Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Past Glory´s - Bruno Giacosa Tasting Dinner

If I were forced to choose only one producers wines to drink for the rest of my life, that would surely be a hard choice? Would it be Latour, DRC, Gaja, Mouton, Tenuta dell´Ornellaia, Rousseau...?
No, no, as they say in the film Highlander before they behead another immortal - "there can be only one" - and that one is Bruno Giacosa.

I had planned this dinner for years, buying the wines from all over Europe. All bottles looked pristine and there were not a corked bottle among the Giacosa´s, thankfully!
We were 5 hard core Giacosa fans around the table – the pours were large and we could get back and forth to the wines through the evening. Just as tasting dinners should be – I´m not a fan of those occasions when there is 12-15 people on one bottle, one sip and it´s gone! At my dinner tastings there is never more than 6 around the table. But to each his own.
All Giacosa wines were decanted two hours before the first pour.

On to the dinner then. We started with some amuse – a lobster salad and a timbale of crabmeat, avocado and löjrom – the Swedish “caviar”, which when it´s good can hold its own against the real thing.
With that I opened a bottle of
1928 Pommery
A deep, mature (!) nose with a lot of mature cellar apples, old lemon, dried fruits and a lot of mushrooms. With air it got better and better. Not great but sure alive and kicking a little...

The taste is dry, a little short but with lots of apples, pears and dried fruit aromas. Some sherry notes on the finish.
I also opened a bottle of NV Pommery Brut Rosé and we played with topping up the old Pommery with some fresh bubbles, and it worked great. The blend had the freshness from the young wine and the complexity from the older one.
86p   (tasted 2009/10)

The first course was scallops on three different purées – one of avocado and bacon, one of Jerusalem artichokes with truffles and one of sweet potatoes with garlic and olive oil. With that I opened two bottles of white burgundy.
1988 Batard-Montrachet, Louis Latour
The nose is deep and powerful with lots of sweet yellow fruit, marzipan, wet earth and some oak. Very big and brawny. A touch of mushroom soup. A little too big for its own good, but I kind of like it.
The taste is as big as the nose indicates with notes of burnt fudge, lots of sweet yellow fruit, a burst of hot oak and a long, impressive finish. The acid is great though. More impressive than hedonistic but, again, I like it.
91p   (tasted 2009/10)

1996 Batard-Montrachet, Verget
Holy moses – this is the real thing! A very, very deep nose with menthol, butter, sweet flowers, peach and sweet lime. Sweet minerals. This is just freaking awesome!
The taste is intense, concentrated, big but light on its feet at the same time. Fresh as a daisy with fruit and acidity in perfect harmony. Goes on and on in the mouth! Beautiful and almost perfect!
98p   (tasted 2009/10)

I had arranged the Giacosa wines in small flights and some food to go with each flight. The first flight consisted of two white label wines. With that we had some homemade gnocchi with fried sage leaves and pancetta.
1985 Barolo Villero, Bruno Giacosa
A very deep, lovely nose with the perfect scent of an autumn walk in a damp forest – a lot of mushrooms, undergrowth and that fresh perfume of a pure forest. Then some dark sweet fruit and old leather. Very, very deep and captivating.
The taste is beautiful with mature, rounded sweet fruit, and notes of Christmas spices, dried orange peel and leather. Long and soft on the finish. Perfectly mature. Just great.
95p   (tasted 2009/10)

1982 Barolo Le Rocche Del Castiglione Falletto, Bruno Giacosa
This is deeper and younger than the 85 Villero with lots of dark fruits, notes of dark chocolate, dried mushrooms and orange peel. More meaty. Very deep but hasn´t really got the charm of the Villero. But very, very good none the less.
The taste is tighter with powerful dark fruit, lovely sweet tannins and a long dry finish with lots of concentration. Lots of rose hips.
92p   (tasted 2009/10)

The next flight consisted of three Rionda wines. With that we had a truffle risotto with sweetbreads.
1971 Barolo Collina Rionda, Bruno Giacosa
A lovely, mature, warm and focused nose with notes of dark cherries, sweet coffee and lots of undergrowth. Perfectly mature. Just lovely fruit. Beautiful wine.
The taste is concentrated and has a lovely maturity with sweet dark fruit, creamy tannins and a long, warm, generous aftertaste. Great wine!
94p   (tasted 2009/10)

1982 Barolo Collina Rionda Riserva, Bruno Giacosa
I´m going to make this pure and simple – I would kill and die for this wine! :-) One of the purest, most intense, most fascinating wines I have ever tasted. It has everything, and then some…
The nose is the purest expression of Barolo, or wine for that matter, one could ask for with perfectly mature, sweet fruit, layer upon layer of everything you want in a wine. Breathtakingly beautiful!
The taste is as concentrated, intense and awesome as the nose with a finish that doesn´t stop. This brought tears to my eyes. An easy
100p   (tasted 2009/10)

1990 Barolo Collina Rionda Riserva, Bruno Giacosa
This is almost as great as the 82, and in due course it´s going to be. The nose is pure, bottomless deep with notes of sweet cherries, violets and muscovado sugar. Still very young. Great nose with lovely purity. Very concentrated fruit. Great wine!
The taste is tight, young, powerful and intense with brilliant sweet fruit, imbedded tannins, hugely concentrated and with a finish that counts in minutes. Wait another 10 years and this is an 82 in the making.
98p   (tasted 2009/10)

With the next flight we moved away from the Barolo theme and I served two Barbarescos from Giacosa. There were hardly no protest from the table….
With the Barbarescos we had a ragout of oxtail and some down to earth macaroni and cheese, with a 28 month cheddar – yummy!

1985 Barbaresco Santo Stefano di Neive Riserva, Bruno Giacosa
A fantastic, sweet, deep and hauntingly beautiful nose with sweet cherries, tobacco, sweet flowers, licorice and a touch of mint. Lovely complexity. This is almost mature and so fantastic to just sit and smell!
The taste is great too, with sweet, mature dark fruit, sweet undergrowth and dried flowers. Long, long finish with almost mature, rounded tannins and a lovely warm note. This is just a great, mature, expressive wine that one just has to surrender too.
98p   (tasted 2009/10)

1982 Barbaresco Santo Stefano di Neive Riserva, Bruno Giacosa
A deep, complex, intense nose with more tight fruit than the 85 version. This is less mature and the fruit is not so sweet, in that in-your-face kind of a way. But there is great potential here with boatloads of dark sweet fruit, great concentration and structure. Notes of sweet undergrowth, raspberry chocolate and licorice. Very, very good.
The taste is more powerful and younger than the 85 with tight tannins, lots of sweet dark fruit and a long, impressive finish. More impressive than hedonistic, as the 85 is today. But it will get there, just wait at least 5 years. A great wine all the same.
95p   (tasted 2009/10)

With the last flight I had some cheese prepared – an old Gruyere, an Epoisses and, of course, a Testun al Barolo. I have saved the brute monsters of Barolo Falletto for last and they proved their part….
1985 Barolo Falletto di Serralunga Riserva, Bruno Giacosa
This is bottomless deep on the nose with lovely notes of red sweet cherries, leather, meat and dried tobacco. Very sweet and very deep. This is pure hedonism on the nose. Just great!
The taste is very big, powerful and tight with oceans of sweet black fruit, some dried leather, sweet undergrowth and tobacco. Very long and intense. Some maturity but this has a long way to go. Great wine!
96p   (tasted 2009/10)

1990 Barolo Falletto di Serralunga Riserva, Bruno Giacosa
A sweet but tight nose that is not that developed yet, but with some force swirling of the glass you get notes of almonds, dark chocolate, licorice and meat. Very, very deep and sooo young! Needs a lot of time. But very, very good.
The taste is deep, tight and powerful with lots and lots of sweet black fruit, some new leather and licorice. The tannins really show of in the finish, almost hurtful so! Very, very long. Oh, so promising but a little undeveloped at the moment.
95p   (tasted 2009/10)

1996 Barolo Falletto di Serralunga Riserva, Bruno Giacosa
Oh boy – how can a young wine, for it is very young, be so impressive, so tight and lip smacking good at the same time? This is firing on all cylinders with boatloads of sweet candied fruit, masses of rose hips, licorice and tobacco. Sweet, sweet wet earth and minerals. So, so deep! This is just perfect!
The taste is as impressive as the nose with perfect fruit, perfect tannins and perfect structure. The only thing missing is the beautiful character that comes with maturity, and when this hits maturity, 100p won´t be enough…
99p   (tasted 2009/10)

The dessert wine, a 1959 Vouvray, was corked, but I couldn´t be bothered – I was deeply focused on the brilliant work of Bruno Giacosa. It was a great night of wine, food, companionship and laughter!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Something Sweet

Opened this port on friday and by yesterday it was gone... It went perfectly at the end of all meals during the weekend with some mature cheddar and stilton - yumm!

1976 Colheita, Lopez
A deep, sweet, finely matured nose with notes of hazel nuts, milk chocolate, red currants, licorice and a touch toothpaste. Very complex and fine. Very deep. Some smoky notes after a while. Very, very good.
The taste is round, full and mature with a lovely sweetness, with notes of pickled cherries, milk chocolate, pan roasted nuts and fudge. Long, balanced finish that ends semi sweet. This surprised me with its intensity and structure. Lovely.
90p   (tasted 2012/01)

Friday, 27 January 2012

Just Bought

Two elderly statesmen from Rheingau just arrived. I have tasted an array of old bottles from Schloss Reinhartshausener, and they always age with grace. The 64 is from an unknown producer to me, Weingut Rudolf Kurth. The 64 will go in the save-for-my-50-birthday stash...
And what beautiful labels!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Then & Now - Château Plince

Thursday evening, and having the day of work tomorrow, calls for taking the corkscrew in a firm grip and open not one, but two bottles! :-)
I love making the comparison between a mature and a young version of the same wine. This time it is Château Plince, a 8,8 ha Pomerol estate that concist of 72% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. They make 50.000 bottle a year. For more info, check out their website - http://www.chateauplince.fr/ (only in french).

Popped and poured:
1979 Château Plince
I just love the scents of an old Bordeaux! This has the intoxicating nose of not overly fresh stables, ripe black plums, dry fudge, wet dog, old leather and autumn leaves. Not that deep, not that complex, but just lovely all the same! This is, at least on the nose, perfectly mature.
The taste is soft, polished and rather light, with soft tannins and notes of plums, raisins, red currants and cigarett ashes. The finish is on the dry side and have the mark of old wood. But with some food in all simplicity, a spagetti carbonara, this is great. Since it just 40 minutes since I done the deed, I have to get back with a final verdict, but for know, in the range 84-87p.

2007 Château Plince
This is a different breed. And sorry to say, a tell tale specimen of the modern problem with Bordeaux. It has a sweet, modern, open nose with notes of red and black fruit - maybe cherries and blueberries - and vanilla oak flavours with new leather and tobacco. But where in the world does it come from? Ok, its rather cool in the structure, not overly warm, so Europe? If I got this blind, I would, on the nose, have guessed Tuscany. Or maybe Bordeaux. Or maybe...
The taste is young, fresh and good with soft red and black fruit, young but friendly tannins and a medium long, good finish. Nothing sticks out, it has been polished beoynd character. Nothing wrong but it hasn´t got any soul. Objectively this is a 83-85p wine, but I want some character, so I will get back with my final verdict. The bottles will be open for the weekend to see what happens.

And to add the whole picture - I bought the -07 just the other day for 36 Euro at the State monopoly. I bought the -79 a couple of months ago for 17 Euro...

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Tasting Season Starts!

Finally! Last night was the first tasting in one of my tasting groups for the season. Nice to meet them all and taste some nice wine.
We always taste double blind, and the theme for last night was Cabernet Sauvignon dominated (with one exception) wines from three countries. We have imposed strict Omerta rules - talk about our wild guesses outside the group and you die...:-)
And that´s good, for last night I was, to lend the song title from (rest in peace) Gary Moore - "over the hills and far away"...

2004 Laurel Glen Cabernet Sauvignon
A young, deep, somewhat jammy nose with notes of graphite, bakelite, bluberries and a metallic note. On the verge of being dirty. Some volatile notes. Nothing corked about it, just disjointed.
The taste is better, with fresh, young bluberry fruit, sweet, rather soft tannins and high acidity. A touch foursquare. Although the taste is better, it is also a bit disjointed on the palate. This is far from the lovely 1984 Laurel Glen I tasted a couple of months back. In a very awkard stage.
75p?   (tasted 2012/01)

2008 Pahlmeyer Jayson Red
This is more like it! A gorgeous blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec. The nose is fresh, young and fruity with notes of meat, black currants, warm herbs and a touch of rubber. Big but very nice composed. Salivating good!
The taste is cooler, young and pure with sweet blueberry fruit, rasberries, new leather and a touch barnyardy (in a positive sense). Long, fresh finish with medium sized tannins. Very drinkable. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2012/01)

2006 Concha y Toro Don Melchor
This have initially a cool, elegant nose with notes of fresh herbs, cool black currants, fennel salami, earth and dry tobacco. With air it becomes greener, with bell peppar and grassy notes. Liked it a lot at first, but my liking decreased as the green notes increased.
The taste didn´t change as much as the nose, it was rather steady with notes of blueberries and black currants, medium big tannins and a nice finish. Balanced and fine. This could have been really good, but that green note reduces my enjoyment.
81p   (tasted 2001/01)

2003 Concha y Toro Don Melchor
The second Don Melchor has some of the same ingredients as the younger sibling but the green note, thankfully, isn´t there. Lots of cool black currants, balsa wood, hard cherry candy and black olives. With air a note of diesel oil emergers, and like Riesling, a scent that you find of putting or enticing - I like it!
The taste feels as the same age as the 06, but some additional peppery notes, lavender and tiny scent of mint is there. The acidity is very fresh and salivating. This is very fine.
88p   (tasted 2012/01)

2007 Hess Family Colonné Malbec Reserva
A big, intense, sweet nose with notes of blackberries, new leather, soya sauce and dark chocolate. On the verge of being to heavy but it makes it. Oily structure. Very deep.
The taste is big and demanding with lots of menthol infused blackberry fruit, dark chocolate, glue and some vanilla oak flavours. Very, very long. This is more impressive than tasty. I can enjoy a half of glass of something like this but then my palate gets jaded.
85p   (tasted 2012/01)

2003 Nicolas Catena Zapata
This gorgeous creature is made of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Malbec. The first sniff just say that this is a class act, with lovely aromas of blueberries, forest floor, sage, sweet minerals, expensive leather and cold coffe. Very deep and intense. With air it becomes a tad sweeter, more blueberry pie than just blueberries, but it never looses its nerve and intensity.
The taste is finely tuned with concentrated sweet blueberry and rasberry fruit, finely polished tannins and a long, long finish. Fine notes of tobacco, earth, mint and violets. A lovely structure. I can´t detect any signs of it entering maturity, so this have many years ahead of it.
94p   (tasted 2012/01)

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Wines this Weekend

2001 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese*, Selbach-Oster
The second 01 Spätlese in a week - the other was the 01 Wehlener Sonnenuhr from Loosen - but this plays in another leauge. The nose just oozes from the glass with gorgeous scents of fresh summer flowers, sweet lime, pear ice cream, wet stones and elderflowers. Fresh like a daisy. Secondary notes of white raisins and wet grass. Just wonderful!
The taste is impressively elegant, focused and beautiful with perfect sweet fruit - lemons. lime, white peaches and pears. The acidity dances like a ballerina over my tongue. This is just seamsless. The finish lingers on for a minute. You just want to drink more and more and more!
96p   (tasted 2012/01)

On friday afternoon I opened these siblings. The 98 Valbelle have been a favourite of mine for years - big, swet and hedonistic -but it was a couple of years since I last tasted it. The 03, that I thought was young and unfocused the last time I opened a bottle, was interesting to see how it behaved with some years in the cellar. Well, with 2 hours in the decanter, what do we have here...

1998 Gigondas Valbelle, Château de Saint Cosme
This takes the longest to open in the glass, from being totally closed to some fine mature notes, and scents of cranberries, lingonberries, forest floor, old dry leather and old wood. With more time in the glass resin and pine aromas emerge. Fine maturity and low keyed fruit but this is much more restrained, in a semi mature way, than I remember it. Nice but not longer great.
The taste is big, warm and steady with lots of sweet cranberries and lingonberries intermingled with notes of dry leather, tobacco, wet undergrowth and empty stables. The finish is long but it dries out a little too much at the end. This is fine with food but on its own it is a little angular. This is the sexy outgoing high school cheerleader that has turned into a neat quiet librarian...
86p   (tasted 2012/01)

2003 Gigondas Valbelle, Château de Saint Cosme
A big, warm, creamy nose with notes of sweet cranberries, rasberries, soft leather, forest fire and some wood aromas. Deep and powerful. It has the same profile as the 98 but it is sweeter and much more hedonistic. Very, very good. Resembles the 98 as it was some years ago.
The taste is big, young and strapping with lots of sweet red fruit, finely tuned tannins, and notes of tobacco, leather and dark chocolate. Long, warm and yummy. Pine resin. This behaves as the 98 did 5-6 years ago. Hello cheerleader! :-)
The conclusion must be to drink these sooner rather than later.
93p   (tasted 2012/01)

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Just Bought

Just received this bottle with its beautiful label - 1975 Brunello di Montalcino, Fattoria dei Barbi. 1975 is a great year for Brunello, and I can almost still taste the 1975 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Castello Poggio Alle Mura, the greatest Brunello I have tasted so far.
I will be back later this year with a big Brunello project - stay tuned!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Live from Eriks winebar!

I hate my Ipad right about now... Just supposed to make a change in the text, and the whole text just vanished...

Anyway - the short version - drank lunch at Eriks winebar today..., the best winebar in Stockholm in my opion. Had a glass of this while waiting for the food
2008 Meursault Les Vireuils, Domaine Roulot
A fine, steely, young nose with notes of sweet minerals, butter fried nuts, lemon peel and summer flowers. Not that expressive, but laid back elegant. Very good. Has potential.
The taste is young, fresh and intense with notes of lemon peel, lemon water, cold butter and sweet minerals. Long and fresh. The acidity is high and mighty but the friendly kind. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2012/01)

With my steak Rydberg I wanted something big and heavy and went for a glass of
2008 Relentless, Shafer
The nose is wide open with big, brawny fruit - sweet blueberries ans boysenberries - and there is also vanilla oak flavours, violets and Valrhona chocolate. On the right side of not being to sweet.
The taste is more withdrawn with a very good structure, big but nicely polished tannins, and the sweet fruit is lurking in the background. Long and warm. Need another few years in the cellar, but very good right now.
90p   (tasted 2012/01)

A nice lunch - now....what to open for dinner? :-)

A real bargain!

2009 Pouilly-Fuissé, Domaine Georges Burrier
A cool, penetrating, fresh and crispy nose with notes of lemon and grapefruit peel, almond paste, yellow apples, gravel, and elder berries. A high, pure and intense nose. Really fine. This has grace and purity.
The taste is fresh, young and full of finesse, with notes of yellow apples, peach, lime and sweet, sweet minerals. A long, pure, lovely finish. This is a great drinking Chardonnay, with some nice complexity. I kept it open in the fridge for three days, and it held its own.
For 19 Euro, this is a steal. Drinks like a 40 Euro Chassagne-Montrachet from a good producer. I´m loading up...
92p   (tasted 2012/01)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Perfect Ones - Part 8

I have been fortunate to have tasted this perfect creature on four occasions. Two times double blind and two times open, and I have scored it a perfect 100p three times and 98p one time. Last time was in may of 2010.

1990 Château Montrose
The nose is too die for in this perfect wine - a breathtaking mixture of perfect ripe black currants, fresh stables, tobacco, Valrhona chocolate, smoke and a gorgeous, deeply hedonistic, animalalistic depth. It is so pure, so lively and so balanced, that one can´t ask for anything else. Still fresh and young, this gonna live (almost...) forever.
The taste is bottomless pure, intense and concentrated with freshly crushed black currants, smoke, autumn leaves, pipe tobacco and charcoal. The finish goes on for over a minute. The tannins are sweet and beautiful polished but still young to make a real impression. This is in a league of its own, with the likes of 1982 Latour and 1959 Mouton.
100p   (tasted 2010/05)

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Three Times Pommard

These bottles have been drunk during the last couple of weeks. For a good generic Burgundy (below Grand Cru level), I often gravitate towards Pommard. I like these sturdy Pinot wines, and when there is a lovely strawberry fruit caressing that sturdiness, I´m happy!

2001 Pommard Rugiens Bas, Domaine Billard Gonnet
A deep, tight, murky nose with notes of blueberries, red cherries, balsamcic vinegar, pipe tobacco and a lovely meatyness. Very deep and fine. Hard cherry candy. Becomes sweeter in the glass. A touch of maturity. This is fine.
The taste is tight, focused and sweet with lots of black fruit, forest floor, leather and balsamic vinegar fried vegetables. Powerful, on the verge of brawny. Typical Pommard sturdiness. Very, very good. Still primary fruit in the taste.
92p   (tasted 2011/12)

2008 Pommard Les Charmots, Fernand & Laurent Pillot
A good source of fine Pommards for, usually, a great price. The nose is still young, with some volatile red fruit - red currants, lingonberries - notes, and scents of dry undergrowth, dark chocolate, and a touch of smoke. Opens up nicely in the glass, and becomes sweeter. There is even som strawberry jam hiding in the wings. Very good.
The taste is fresh, young and liniar, with notes of earth, dry licorice, red currants and not (yet) ripe rasberries. Medium long finish with a nice, cleansing acidity. Young and promising. This needs another 6-8 years in the cellar. Very, very good.
89p   (tasted 2012/01)

1996 Pommard, Pierre Boillot
A deep, sweet, dark nose with notes of wet undergrowth, chocolate covered rasberries, licorice and a nice smoky note. The dark streak is very good. Old leather. This is on the brink of being fully mature.
The taste is big, steady and a bit four square, I´m afraid. There is some nice fruit - rasberries, blueberries and lingonberries - but they are molded in a very rigid way. Some rosehips. The finish is medium long and rather fine. This could have been very good but the stiffness in the character makes is a tad dull.
81p   (tasted 2012/01)

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Saturday evening, and a Bordeaux

1999 Château Latour-Martillac
Just popped and poured this medium weight Bordeaux. The nose is soft and nice and opens quite barnyardy, but soon some sweet black currant fruit emerges. There are also notes of almond paste, smoke, forest floor and some wet dog aromas. A bit funky, but I like it. Lets see what happens with some time in the glass.
The taste is more liniar than the nose with notes of red and black currants, cherries, leather and some gravelly notes, The tannins are medium big and semi matured. The nose is spot on Bordeaux but the taste leans more to Italy and Sangiovese style. Very good. I like this from the start. Will get back with a final verdict but initially this is a 86-88p wine in my book.

Update - it actually became better and better in the glass, with soft, sweet fruit and nicely shaped tannins. Long and fine. For drinking now and the 5+ coming years. A great buy for 18 Euro!
89p   (tasted 2012/01)

Second wine last night!

I was craving a great Barolo last night and ended up opening this beauty. Still very young, but with a couple of hours in the decanter it became really enjoyable.

2001 Barolo Pié Franco, Cappellano
A deep, sensual, intense nose with notes of sweet/sour red cherries, lingonberries and bushes, licorice and lots of dried crushed rose petals. Very, very deep. Hard cherry candy. Some smoke from burned autum leaves. Just beautiful.
The taste is young and powerful with lots of intensity in the gorgeous fruit and boatloads of young, brutal but polished tannins. The tannins reminded me of a line in a The Beautiful South song - "I´ll hurt them if that really turns them on" - and I´m turned on now...:-)Very long finish that ends with a lovely dry twist. Very pure. This baby needs another 5-7 years.

Since Theobaldo wished that he wines wouldn´t be rated, I never do.

Friday, 13 January 2012

First wine this friday!

Aaaaaaaaah - coming home after, at its seems, a loooong week at work, changing clothes, starting a fire, sitting down in my favourite chair with a glass of this nectar - what a perfect way to start the weekend!

2001 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese, Dr Loosen
Dr Loosen has been, in my experience, a rather uneven supplier of good Riesling, I can remember both great and boring wines, but in 2001 they did everything right. The Auslese is a stunning wine, but still very young. But it was a while since I opened a Spätlese from Wehlener, so here it goes.
The nose is deep, fine and elegant with lovely notes of peach ice cream, sweet minerals, lemoncello and matchboxes. Deepens in the glass and becomes creamier. Very, very good. An interesting note of rubber emerges for a while, but in a positive way. Complex and fine.
The taste is medium bodied with all sorts of lemon fruits, there are lemons everywhere in the mouth, in the shape of lemon candy, lemon cream, lemoncello, lemon peel; you name it, it is there. And the acidity in the end is in perfect balance. This is in a very nice drinking stage now.
Since its just 20 minutes since I pulled the cork, I will get back with a definite judgement later, but for now its in the 91-93p range.

Well, the eveing passed by, and it held very well. Became a touch softer, but still with lots of nerv. I really liked it.
92p   (tasted 2012/01)

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Drinking Tonight

Passing by the state monopoly - and the best shop they have in the central part of Stockholm - is never a good idea, wallet wise...
But, only four bottles today, and one of them was this 11 year old IGT (I still like the term Super Tuscan better!).

I thought this should go well with tonights meal - grilled chicken fillets, a salad of different lettuces tossed together with fried mushrooms, avocado and tomatoes, with a sauce made of creme fraiche, mayonnaise, garlic, mustard and grated parmesan. And of course it did! :-)

2001 Stielle, Rocca di Castagnoli
This IGT contains 80% Sangiovese and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and has matured for 15 months in French oak barrique, partly new and partly first-passage.
It starts with an open, semi mature, deep nose with notes of red plums, black and red cherries, dark chocolate, old leather and a smidgeon of vanilla oak notes. Earthy and fine. Has a nice mellow feeling on the nose. Very good.
This is a big mouthful of wine, the kind you just could gulp down an entire bottle and say - oops, where did it go... Soft but with a great streak of sangiovese structure and raciness. Notes of red cherries, plums, chocolate and a touch of cigarette ashes. The finish is medium long and fresh, cleaning up the palate nicely. Drinking perfectly right now.......where did the bottle go?? :-)
I can´t see this getting any better - just drink up!
88p   (tasted 2012/01)

Monday, 9 January 2012

Then & Now - Château La Tour de By

This was a nice comparison - two vintages 24 years apart. The 1983 came from a mixed auction case and have rested in the cellar for some years. The 2007 was bought just the other week from the Sweden state monopoly.
The 2007 has a lot of information to give, both on the back label and on the estates website. It contains 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot - a classic Bordeaux blend, at least from one side of the river. It has been brought up for 12 months in French barriques, of which 30% is new.

I guess that the 1983 have, more or less, the same composition of grapes. In David Peppercorn´s Bordeaux from 1991, he states that La Tour de By is made of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. The same main ingredients, but the Cabernet Franc is exchanged for Petit Verdot in the 2007.
But I doubt that the level of new barriques in 1983 was that of the 2007.

Well, on to the wines! Both wines just popped and poured.

1983 Château La Tour de By
At first a rather shy nose, but with air lovely mature scents of mature red apples, old leather, sweet lingonberries, tobacco and saw dust emerge. A nice soft nose. Has a mature complexity, although not being a Grand Vin. Autumn leaves. Very good.
The taste is vibrant, tight and fine with cool red fruit - lingonberries, red currants and red cherries. The tannins are soft but lingers on nicely in the finish. Becomes warmer with air. And it doesn´t loose any momentum for all of the evening. A very nice mature Bordeaux!
87p   (tasted 2012/01)

2007 Château La Tour de By
A young, big, fresh nose with lots of sweet black currants and bluberry fruit, paired with notes of new leather, freshly grounded coffee and some vanilla oak flavours. Good. A nice warmth. With air a scent of cookie dough (with vanilla) (almost) take over. The nose becomes more sweet with air, and the sweetnees muddles the other aromas. It is best when freshly poured.
The taste is better with a nice core of sweet black and red fruit, sweet polished tannins and a fresh acidity that effectively cleans the mouth. Young and sharp. Very good.
85p   (tasted 2012/01)

I would definitely like to find some older vintages of this château - I guess they could be had at a relatively modest price.

Friday, 6 January 2012

The Perfect Ones - Part 7

This was my first 100p wine. In september of 1992 I attended a tasting of nine vintages of Moulin Touchais. It was a 100 year tasting - vintages between 1985 and 1885. I had tasted some old Moulin Touchais before, from the 70´s, but this possibilty to compare 100 year of the same wine was amazing. And the 1885 stood out as the most incredible wine I had tasted up to that point in time.

The other wines at the tasting are listed below. The picture is of the 1985, which I bought a case of after the tasting because of what I noted on the 1985 - "would be as great as its 100 year older sibling in due course" - I just hope it will! :-)

1885 Moulin Touchais
The colour of glowing amber. The nose soars from the glass with spectatular notes of white raisins, saffron, lemoncello, honey, cold tea, and an assortment of dried fruits. Elegant, deep and very complex. It has layer upon layer of scents and impressions. Stunningly alive and beautiful.
The taste is huge for such an old wine, with great expressions of sweet fruit, and a fantastic acidity that makes the finish taste semi dry. The finish goes on for over a minute. Every dried fruit on earth is crammed into this wine, and then some honey, tea and lemon is added. Very, very impressive and downright perfect!
100p   (tasted 1992/09)

The other vintages:
1985 Moulin Touchais   (94p)
1981 Moulin Touchais   (82p)
1971 Moulin Touchais   (86p)
1964 Moulin Touchais   (96p)
1955 Moulin Touchais   (84p)
1937 Moulin Touchais   (92p)
1921 Moulin Touchais   (89p)
1892 Moulin Touchais   (82p)

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

New Year Eve Dinner

Some friends visited us for New Year, and we ended up opening some really nice bottles.

Version Original, Jacques Selosse
Its been too long since I had the pleasure to drink some Jacques Selosse. This opened with a big, deep, elegant nose with lots of freshly baked bread, red apples and summer flowers. With air it becomes sweeter, with notes of mango, fudge and strawberries. Very, very good.
The taste is fine, elegant and penetrating with lovely purity and all sorts of yellow fruit, and notes of hazel nuts, smoke and dry lemoncello. The finish is very long and the acidity is so finely tuned. This is a great glass of Champagne!
94p   (tasted 2011/12)

2008 Corton-Charlemagne, Bonneau de Martray
This producer always manages to make a steely, long lived CC, and this was no exception. But it proved to be to young today for that real enjoyment. Three hours in a decanter and a couple of hours in the glass, heavy swirling, and what do you get? Minerals, minerals and sweet minerals. Eventually some lemon, dried tropicial fruit and buttery notes emerge, but you have to work for that. But is has depth, and intensity, but needs another 5+ years to give some real pleasure.
The taste is powerful, young, potent and crispy with lots of, almost, hard acidity and some locked up fruit. Very long, very intense, but not really pleasurable right now. But it gets an A for effort. Leave it for at least 5 year.
90p   (tasted 2011/12)

1986 Latricéres Chambertin, Guy Castagnier
An unknown producer for me, but this turned out to be a really nice bottle of mature Burgundy. The nose is open for business with notes of smoked meat, ripe rasberries, wet earth and autumn leaves on fire. Deep, dark and delicious.
The taste is big, sweet and broad with notes of muscovado sugared rasberries, chocolate, damp earth and some old barrels (in a positive way). Long and succulent. Rosehips and smoked spice after a while. This is fully mature and in a very great place today.
92p   (tasted 2011/12)

1978 Charmes-Chambertin, Henri Perrot-Minot
I had high hopes for this bottle, and, luckily, it fore filled them. The nose is as sweet as the Latriciéres but it is deeper, more intense and just greater. The nose is uncompromising in its structure, finesse and depth. Notes of sweet lingonberries, rasberries, smoke, spicies, mushrooms, resin and autumn leaves soares from the glass. Sweet and sour cherries after a while. Complex and utterly stunning!
The taste is full bodied, mature, sweet and refined, with notes of sweet rasberries, smoke, old leather and cold coffee. The finish goes on for over a minute. It is a touch high strung but that adds to the complexity. Great!
96p   (tasted 2011/12)

1903 Bual Reserva, ?
Bought at auction some time ago. Unknown producer. I had decanted it 36 hours before I served it, but when sipping on it yesterday, it would have needed some more time.
The nose is bottomless deep with that glorious high scents that define old Madeira. Great notes of dark chocolate, rubber tent, old leather, pan roasted nuts, white raisins, wet wood and a touch of rum. Very, very big and bold. Very, very deep.
The taste is massive, intense and complex with beautiful structure and notes of sweet/sour raisins, old chocolate, tea leaves, lingonbushes and old leather. The acidity cuts through everything and leaves the mouth clean and longing for more. A beautiful old Madeira - I just love them!
94p   (tasted 2011/12)

Finished the evening with looking at all the explosives from our terrace and finishing the Selosse. A new year begins!

Monday, 2 January 2012

The Ten Most Memorable Wines of 2011

Another year has passed, and wine wise it has been a great year - a lot of interesting tastings and bottles. It is always hard to narrow it down to ten bottles that have made the most deep impression on my tasting buds every year. But with a glass of 2008 Corton Charlemagne, Bonneau de Martray (leftovers from New Years eve) it becomes easier...:-)
Here they are, in vintage order.
And lets hope that 2012 will bring equally great wines - thanks all!

1968 Bual Reserva, d´Oliviera
I have tasted a couple of great Madeira´s this year - 1958 Bual, Cossart & Gordon (96p), 1969 Bual, Cossart & Gordon (96p), 1903 Bual, unknown producer (94p) - but this was it another leauge. It showcased everything that is great about Madeira, the intensity in the fruit, the laserlike acidity and the length that goes on for several minutes. And this is still very young!
98p   (tasted 2011/11)

1973 Dom Perignon
In our annual end-of-the-season-champagne-tasting, we had a bunch of Moet wines, but the highlights were three vintages of Dom Perignon - the 1993 (92p), the 1983 (94p) - and this gorgeous creature. It hade the most lovely scents of toffee, summer flowers and freshly grounded coffee, and the taste were like silk over my palate, but with a remarkable intensity. Pure nectar.
97p   (tasted 2011/06)

1982 Barolo Zonchera, Ceretto
Found this gem in a restaurant in Copenhagen for a very reasonable price. The mature autumn scents were captivating from start to the last drop of the bottle, and the taste was soft, round and with perfect sweet red fruit. Sooo drinkable. Perfectly mature and a great exempel of the 1982 vintage in Barolo.
94p   (tasted 2011/09)

1990 Barolo Cascina Francia, Giacomo Conterno
Actually, most of the bottles from my  1990 Barolo Tasting Dinner could have made this list, but the one that made the most lasting impression was the Cascina Francia. You couldn´t get closer to perfection than this beaty, and when it hits maturity in 5-10 years time, this will be the nectar of gods.
99p   (tasted 2011/01)

1996 Château Pontet-Canet
The last couple of years Bordeaux hasn´t been my first priority, as it was when I started tasting wine 20+ years ago. The insane pricing and the tendency to make many wine in the same mold, have made me turn to other places. But this year some bottles of Bordeaux have proved to me that they really are world class wines, that have a strong appeal on me. Some of them have been 1995 Trotanoy (92p), 1995 Cos (95p), 2000 Montrose (93p) and the ever perfect 1990 Montrose (100p), but the gold medal in the category making an impression was the 1996 Pontet Canet. The racy, semi mature notes of fresh stables, sweet black currants and tobacco are magnificent, and the taste is long, fresh, structured and just awesome. Stunning wine!
95p   (tasted 2011/04)

1998 Masseto
A very generous friend opened some great bottles early this year, and in the flight of Tuscan stunners, this was breathtaking. It had an elegant, cool red fruit with some meaty and lead pencil notes. The oak touch was of the sweet, expensive kind. The taste was very pure and concentrated with silky tannins and a minute long finish. I see that I even used profanity in my tasting notes too express the greatness of this wine...:-)
97p   (tasted 2011/01)

2001 Percarlo
At one of the tasting with our tasting group Senza Nome, we were presented to nine bottles of 2001 Tuscan wines. 2001 is a great vintage and almost every bottle was, at least, very good, but this one was head and shoulders above the rest. The intensily fresh nose with notes of rose hips, chocolate covered red cherries, new leather and wet earth, was amazing. The taste followed the nose with purity, freshness and a glorious structure. Still young, this pretty thing has 10+ year ahead of it.
97p   (tasted 2011/05)

2002 Fleur de Passion, Diebolt-Vallois
This had a great purity, with the most lovely scents of peaches, wet steel, earth and a perfect after-the-rain note. The taste was tight, cool and with an elegance that made me (almost) speechless. Still very young, this is as stunning as a young, high class Champgane can hope to aspire too.
95p   (tasted 2011/01)

2006 Romanée-St-Vivant Marey-Monge, DRC
This and the following bottle were tasted at one of the best BYOB tasting I have ever attended. Bottle after bottle with the most gorgeous fermented juice hit the table all evening long, but these two made an lasting impression.
The depth, concentration and purity of this DRC wine almost brought tears to my eyes. The perfect example of Pinot Noir, although very, very young. It has everything, but this day we got to see some of its potential. An easy 100p when it enters maturity. My last words in my tasting book is "gives me shivers down my spine"...
98p   (tasted 2011/05)

2008 Bienvenues Batard-Montrachet, Domaine Faiveley
This bottle also made me shiver - when Chardonnay reaches these heights, nothing can compare. The stony/mineral driven sweet fruit, paired with butter fried nuts, dusting sugar and expensive oak, maked for a hedonistic experience. The taste is like drinking licquified minerals coated with butter coated nuts and sweet summer flowers. The finish lasts for minutes. A revelation!
98p   (tasted 2011/05)