since I tasted the 2004 a few years back. A difficult year, but the result was stellar, and I had to find out how earlier vintages have been. I wounded up with 11 vintages, a perfect number to arrange a tasting dinner around.
(All pictures courtsey of Miran Kegl - thanks!)

We started things of with a foie gras and appel cappucino and a bottle of
1976 Raunthaler Baiken Riesling Spätlese, Langwerth von Simmern
A fine, deep, mature nose with notes of dried tropical fruits, wet earth, some gasolin and sweet minerals. Very good. Has a lovely semi sweet mature nose.
The taste is round, semi sweet and long with beautiful dried yellow fruits, sugar water and earthy notes. The acidity is fresh and clean and makes the finish seems almost dry. Veery, very good.
90p   (tasted 2010/03)

For starter I had seared scallops and served them on oven baked salsify with a carrot vinaigrette and a truffled Jerusalem artichoke cream. With that starter we had three vintages of Cuvee Frederick Emile, a perennial favourite of mine.

1983 Cuvee Frederick Emile, Trimbach
A fine, racy, elegant nose with notes of green apples, lemons, minerals and a beautiful after-the-rain note. A touch of sweetness. Very deep and fine.
The taste is tight, fresh and pure with lots of sweet lemons, yellow apples and minerals. The acidity is very fresh. A long, balanced finish. Some maturity but feels younger than the vintage.
91p   (tasted 2010/03)

1988 Cuvee Frederick Emile, Trimbach
A deep, complex, intense nose with notes of sweet lemons, warm grass and almond paste. A fine, flinty note. Very deep. Dispalys a touch of maturity but this baby is still young.
The taste is tight, focused and very pure with lots of lemons, limes, star fruits and wet stones. The acicidy is ultra fresh and intense. A long, fresh, elegant finish. The structure is gorgeous. Still needs another 5-8 years, at least.
93p   (tasted 2010/03)

1993 Cuvee Frederick Emile, Trimbach
A pure, young, fresh nose with notes of grass, gun powder smoke and lemons. This feels a touch sweter in the fruit then the other, but at the same time more withdrawn. Very young.
The taste is young, fresh and tight with lemons, grape, and lots of sweet minerals. The finish is medium long and ends very dry. Fine, young acidity. A touch foursquare, but I guess its because of its relative youth.
88p   (tasted 2010/03)

It was time for the Clos des Epeneaux´s - 11 vintages of that heralded monopol in Pommard. Its 5,25 ha and the Epeneaux vineyards, with some of the Rugiens, are the best parts of Pommard. Clive Coates have noted that he would like this monopole to be a grand cru.
The wines we tasted have been made my three different wine makers. In 1984 the then 23 year old Pascal Marchand took over and held that position until 1999, when another 23 year old, Benjamin Leroux took over, and that was his first vintage. Who made the 1983 I don´t know.
These Pommard, and often in generel, are more sturdy, big wines, than other parts of Burgundy. To get black fruits instead of red on the nose and in the taste is frequent. The tannin structure can from times be a little to big shoulderd for its own good, but in these first class wines, that was not a problem.
All wines were decanted 1 hour before the first sip.

For the first flight we had a quail terrine with a confit of the quail legs. Finger licking good!

Flight I
1999 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand
This beauty has a lovely, deep, sweet nose with notes of black cherries, sweet pipe tobacco, wet earth and, after a while, some very ripe strawberries emerge. Gets more and more complex with air. Layer upon layer of red and black fruit. Very deep and good.
The taste is tight, powerful and multi layered with some stunning fruit - black cherries, rasberries and sweet lingonberries. The tannins are big but very well polished. A long, intense finish. Still very young, but this is going places... Gorgeous!
93p   (tasted 2010/03)

1998 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand
A warm, open, fine nose with notes of autumn leaves, pipe tobacco, red and black cherries and a touch of oak. Good but more single layered than the 99.
The taste is racy, tight and fresh with nice blueberry fruit, some chocolate and a tad dry tannins. Still young but I have problems seeing this evolve to a really beautiful swan. But it has qualitys, and not surpricingly, it went very well with the food.
85p   (tasted 2010/03)

1997 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand
This is even more primary than the 99, and a touch leaner, but with fine notes of black cherries, blueberries, warm earth, fresh tobacco and a touch of oak. Deep and fine.
The taste is very tight and intense with fresh blueberry fruit and notes of new leather, forest floor and some oak. The tannins are young and strappy but not as sweet as those in the 99. But very, very good all the same.
90p   (tasted 2010/03)

1996 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand
A gorgoeus, deep, fine nose with touches of maturity and notes of blueberries, chcocolate covered orange peels, warm spices and a lovely perfumed note. This is the first that display some mature Pinot notes, and it does it in a lovely way.
The taste is tight, broad and somewhat mature with intense, sweet red and black fruit, autumn leaves, leather and some smoky notes. A long, fresh and complex finish. It has just entered its maturity plateau. Stunning!
94p   (tasted 2010/03)

For main course we had oven roasted Bresse chickens with roasted root vegetables and a creamy carlic sauce.

Flight II
1983 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand
A big, mature, nice nose with notes of wet undergrowth, red meat, sugared lingonberries and balsamic vinegar. A nice maturity - sweet and gamey. Very good.
The taste is mature, big and rounded with medium sweet red fruit, old leather, forest floor and some old wood notes. Its fresher on the nose than the taste. Very good though. Perfectly mature.
89p   (tasted 2010/03)

1989 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand
A warm, concentrated, big nose with notes of strawberries marinated in balsamic vinegar, forest floor, cooked vegetables and sweet pipe tobacco. Big and brawny and very, very good.
The taste is also big with lovely sweet rasberries, red and black currants, chocolate and autumn leaves. Some maturity but this is still on the young side. A very long, intense finish. Beautiful!
92p   (tasted 2010/03)

1990 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand
A stunner! When you put the nose in the glas you are welcomed by intense, pure, hedonistic scents of blueberries, rasberries, dark chocolate, expensive new leather, freshly grounded coffee and a perfect walk in a autumn forest. Just breathtakingly beautiful. It has depth, complexity and sexiness at the same time.
The taste is very concentrated, high strung, with sweet, deep fruit - red and black cherries, rasberries - a still primary oak touch, and a minute long finish that leaves you wanting more. Still young and this could get a few points better with 5+ years. This is a gorgeous creature!
96p   (tasted 2010/03)

For the last flight we digested some great cheeses!

Flight III
2005 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand
A deep, tight, young and very concentrated nose with notes of sweet blueberries, dark chocolate, licorice, some oak vanilla and new leather. Very deep and powerful. Very primary. Intense. This has a lot of styffing but it is very closed at the moment.
The taste is massive, deep and tight with a young, meaty character and with lovely blueberry and rasberry fruit. This needs a lot of time. The tannins are well polished but a bit beastly for now, especially in the end of the finish. This is going to be great in due course, say 8-10 years.
93p   (tasted 2010/03)

2001 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand
A decadently deep and sweet nose with notes of warm spices, blueberry pie, sweet pipe tobacco and chocolate covered strawberries. Very intense. Touch of maturity. Some touch of oak. Very multi layered. Its like these times you would like to get the whole head in the wine glass... Brilliant!
The taste is fine, elegant and a touch mature with creamy, sweet black and red fruit. Touch of chocolate and vanilla oak. Very, very long, with lovely, sweet fruit all the way. The tannins are lurking somewhere but they just hold the fruit up, and don´t take over. This is so sweet, harmoniuos and complex!
96p   (tasted 2010/03)

2002 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand
A tight, somehwat closed nose with notes of cool red fruit, earth, some wood notes and candied orange peel. Even with some heavy swirling iy doesn´t really come forward. Still very primary. Needs time. Even after some hours in the glass, the scents hasn´t become much bigger or sweeter.
The taste is on the other hand more open for business, with lots of cherry candy, tobacco, forest floor and leather. Intense and elegant. Very, very good. Has a very nice balance and structure. A fine tannin structure. The nose just has to open up a bit, give it another 5-7 years.
92p   (tasted 2010/03)

2004 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte de Armand
The vintage that started it all - how is it today? Very well is the answer. The nose is deep, cool and fresh with sweet lingonberries, cranberries, leather and some fine smoky notes. Not that expressive, but very poised and elegant.
The taste is tight, concentrated and fine with cool red fruit, the same smoky notes as on the nose, leather and dry tobacco. Medium long, cool finish med nice, cleansing acidity. Very good. Will never become sweet and hedonistic as some of the other vintages, but very good in its more restrained way.
91p   (tasted 2010/03)

For dessert we had an assortment of chocolate truffels and a bottle of old port - a perfection combination!

1927 Dow´s Vintage Port
A soft, deep, intense and just hedonistic nose with nose of dark fudge, pan fried nuts, smoke, band aid and dry raisins. Very complex, in the way only old wines can get, if they, and we, are lucky enough to have survived the years gone by. Very, very good.
The taste is big, tight and intense with lots of muscovado sugar, raisins, chocolate mousse and lots of figs. The finish is long and ends semi dry. A little burnt character with air. Very, very good. Just yummy!
92p   (tasted 2010/03)

Monday, 26 December 2011

Just Bought

In 2003 we had a tasting of Super Tuscans, vintages 1988 and 1997, head to head. A great tasting, showing the many stellar wines that have been made in Tuscany. But one stood out, even in that tough crowd. And that was the 1988 Ornellaia, an almost perfect wine, that also got the most votes for the best wine of the evening. The other wines are listed below.
I hope this lifes up to my hopes below...:-)

1988 Ornellaia
A bottomless deep nose with gorgeous scents of dark chocolate, black cherries, warm herbs and a intensity that is hard to describe. Layer upon layer of the sweetest fruit. The depth is amazing. And still on the young side.
The taste is brilliant, with enormous, sweet, decadent fruit, paired with tight, smooth, intense tannins and a two minute long finish. This brought tears to my eyes. The only thing missing is some more 5-10 years in the cellar. This is perfection in the making.
99p   (tasted 2003/09)

The other wines at the tasting:
1997 Sammarco   (89p)
1997 Tignanello   (92p)
1997 Sassicaia   (95p)
1997 Ornellaia   (93p)
1997 Flaccianello   (97p)
1988 Flaccianello   (corked!)
1988 Sammarco   (92p)
1988 Tignanello   (93p)
(1988 Ornellaia   (99p))
1988 Sassicaia   (93p)
1997 Château Rieussec   (94p)
1990 Château Rieussec   (90p)

Some Christmas bottles

Christmas - too much food, too much candy, too much of almost everything - but there is no such thing as too much wine... Here are a few bottles tasted this far during the christmas break.

2004 Barolo, M Marengo
This has kept on evolving nicely. Tasted for the first time at the producer in the spring of 2008. A still young, fine, balanced nose with notes of lingonberries, red cherries, dried mushrooms and sweet pipe tobacco. Very, very good. This has a nice depth. More and more cheery notes - hard cherry candy, chcocolate covered cherries - emerges with air. Gorgeous nose!
The taste is still young and tight with succulent tannins and wave after wave with fresh red fruit. A long finish that ends with a nice dry twist. It is not as open in the mouth as on the nose, but this is very, very good. Retry in 3-4 years.
Went perfectly with with grilled italian burgers - the burger meat flavoured with grated parmesan, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and basil.
93p   (tasted 2011/12)

2006 Moana Pinot Noir by Escarpment
I have had some serious trouble to keep my hands of this juice. It is sooo tasty and drinkable. The nose explodes from the glass with scents of ripe strawberries (and some overripe to), balsamic vinegar, forest floor and vanilla oak notes. Lush and lovely. It is big, it is sweet, but it got nerve and poise to balance the sweetness. Beautiful!
The taste is fresh, pure, sweet and yummy, with chocolate covered strawberries, sweet licorice, balsamic vinegar, tobacco and wet forest floor. The acidity cuts through the sweetness and leaves the mouth fresh and longing for more. The finish goes on for a minute. This is the, exept for its sibling Kupe, the greatest Pinot I have tasted out of New Zeeland.
Had this beauty with pasta and a mushrrom sauce with lots of grated parmesan.
95p   (tasted 2011/12)

2001 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru - Clos Prieur, Jean Michel Guillon
I haven´t tasted anything from this producer before, but wouldn´t mind to get to know them more after this bottle.
The nose is deep, warm and semi mature with notes of wet autumn leaves, fresh rasberry fruit, warm spices and a touch od wood. A fine earthy note. With air the fruit is more red cherry than rasberries. Very, very good. It has a dark tone running through it, that gives it complexity.
The taste is round, mature and fine with fresh red fruit, a cool note of matchboxes, minerals and dry licorice. A medium long finish with a refreshing acidity. The fruit is medium sweet and very poised. Lingonberries, red currants and not so ripe rasberries. Very fine. Could still last for many years, but I wonder if it gets better than it is now.
91p   (tasted 2011/12)

Friday, 23 December 2011

Pass the Port, please!

Clockwise! And that is precisely what we did. A couple of days ago we had the seasons last tasting in one of the tasting group I´m a member of. And that last tasting is always dedicated to fortified wines, just as the last tasting before the summer break is dedicated to Champagne.

This year (like last year when I recall) it was Mikke that was in charge of the wines - and what wines they were! 6 great Ports to set you up for Christmas. Thanks Mikke!
All tasted double blind.

1981 Quinta de Noval Colheita Old Tawny
This was bottled in 1997. A mature, rounded, creamy nose with notes of yellow raisins, milk chocolate, balsamic notes and dried rasberrys. Very good and yummy.
The taste is bigger than the nose suggest, with darker, dried fruit, darker chocolate and a nice, firm grip in the finish. Not that complex but very tasty. For drinking now, and that I would gladly do again.
88p   (tasted 2011/12)

1980 Dow´s Vintage Port
This was a curious one. Almost black, we all thought it was from the 90`s...
A deep, tight, dark nose with notes of chocolate covered banana (!), wet earth, assorted nuts and rasberries. Very much dark chocolate. Very deep, but a little withdrawn.
The taste is tight, hard and big with lots of black, sweet fruit, chcolate and, here lies a problem, big dollops of grain alcohol. The finish is long, big, sweet but with a alcohol punsch at the very end, which makes it somewhat unbalanced.
Couldn´t believe that this was a 1980. Wait another 20 year and see... For now it gets:
85p   (tasted 2011/12)

1977 Taylor´s Vintage Port
A fine, elegant, mature nose with notes of rasberry- and chocolate truffles, dades, figs and pecan nut pie. Just a stunning, multidimensionell aroma that flows up from the glass. Very deep and warm. Just lovely.
The taste is tight, fine and creamy with lots and lots of black cherries, rasberries and red currants. Very, very good. A point now. Very fresh. The finish goes on for over a minute.
Although this is a gorgeous specimen of Port, I was surprised when it turned out to be the 77 Taylor. My memory of this creature is that it has been, al least up to a few years back, a big brute that still needed 10 years. This bottle doesn´t.
94p   (tasted 2011/12)

1970 Sandeman Vintage Port
A fine, cool, mature nose with notes of milk chocolate, rubber/plastic, blueberries and a nicely perfumed note. After a while some spirits pushes through the fruit. Fully mature.
The taste is fiery and fruity with lots of red cherries marinated in brandy, dry chocolate and some balsamic notes. Medium long finish that ends semi dry. This has maybe just passed its zenit, but is still drinking fine.
87p   (tasted 2011/12)

1965 Taylor´s Quinta de Vargellas Vintage Port
A mature, medium sweet nose with notes of dried fruit - figs, daded and raisins, some dry chocolate, rubber boots and warm earth. Good but a tad foursquare.
The taste is warm, medium big and strong, with dry black fruit and a touch of alcohol in the finish. Good. It starts of fine but with air it looses its grip and nerve. Only good. Past its best
83p   (tasted 2011/12).

1963 Rebello Valente Vintage Port
Bottled by Berry Bros & Rudd. This is just stunning on the nose with warm, deep, powerful big black fruit, a lovely sweeetness and lots of black cherries in brandy, black raisins, dades, old expensive leather and sweet pipe tobacco. Very fresh. Lots of depth and character. Beautiful.
The taste is big, tight and at the same time elegant with lovely black fruit, melted tannins and a long, fresh, intense finish. This is still on the young side. Very, very fresh. The finish goes on for over a minute.  Lovely!
Another 1963 winner!
95p   (tasted 2011/12)

Monday, 19 December 2011

Just Bought

This year Thomas Edison demonstrated incandescent lightning to the public for the first time.
Unfortunately, Josef Stalin was born.
But, luckily, Albert Einstein and Paul Klee was also born!

We are talking about 1879...:-)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Weekend Wines

2008 Puligny-Montrachet " Noyers Brets", Fernand & Laurent Pillot
A young, fresh, fine nose with notes of lemon peel, dried mango, white flowers and sweet minerals. Very good. Limestone and gun powder smoke after a while. Very fresh.
The taste is young, tight and refreshing with lots of grey pears, lemons, minerals and a touch of vanilla oak. Good structur. Need some years to unfold. But a fine drink today.
This comes from a parcel of vines called "Noyers Brets", situated close to the village of Puligny-Montrachet. I usually like the wines from Domaine Pillot, not the most intense and complex, but much wine for the money.
90p   (tasted 2011/12)

2006 Yalumba The Signature
Sometimes I can get a craving for a particuliar kind of wine, and on this evening it was a young, big wine with some sweetness and opulence, but with some structure as well. Well, when browsing through what I had for drinking now, I found this one.
The nose opens with a big, fruity intensity with notes of blueberries, meat, tar, chocolate and a touch of eukalyptus. With air the meat is coated with crushed black peppar and violets. Sweet plums. Very good. It is was I was craving, but not anywhere near to be too much or over the top.
The taste is tighter than the nose with lots of blu- and blackberries, tar, peppar and new wood. The tannins caresses the fruit and in the finish they really creep forward, and it becomes obviously that needs another 3-5 year in the cellar. There is a fresh minty note in the finish. Long and fresh. Very, very good.
It seems that the last time, at least according to my notes, that I tasted a Signature, it was the 1994, in 2000. I thought it was big, fruity and intense, and scored it 93p. This vintage gets:
92p   (tasted 2011/12)

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Past Glory´s - Tasting Dinner with 1970´s Fontanafredda Barolo

For some time I have hoarded a lot of vintages from Fontanafredda. I realized that I especially had quite a selection on vineyard designated Barolos from the 70´s. What to do? Organize a dinner around them of course!
This dinner was held in October 2008.

We started with some crostini and toppings of Serrano with caramelized onions, foie gras and lump crab salad. With these starters we had a bottle of
1983 Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling Auslese, von Schubert
The nose is wide open with lovely, semi-dry, yellow fruit, lots of petrol notes, rubber and sweet minerals. Very deep. Nice tone of dried peaches. Lovely maturity.
The taste is noble, elegant and very, very good with lote of sweet lemons, minerals and acidity. This is in a perfect stage of maturity. Just lovely.
92p   (tasted 2008/10)

We went on with grilled scallops with a red beet ragu. I have made this dish before and the beet ragu normally fits very well with Burgundy with some bottle age. So I opened these two bottles, both decanted for one hour.

1994 Chassagme-Montrachet Les Caillerets, Domaine Ramonet
An open nose qith lots of warm fudge, crushed hazelnuts and minerals. Very good. Deep. A little touch of mushrooms soup but nothing that disturbs the overall picture.
The taste is tighter, with notes of chalk, dry lemons, minerals and a touch of wood. A long and interesting finish. Not the greatest vintage but a solid effort from Ramonet.
90p   (tasted 2008/10)

1992 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Ruchottes, Domaine Ramonet
This is something else! A big, intense, fresh and just great nose with lots of minerals, sweet lemon, lemon zest and rosemary. Very, very deep. A lot of nerve. A beautiful smoky note after a while. Great all around!
The taste is as impressive, with tightly focused fruit, lovely acidity and a long, long intense finish that goes on for over a minute. This has barely entered its drinking window, but for now I´ll drink it anytime!
96p   (tasted 2008/10)

Then it was time for the Fontanafredda´s.
Flight I consisted of four 1971´s, flight II of four 1974´s and flight III of four 1978´s. I had the Barolo normale in every flight and then three vineyard wines. We tasted a total of different vineyards, all from Serralunga.
The overall quality was very good with the 1978´s in top, still on the young side. The 1974´s in generel were more mature than both the 1978 and 1971, and the 1971´s were very fresh and just about resdy to drink.
All wines were decanted two hours before the first pour.
To accompany the first flight we had a terrine of veal sweetbreads.

Flight I
1971 Barolo, Fontanafredda
A mature, somewhat barnyardy nose with some dark cherries, licorice and undergrowth. Good, cool fruit. A lot of autumn leaves. Very good.
The taste is nice and tight with good tannins and sweet red cherry fruit. A long, dry finish. Good. Holding well but will not get any better.
88p   (tasted 2008/10)

1971 Barolo Vigna La Delizia, Fontanafredda
A deep, warm, mature nose with notes of sweet tobacco, black cherries, strawberries, and warm undergrowth. very good. Deep and sweet fruit. Sandelwood. Great nose!
The taste is intense, tight and sweet with lots of dark fruit, tight tannins and a long gripping finish. A lovely dry note at the end. Very long. This is still young. Lots of power still.
93p   (tasted 2008/10)

1971 Barolo Vigna Garil, Fontanafredda
Corked! #¤"&%¤#

1971 Barolo Vigna Lazzarito, Fontanafredda
This has a deep, tight, still primary nose with dark, powerful, sweet fruit. Lots of licorice, earth, black cherries and roses. very deep. backwards. layer upon layer of dark fruit. Darker than the others.
The taste is young, tight and potent, with sour/sweet black cherries, undergrowth, licorice and some tobacco. Big and brawny but with great concentration and intensity. This is great!
95p   (tasted 2008/10)

With flight II we had potato tortelli with wild mushrooms. I had infused the potato filling with rosemary butter and the combination of the potato, mushrooms and the 74 Lazzarito was to die for!

Flight II
1974 Barolo, Fontanafredda
A warm, mature, rounded nose with red, sweet fruit, especially rasberries. A touch of kerosene. Very flirty with plump fruit and mature notes. Very good.
The taste is more restrained than the nose with soft tannins, sweet and sour cherries, some undergrowth and dry tobacco. Somewhat dry tannins, but this is a charmer none the less. A nice warm feeling about it.
91p   (tasted 2008/10)

1974 Barolo Vigna Bianca, Fontanafredda
A mature and a touch dry nose with notes of dried red fruits, gravel and dry autumn leaves. Somewhat hollow, lacks middle. Dry.
The taste is tight and dry with dried red fruits, hard fudge and a touch of sherry. This is a little past its best. But I think it´s the bottle, the 78 Vigna Bianca was a solid 93p wine a while back, and its hard to believe that the 74 should be much less good. It went very well with the food though.
84p   (tasted 2008/10)

1974 Barolo Vigna Lazzarito, Fontanafredda
A very deep, concentrated, dense nose with notes of sweet tobacco, dried roses, dark chocolate and layer upon layer of the sweetest black cherries. Semi-mature. Very, very deep. Again, darker than the others.
The taste is massive, intense and black with black cherries soaked in brandy, sweet tobacco and undergrowth. Very long and focused finish with lovely tannins, just beginning to melt. Great wine!
96p   (tasted 2008/10)

1974 Barolo Vigna La Rosa, Fontanafredda
A tight and restrained nose, with notes of tar, gravel, undergrowth and cool red fruit. This needs even more time than the Lazzarito to open up, but when it does it has a lot of sweet red fruit and a nice warm feeling about it, although it´s not as intense as the Lazzarito.
The taste is tight and concentrated with nice cool red fruit. A lot of structure. The tannins are more noticeable but overall a very good wine. Long finish. Just reaching its first steps of maturity.
93p   (tasted 2008/10)

With the third flight we had a oven roasted duck with a cherry sauce and a Jerusalem artichoke terrine.

Flight III
1978 Barolo, Fontanafredda
A very deep, still young nose with notes of sweet black fruits and plenty of fresh autumn leaves. Some dried flowers as well. Very deep. Thick fruit.
The taste is tightly knit around a young, black, sweet fruit. The tannins are very noticeable in the mouth, but they are focused and sweet. Very, very good. This has a nice future.
92p   (tasted 2008/10)

1978 Barolo Vigna Gallaretto, Fontanafredda
A dark, concentrated, young nose with notes of sweet pipe tobacco, black cherries en massé, and a great deal of freshly roasted coffee. Great fruit. Very deep and intense. Still very primary flavours. Beautiful.
The taste is almost severe when the wine enter your mouth. Big loads of sweet fruit and big loads of young, sweet tannins. A very long, intense finish. This is a great Barolo! Give it another 8-10 years though.
95p   (tasted 2008/10)

1978 Barolo Vigna Lazzarito, Fontanafredda
Corked!!! #¤)/&%¤"#? But I could sense a great wine under the TCA...:-(

1978 Barolo Vigna San Pietro, Fontanafredda
A deep, powerful, young nose with lovely black sweet fruit, worn leather, warm brick tiles and sweet undergrowth. Very, very nice. It´s not a blockbuster as the Gallaretto, but it´s just as intense and actually, even more so. Just great!
The taste is focused, intense and sweet with gorgepus black and red fruits, dried flowers, gravel and melted chocolate. A very long and lingering finish. It is very elegant in its way. I like this very, very much. Still needs another 4-6 years.
96p   (tasted 2008/10)

We finished the evening with some cantuccini and this sweetie
1972 Tokaji Aszu 6 puttonyos, Oresmus
A deep, elegant, semi-sweet nose with notes of dried red apples, muscovado sugar, raisins and assorted nuts. Deep and yummy.
The taste is deep. mature and velvety with yellow fruits sprinkled with sugar. Nice intensity, long and fresh. Ends with an almost dry twist. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2008/10)

Friday, 16 December 2011

The Perfect Ones - Part 5

Up until this tasting I hadn´t tasted anything from Pierre Ponnelle, but after, I have tried to locate old bottles from this producer, but no one have lived up to this perfect specimen.

1961 Musigny, Pierre Ponnelle
The nose is spectacular fresh for its age, with notes of sweet mature strawberrys, warm spices, wet undergrowth, and a gorgeous perfumed, deep note. Layer upon layer of the sweetest red fruit imaginable, paired with pine wood, mushrooms, and a interesting coca cola note. Soooooo stunning!
The taste is complexity and intensity personified, with the most perfect sweet fruit ever, with an impeccable structure. The fruit is fresh, sweet and just perfect! The finish goes on and on and on, and ends with a lovely dry twist. This is to kill and die for...
100p   (tasted 2003/05)

The other wines at this tasting:
1990 Guy Charlemagne Cuvée Charlemagne (magnum)   (91p)
1991 Musigny Blanc, Comtes de Vogüé   (94p)
1994 Musigny V.V., Comtes de Vogüé   (90p)
1989 Musigny V.V., Comtes de Vogüé   (93p)
1986 Musigny V.V., J-F Mugnier   (96p)
1978 Musigny, Jacques Prieur   (91p)
1976 Musigny, Faiveley   (82p)
1969 Musigny, Drouhin   (92p)
25 year old Setubal (bottled 1973), J.M. da Fonseca   (91p)

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Drinking Tonight

With garlic and thyme filled chicken fillets, pan fried mushrooms and pappardelle pasta I opened this mature Burgundy. Bought a mixed case with different Burgundys, all 10-20 years old. One have been corked so far, but the rest have been good to great. This is the seventh bottle from that case. It paired very well with the dish, especially the mushrooms.

1996 Chambolle-Musigny, Philippe Amiot
A mature, velvety nose with notes of rosehips, sweet lingonberries, beetroots and dry chocolate. A nice maturity. The fruit becomes sweeter with air. A lovely, fresh note of wet undergrowth. Very good.
The taste is round, mature and fresh with notes of lingonberries, dry leather, earthy notes and a nice, high acidity that cleans up the palate. I think I got this when it just beginning its downward slope. But very nice all the same.
85p   (tasted 2011/12)

Just Bought

In april of 2008 I visited Piedmont with two friends. We visited a bunch of producers - Saffirio, Revello, R Voerzio, Abbona, Marengo, Cappellano, Cavallotto, Sottimano, Scavino, Azelia, Conterno Fantino, L Pira and lastly G Conterno - hard work - 92 wines tasted and drunk in just 3 days...but I wasn´t complaining!
All these visits together with three great dinners at Le Torri, Osteria di Vignasolo and Trattoria della Posta, was as closest to heaven I could get.

At Conterno Fantino we tasted through almost the whole range before Fabio presented a large decanter with a barrel sample of the 2007 Sori Ginestra. While one of us was busy discussing vintages, clones, barrel treatment, pesticides, and other important subjets, Miran and I was gulping down that barrel sample like there were no tomorrow! :-)

In some stiff company, this was the greatest wine (even if one could argue it wasn´t a finished wine yet) of all 92 tasted during these intense days. And now I have two magnums resting in the cellar...

2007 Vigna del Sorbo & Rancia - the final verdict

Sunday evening - the bottles have been standing in the cellar since friday whith about 5 cm left in each one. Now its time to finally evaluate these bottles.

2007 Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo, Fontodi
The Vigna del Sorbo has a more rounded, warm nose with the same nice red fruit, and notes of matchboxes, vanilla oak, and wait - what is this? A dry wood element creeps up with air. Still a very good wine but the wood is not integrated yet, and by the nose on the fourth day, it could become dry with time.
The taste is fresh and tight, maybe a tad more withdrawn than day two. The tannins is young and more highlighted now. A long and warm finish. A very good wine all put together, but not enough to warrant a buy.
89p   (tasted 2011/12)

2007 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia, Felsina
This goes from clarity to clarity. On the fourth day this is even more complex, deep and harmonius, despite its young age. Scents of expensive leather, black cherries, rasberries, cookie dough and some warm road dust. Stunning wine!
The taste is big, broad over its shoulder, but at the same time flows elegantly over the tongue. Very sweet tannins. A long, intense finish with great purity. A beautiful wine that will become even better with 5+ years in the cellar. This will definitely go on the must-buy-list.
94p   (tasted 2011/12)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Dinner last night

Had a really nice dinner last night, with some great food and gorgeous wines. We started of with a salmon tartar and a toast Skagen (a Swedish dish with prawns in a mayonnaise). To go along I opened a 99 Diebolt- Vallois, which complimated the starter nicely.

1999 Diebolt-Vallois
An open, fine, mature nose with notes of mature yellow apples, toasted bread with melting butter on it, and a lovely chocolate note. Medium deep, round and fine.
The taste is soft, mature and fresh with nice yellow fruit. The acidity creeps up on you in the finish and it ends very nicely. A fine, mature Champagne.
90p   (tasted 2011/12)

For main course I had prepared a Beef Wellington - that old time classic! It was as good as ever! With that melting meat I had earlier opened and decanted - 1 hour before the first sip - two bottles of 1964 Barolo.

1964 Barolo, Franco & Fiorina
A big, expressive, sweet nose with notes of cold coffee, fresh stables, cooked red cherries and autumn leaves. Deep and fine. A lovely maturity. Touch of banana skin. And a lot of cold coffee. Very, very good.
The taste is big and steady with notes of dried red fruits, dark chocolate and sweet red apples. Very long and fresh finish. This is in a great state of maturity. Lovely to drink right now, but will hold for some years to come.
90p   (tasted 2012/12)

1964 Barolo, F. Pittatore
A deep, mature, sweet nose with notes of licorice, dried flowers, dry rasberries and a hint of coconut. Not as multidimensionell as the Franco & Fiorina, but sweet and nice.
The taste is round, sweet and mature with lots of rasberries, lingonberries and licorice. Som mushrooms after a while. Ends very dry with a good warmth. On its own a tad too dry, but great with the food.
85p   (tasted 2012/12)

For dessert we had a chocolate cheese cake with a rasberry coulis - yummu! And what also was yummy was the bottle of port I opened. Bought from a contact in Portugal, that says that this bottle have been in their cellar since the 50`s.

NV Revinor Port, Real Companhia Vinicola
A light, fluffy, sweet nose with notes of white raisins, sugared water, coffee and a touch of detergent (in a positive way). Very mature but not overly so. Good.
The taste is fresher than the nose with notes of nuts, figs, raisins and lots of milk chocolate. A long, warm finish that ends semi sweet. Very good. Almost like drinking melted milk choclate! :-)
86p   (tasted 2012/12)

Friday, 9 December 2011

Right here, right now - the second day...

Well, these two Chianti bottles have now spent 24 hours open, with just the corks inserted back. But they have been standing cold, my cellar is 11 degrees Celsius all year round.

Tasting notes - day two:

2007 Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo, Fontodi
The Vigna del Sorbo is thicker and warmer in the fruit day two. Lovely chocolate covered cherries and more smoke than day one. The oak is a touch more pronounced now, but not in a dominant way. Still fresh, sweet red fruit. Very good.
The taste is fresh, and a touch bigger with a good warm feeling, and the tannins in the finish is a bit more softer and more polished. This is drinking very well day two.
89-91p   (tasted 2011/12/09)

2007 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia, Felsina
The Rancia has added another layer of complexity with air. The structure is more refined and the fruit is sweeter with a lovely note of sweet licorice, blueberry yougurt and new, expensive leather. This is one great Chianti!
The taste is also more concentrated and intense, with more silky fruit, and the tannins is more rounded, although still young and powerful, and they still leave quite a mark in the finish. Stunning!
93-94p   (tasted 2011/12/09)

Looking forward to day three, which will be day four......confused......well, tomorrow is destined for  a special dinner, so the remains will settle in the cellar until sunday. Will be back with a report how they are then.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Right here, right now...

Have just opened two 2007 Chianti Classico Riservas, and making my first assesment. This will be a live tasting note for three days running, too se how they are doing when first opened, and how they evolve in the bottle for some time.

Tasting notes - popped and poured:

2007 Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo, Fontodi
A fine, somewhat restrained nose right out of the gate, with notes of red cherries, ginger bread, milk chocolate and a finely perfumed note. Very elegant and refined. A touch of matchboxes.
The taste is young, tight and pure with sandy tannins and a long, fresh finish that ends dry. Cool red fruit in the core of the taste. This needs air. But it definitely have qualities.
88-90p   (tasted 2011/12/08)

2007 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia, Felsina
A perennial favourite of mine, I have found memorys of the 1990 and 1997. The nose is deeper and darker with notes of black rather than red cherries, blueberries, a warm gravel road, dark chocolate and freshly sawn wood. Has more prescense. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and concentrated with lots of young, finely grained tannins and great dark fruit that take the backseat right now. Longer, darker and warmer than the Vigna del Sorbo. Great raw material.
90-92p   (tasted 2011/12/08)

Will be back tomorrow with a follow up tasting. Have inserted the corks in the bottles and put them in the cellar.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Perfect Ones - Part 4

In a dinner tasting with 13 vintages of Mouton-Rotschild, this was the shining star. Many of the other vintages was good to gorgeous, see the others vintages below, but this was in another leauge. Perfect from the first sniff and sip to the last one. I had the empty bottle sealed with a cork for a while, and every time I checked, there was still a marvellous scent from the empty bottle.

1959 Château Mouton-Rothschild
A big, strapping nose with lots of chocolate covered cherris, autumn leaves, pine nuts, fresh stables, and that unmistakable eukaluptys note in old (good) Mouton-Rotschilds. The purity is magnificent, and you would never in a million years guess that this beaty is 48 years old. The scent of a perfect, warm autum walk in a forest.
The taste is the perfect liquid, with the sweetest black currants imaginable, paired with notes of smoke, old leather, cold coffee and the same chocolate covered cherries as on the nose. The finish goes on for two minutes. The tannins have melted to a perfectly integrated part of the wine. I could imagine me drinking this nectar every day...:-)
100p   (tasted 2007/03)

The other vintages tasted:
1999 Château Mouton-Rotschild   (92p)
1988 Château Mouton-Rotschild   (90p)
1987 Château Mouton-Rotschild   (82p)
1975 Château Mouton-Rotschild   (88p)
1970 Château Mouton-Rotschild   (93p)
1964 Château Mouton-Rotschild   (82p)
1998 Château Mouton-Rotschild   (96p)
1996 Château Mouton-Rotschild   (93p)
1995 Château Mouton-Rotschild   (96p)
1986 Château Mouton-Rotschild   (98p)
1982 Château Mouton-Rotschild   (96p)
1961 Château Mouton-Rotschild   (97p)