Monday, 27 February 2012

Tasting Dinner with 12 Vintages of Bric dël Fiasc

How to sum up saturdays tasting dinner...? Great? Awesome? Fun? Well...all of the above! :-)
We were five hard core Barolo afficionados that meet up at my place. I had planned this dinner for some years, collecting the bottles all over Europe. I have spent a lot of time looking for the 1978, the first vintage of Bric dël Fiasc, but with no luck. But the twelve vintages we had more than made up for that loss!
For more info on Bric dël Fiasc - check out Scavinos web site -

We started with phyllo bundles filled with goat cheese and herbs, and a bottle of
1976 Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling Fuder 59, von Schubert
A deep, creamy, lovely mature nose with notes of old and wrinkled yellow apples, matchbox, summer flowers, dry honey and a rubber wet suit. Very, very fine. Elegant and racy.
The taste is utterly gorgeous, and starts with a sweet entrance in the mouth - lemon curd, dried apricots, honey - but transforms within thirty seconds to a tight mouthfull of rocks, minerals and smoke. Seamsless structure. This is perfectly mature. A great start!
94p   (tasted 2012/02)

For starter we had two classic dishes, that I had made mini versions of - Toast Charlemagne and Lobster Newburg. And what to match with these tasty, rich dishes? Burgundy of course!
1996 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chaumes Clos de la Truffiére, Michel Niellon
A big, extrovert, mature nose with lots of dried fruits - mango, apricot, pear - and notes of moist earth, apple pie and vanilla infused dough. Very deep. There is a touch of oxidation, but not in a disturbing way. Big. Maybe a tad clumsy when it sat in the glass. But the fruit is sweet and fine.
The taste is as big as the nose, with waves of sweet tropical fruit. But there is a fine minerality in the finish. A touch of oxidation is also apparent in the taste. A long, warm finish. This is a really nice wine, but without the ox feeling, it would have been great.
90p   (tasted 2012/02)

1996 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chaumes, Verget
This feels a lot younger than the 16 year that the label state. A fine, elegant, deep and hedonistic nose that manages to be both sweet and austere at the same time. The notes of buttercup flowers, lemon cream, flint and a touch of coconut, is to die for. Really, really luscious.
The taste reflects the nose, with stunning sweet fruit and a refreshing acidity that you normally would associate with Riesling or Chenin Blanc. A long, pure finish. This still has room for improvement. Another stunner from Verget!
95p   (tasted 2012/02)

It was now time for the first flight of the Bric dël Fiasc. This flight consisted of those vintages that had been "left over" when I put the other flight together. I wanted the vintages between 1982 and 1990 together and I wanted the 2004, 2001, 1999 and 1996 together. That left the 1998, 1997 and the 1995 for this flight. But they proved their part! Unfortunately we had two corked bottles, the 1997 and the 1989 ( sobbing here....have never tasted that vintage before and was really looking forward to it).
The first and third flight was decanted 2 hours before the first pour, and flight two was decanted 1,5 hours before.
With the first flight we had home made tortellini (filled with rosemary infused potato mash) with prosciutto, fried sage leaves and sage butter.

Flight I
1998 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
A deep, young, pure nose with notes of red and black cherries, undergrowth, cookie dough and licorice. Some rose petals after a while in the glass. Very structured and fine. A cool sweetness.
The taste is young, tight and very fresh with notes of red cherries, rasberries, sandel wood and licorice. Medium long finish, that ends with a dry twist. This is still on the young side of things. A lovely laid back feeling. Very, very good.
93p   (tasted 2012/02)

1997 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
#¤/!?^/&%)¤#" Corked!!

1995 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
A fine, elegant nose with a touch of maturity and notes of dried mushrooms, forest floor, red cherries and dry licorice. Has a fine, almost ethereal feeling about it. As far from a blockbuster you could get. Like walking in a forest on a sunny but chilly autumn day. A great nose!
The taste is a bit tense, the fruit is of the more withdrawn kind, but the structure is very fine, and the tannins have begun to soften up, so this makes up for a really nice drinking experience right now.
91p   (tasted 2012/02)

For the next flight I had prepared a confit of rabbit with roasted root vegetables and a tarragon sauce. The soft flavours of the rabbit went perfectly with the more mature Barolo wines in this flight.

Flight II
1990 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
This is a nearly perfect Barolo! It has some more maturing to do, but is impossible to resist today. Only the 1982 eclipsed this beauty on this night. The nose is of the purest, sweetest, deepest kind with notes of black cherry jam, dark coffe, moist forest floor, ceps, pipe tobacco, old leather and muscovado sugar. I could go on and on with more scents, for this has almost everything in its gorgeous nose. Semi mature, but not really there yet.
The taste is like liquified autumn leaves mixed with the sweetest black cherries imaginable and some beef broth, licorice and mushrooms tossed in. Very, very pure. It has both power and elegance. The tannins are noticable in the one minute long finish. This still needs another 5+ years in the cellar, but boy, is it good to drink today!
97p   (tasted 2012/02)

1989 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
#¤/!?^/&%)¤#" Corked!!!

1988 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
A cool, elegant, delicate nose with notes of dry licorice, red cherries, dried mushrooms and forest floor. After a while in the glass some really nice scents of dried flowers emerge. Rosehips also. On the light side but not fragile, just more thoughtful than some of the others. Elegant. Similar to the 95 in structure.
The taste is tight, elegant and mature with notes of red cherries, red currants, autumn leaves, old leather and rounded tannins, which leads to a fine, gentle finish. This is drinking beautiful now. Went perfectly with the rabbit.
92p   (tasted 2012/02)

1985 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
Compared to the 1990, this is a perfect piece of mature Barolo! The nose explodes from the glass with big, meaty aromas, paired with overripe black cherries, sweet licorice, milk chocolate and beef broth. Not as structured as the 90, this is all about pure hedonism. And I love it! After some time in the glass, lovely scents of dried mushrooms emerge. The sweetness of the fruit is amazing.
The taste is a touch more strict that the nose indicates, and the fruit is not only of the black sort, there is some mature red cherries and rasberries here too. And rosehips, lots of it! The tannins have melted into the fruit and you can effortless drink big mouthfuls of this elixir. A beauty!
96p   (tasted 2012/02)

1982 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
I didn´t think that anything would eclipse the 1990, but I was wrong. At least on this night. I think that the 1990 have the potential to be a 100p wine, but on this night, the bottle of the 1982 just charmed the pants of me...:-) The nose is perfection in a glass. Its hard to just name a few of the scents that greets you, but the dominate ones are dried ceps, red cherries, rosemary ham, licorice, smoke and tobacco. Utter harmony. You could sit and sniff this for the whole night. Just captivating.
This wine flows over your tongue like nectar, it hasn´t got one hard corner, not one rough nook, it is just seamsless. Lovely taste of sweet lingonberries, red cherries and wild strawberries. Both elegant and structured. This won´t get any better - just drink up!
98p   (tasted 2012/02)

With the last flight we had some cheese - a Tomme du Berger, a Robiola ri Pecora and a Comte.

Flight III
2004 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
A deep, powerful, sweet, young nose with notes of sugared coffee, bay leaves, cookie dough, moist forest floor and expensive new leather. Very, very deep. This has a fantastic sweetness.
The taste is tight, compact and concentrated with a lovely purity and a gorgeous fruit. Notes of rasberry candy, sweet lingonberries, milk chocolate, cold coffe and licorice. The tannins storms through the finish and cleans up the mouth. Very, very young, but impressive! This is going places!
When we visited Scavino in 2007 and tasted this, I wasn´t that impressed. But time has really made wonders with this one.
95p   (tasted 2012/02)

2001 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
The 2001 opens more withdrawn than the 2004, but after coaxing the glass, aromas of red cherries, milk chocolate, bay leaves and licorice emerges. They have more or less the same scent profile, but the 2001 seems to have tighten up more. Very, very good all the same.
The taste is also proof for that this one has gone into slumber. The tannins dominate the mouth, but there is lot of sweet fruit popping upp from time to time. A very long finish. Great structure. This definitely needs to be kept in the cellar for at least 5-8 years. But the stuffing is there for a real treat when you do open a bottle.
93p   (tasted 2012/02)

1999 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
What an impressive nose! Lovely scents of red cherries, rosehips, licorice, mushrooms and coffee oozes up from the glass. The sweetness and purity is a delight! And you can sense the structure and subtleness under the hedonistic fruit. Just lovely.
The taste is somewhat stricter than the nose but displays all the same gorgeous fruit in the shape of lingonberries, red cherries and rosehips. Coffee, leather and licorice adds to the complexity. The finish goes on for over a minute, and only at the very end you feel the young, strappy tanninstructure. This is still young, but boy, this is going to be gooood!
96p   (tasted 2012/02)

1996 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
And what a great way to finish the Barolis - with a stellar example of the 1996 vintage. The nose is impressive in its sweetness, purity and structure. Notes of chocolate covered rasberries, licorice, forest floor, cold coffee and mushrooms flows up from the glass. After some time in the glass there is a microscopic scent of eukaluptys. A pure class act. If this would be a painting, it would hang in the Tate!
The texture of the taste is the well known "an iron fist in a velvet glove". The sweetness of the fruit fools you up to the finish when the tannins hit you with all they got. This is built to last. But you can drink it today with lots of enjoyment if there is some food to go along. This is just a breathtaking example of a young Barolo. But I am gonna wait at least 5 years before doing the deed next time.
97p   (tasted 2012/02)

The evening wasn´t over yet - with some different chocolate truffles we had two bottles of old port - a nice way to end a great evening...

1948 Calem Port
Since there were no information on the label of this bottle, I emailed Calem with some pictures of the bottle, and got a very nice answer from them. It seems that this is a single vintage Tawny. It has been aged in cask for a minimum of seven years. 1948 was a very hot year and the harvest consisted of very sweet and dried grapes.
Well, what´s in the glass then......the nose is big, wide open and sweet with notes of pecan nuts, dry dark chocolate, herbs and band aid. A touch volatile. Big and brawny and yummy!
The taste is intense, big and very sweet with lots of overripe rasberries, milk chocolate, pecan nuts and band aid notes. A very good structure. There is a mix of nougat and alcohol in the finish. A slugger of a wine, but I like it!
90p   (tasted 2012/02)

1872 Ferreira Port
The same goes for this one, not a vintage port per se but something else...? I also emailed Ferreira but they couldn´t be as specific as Calem as to what it is. Well, we just have to open it and see.
Aaaaaaaah - this is good! A deep, penetrating, dark nose with notes of chocolate covered rasberries, old leather, white raisins, wet earth and assorted nuts. Very, very deep and captivating. Ethereal in the best sense of the word.
The taste is big, tight and semi sweet with notes of strawberries, rasberries, cocoa and detergents (in a positive way). Very, very long. The sweetness is there but the age has mellowed it down a bit. The structure is just stunning. This is an enchanting beverage to sit and sip while the evening turns into night.
94p   (tasted 2012/02)

Thanks to Enrico, Enrica and Elisa Scavino for creating these magic wines and thanks to the boys for making saturday into a splendid evening of fun wine drinking!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Preparing for tonight...

Having a short break while preparing for a (hopefully!) great tasting dinner tonight - the lobsters have been disected, the pasta dough have been made (with 18 egg yolks!) and the corks have pulled on the red wines - they smell great! :-) They will slow ox for the rest of the day.
Will be back tomorrow with a full report!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Recommended Reading

I got this book a couple of weeks ago - The Great  Domaines of Burgundy - by Remington Norman and Charles Taylor. It is a updated version of the 1992 edition, which I have. In 1992 Remington Norman was the singular writer.
It is great for reading both about the communes but specifically about the domaines - there is at least a whole page, some gets two, with lots of information about history, vineyard holdings, techniques and a brief description of the wines.
For a burghound - this is essential reading! :-)

And now - what to open for tonight...?

Monday, 20 February 2012

The Perfect Ones - Part 10

In June of 1993 I worked extra at what was then called Stockholm Wine Festival. I worked the cellars where the exhibitors stored their wines. One exhibitor came from London and dealed in fine and rare wines. One part of the festival were high end tasting that he arranged. Any visitor could buy a seat at those tasting. And some of them didn´t fill up, but he still had to open enough bottles to go around.
Guess who sometimes wound up with bottles of extraordinary wines with 5,10,15 centiliters left? He noticed my obsession (when I stood and drooled over the bottles...) and offered me the remains after the tastings (you can see some of the others below).

One of the tasting included some old and rare Burgundys, with the 1949 Musigny Vieilles Vignes from Comte de Vogüé from magnums as the highlight. After the tasting one magnum was left with ca 15-20 centiliters in it. He asked if I was interested? Is the pope catholic!!
It still is the most perfect wine I have ever tasted. When asked what my desert island wine is or I what I want to drink before I start pushing up the daisys, this one is always my answer.

1949 Musigny Vieilles Vignes, Comte de Vogüé (magnum)
A fabolous, intense, pure and decadent nose with utterly gorgeous notes of strawberry jam, smoke, dark roasted coffee, fresh herbs and spicies, figs, violets and moist earth. The scent of freshly washed clothes drying in the breeze. This is just magnificent! And you wouldn´t guess that it is 44 years old in a million year.
The taste is like drinking liquified velvet with notes of smoke, strawberries, dark chocolate, fried vegetables, soft leather, and moist atumn leaves. The finish goes on for two minutes. The tannins are so soft, and yet they support the fruit just perfectly. My tasting note ends with: "A revelation!" The most perfect drink ever.
100p   (tasted 1993/06)

Some of the other wines tasted during the festival:
1928 Château Palmer   (96p)
1961 Château Meyne   (86p)
1961 Château Pichon-Baron   (88p)
1961 Château Branaire-Ducru   (91p)
1961 Château Calon-Segur   (90p)
1970 Château Montrose   (94p)
1986 Hermitage, Chave   (88p)

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Eleven Bottles of Wine...

...for three persons - thats the normal, healthy dose for one evening, right? This friday some of us was supposed to get together and drink some wine, but sickness and other thing got in the way for some, and we ended up with the three of us and eleven bottles...
All wines tasted blind, execpt of course for the two bottles I brought! :-)

We started with three whites and some finger food.
2007 Oberemmeler Hütte Riesling Spätlese, von Hövel
This was a young, fresh start, with notes of yellow pears, slate, wet asphalt, lime and a note of cold snow. Very elegant and fine. A salivating nose.
The taste is fresh, racy and steely with notes of pear ice cream, grape, lime and some elder berry. Light as a ballerina. The acidity is a perfect match to the sweet fruit. Very, very good, but I would love some more years on it.
91p   (tasted 2012/02)

2002 Schlossböckelheimer Kupfergrube Riesling Spätlese, Dönnhoff
This is more like it! This has some additional years, and it is deeper and the young notes has been replaced with  hauntingly beautiful scents of lemoncream, mature yellow apples, oilcloth (I ponder some seconds on if this could be a Chenin Blanc) and moist earth. Just lovely. Very, very deep.
The taste follows the nose with loads of dry honey, dried orange peel, moist earth and sweet, sweet yellow apples. The finish goes on for over a minute. This has an aristocratic feel about it. Some maturity. Great!
95p   (tasted 2012/02)

2004 Dalsheimer Hubacker Riesling Spätlese Fuder 26, Keller
A fine, elegant, tight nose with notes of slate, grape, lemon and grey, hard pears. This feels young still. Very good. With air a lovely smoky scent appears.
The taste is fresh, elegant and fine with notes of grey pears, peach, grape and sweet minerals. The same smoky note as on the nose. This is good but in the end of the taste the sweetness and acidity are somewhat unbalanced. But very good all the same.
88p   (tasted 2012/02)

On to the reds then - we tasted through them before we ate a medium spicy chicken wok.
2001 Valiniére, Leon Barral
It wasn´t a good start... What the f...k is this? A big, vulgar nose with not a fruit component in sight. But if your thing is rubber, rasberry candy (without one rasberry in them), rotten wood and a outhouse that have stood in the sun all day, this is for you. Volatile notes. Some sweet licorice after a while. It´s deep, but not in a good way.
The taste is hard, fiery and mean with notes of rubber, the same rasberry candy as on the nose, and lots of dry wood. This is for stripping away paint with, not to be drunk. I haven´t tasted this before, but it wasn´t cooked, it wasn´t corked, it was just bad, really bad...
58p   (tasted 2012/02)

2005 Côte-Rôtie La Turque, Guigal
Ooooh noooooooo, we all cried out, when it was revealed that this nice but far from great wine was revealed. The nose is very good, with sweet blackberries, ski wax, dark fudge and wet earth. Sweet and nice. But only medium deep. Didn´t evolve that much either in the glass.
The taste on the other hand was tight, seedy and coarse with fiery tannins and locked up fruit. And it had been in the decanter for a few hours and we had it in our glasses for hours, but still, hard and angular. The finish is long but the primary note here is sawdust...
85p   (tasted 2012/02)

2006 Jaffurs Sta Rita Hills Syrah
According to Miran, this is unobtainable, and still, here it is in the glass! Thanks! The nose just explodes from the glass with gorgeous notes of violet candy, dark chocolate, sweet rasberries, meat and a band aid note that adds to the complexity. Very deep, focused and sweet.
The taste is big and brawny with lots of chocolate covered rasberries, sweet licorice, violet candy and vanilla oak flavours. A very, very long finish, where the alcohol (15,2%) is somewhat noticable. A great piece of work, but it is slightly more impressive than hedonistic good. Becomes better when it have had some time in the glass, so this could turn of great, if you could get hold of it...
91p   (tasted 2012/02)

2004 The Relic, The Stendish
Aaaaaaah, if I could fit my head into the glass, I would! Awesome notes of hand pounded meat, violets, the sweetest blueberries and blackberries imaginable and a perfumed note that flows over the whole structure. Soooo deep. Powerful and light at the same time!
The taste is as big and brawny as the one before (maybe even bigger) but this folds it all togethet with ease. The fruit, tannins, acidity and alcohol just becomes one. Notes of chocolate covered rasberries, licorice, peppared meat and wet, warm earth. Very, very long. Just a great wine in all respects. Tried this for a couple of years ago, and to my recollaction is hasn´t budged at all. This is a keeper!
97p   (tasted 2012/02)

1992 Dominus
This was one of my bottles, so I knew what it was when I put my nose in the glass. And what a lovely nose that greets me! A mature, rounded, sweet and gorgeous nose with notes of fresh stables, old leather, cigarr ashes and loads of pencil shavings. Very, very yummy.
The taste is equal round and mature with perfectly rounded tannins and sweet, sweet black currants, and notes of cold coffee, roasted root vegetables, autumn leaves and old leather. This is in a perfect drinking window.
93p   (tasted 2012/02)

Well, Miran thought that wasn´t enough and proceeded to open to more white wines. And focused had shifted...
2007 Diatom Clos Pepe Chardonnay
I haven´t been impressed with the Chardonnays from this producer before. Bu this was another creature. The nose is more restrained, albeit sweet and big, with notes of yellow apples, mathcbox, summer flowers and vanilla pod. Deep and yummy. Has a big structure but keeps it tight and focused all the same.
The taste is big, steady and warm with notes of yellow apples, almond paste, smoke and sugared candy. Very long. A nice warmth in the finish. The previous bottles from this producer has been flabby, but this keeps it all in, and is a great example of a Californian chardonnay.
92p   (tasted 2012/02)

2007 Varner Home Block Spring Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay
If the Jaffurs is unobtainable, this is the unicorn of Chardonnay, if I understand Miran right. Too bad, since this freaking glorious! We were certained that this was a grand cru burgundy, in fact I would have betted on it... The nose is a dream, with elegant, focused, sweet yellow fruit, with just the right amount of butter fried nuts, minerals and a touch of new wood. The smoky notes just adds to the complexity. Very, very deep.
The taste is young, tight and fresh as a daisy with gorgeous yellow fruit, notes of matchbox, nuts, fudge and a touch of vanilla. A salty, mineral note that complements the sweetness perfectly. This is an epic chardonnay! Too bad I never get to buy some...:-(
96p   (tasted 2012/02)

And to end the evening I had brought something sweet.
Porto de mais de 40 anos, Agricola e Comercial Dos Vinhos Messias
A cool, mature, soft nose with notes of white raisins, milk chocolate, pan fried nuts and old barrels. A touch fleeting, but nice. The sweetness is of that old, rounded character, which is very nice.
The taste is more concentrated and with more backbone than the nose. Notes of cold sugared coffe, pan fried nuts and black raisins. There is still some tannins that leave a mark, although not that big, in the finish. Rather long. Very, very good.
It is from Portugal, it taste like an old port, but what it is? I have no idea....anyone with a clue, let me know!
88p   (tasted 2012/02)

I did make use of the spitoon but since it was so many hard-to-spit wines, the saturday was a tad heavy...:-)

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

A Glass of Wine?

Yes please!
But what glass? That is, sometimes, the tricky question. I will beforehand apologize for the nerd factor of this post...

"7 glasses with the same wine just to see what glass is the best??" My better half just shaked her head and went on to do something wortwhiled.

Lets introduce the wine - 2004 Barolo Vigna del Gris, Conterno Fantino - a young, strapping Barolo from the excellent year 2004. Vigna del Gris comes from the Ginestra area in Monforte d´Alba (for more info, check out Conterno Fantinos website - When we visited Conterno Fantino in april 2008 we got to taste all the 2004 Barolo from bottle, and then I scored the Vigna del Gris at 92p, and thought it had great potential (although the Mosconi and Sori Ginestra was even better).

And on to the glasses. With one exeption, all glasses comes from Riedel ( I´m a firm believer in their glasses. I have tried all sorts of glasses from Schott Zwiesel, Bottega del Vino and Spiegelau, but for me the Riedel series have worked best through the years.
Presenting from left to right:
1) The standard ISO glass
2) Riedel Ouverture Redwine (6408/00)
3) Riedel Vinum Bordeaux (6416/0)
4) Riedel Vinum Extreme Cabernet (4444/0)
5) Riedel Vinum Burgundy (6416/07)
6) Riedel Vinum Extreme Pinot Noir (4444/07)
7) Riedel Sommeliers Burgundy Grand Cru (4400/16)

I decanted the wine two hours before this test. I poured the same amount in every glass. I then took a note immediately upon pouring and then 30 minutes later.
This is how it went.

2004 Barolo Vigna del Gris, Conterno Fantino - in the ISO glass
A light, cool nose with notes of red cherries, new leather, forest floor and a touch of licorice. Rather withdrawn and a touch angular, but nice enough.
The taste is young, fresh and tight with young, nice tannins and a long finish that ends on the dry side. Still rather closed. Didn´t change much between the two times. Good in a fairly mediocre way, but not inspiring.
82p   (tasted 2012/02)

2004 Barolo Vigna del Gris, Conterno Fantino - in Riedel Ouverture Redwine
A deeper, rounder, more elegant nose with more sweetness and a really nice mushroom/undergrowth note. The licorice is also here, but in a sweeter form. Much better on the nose. Much deeper.
The taste is almost as tight in this glass, but the fruit is darker and sweeter, and the finish isn´t as dry as in the ISO glass. And definitely longer. Very good. But still very young.
88p   (tasted 2012/02)

2004 Barolo Vigna del Gris, Conterno Fantino - in Riedel Vinum Bordeaux
All of a sudden the nose becomes more airy, hard to get a grip on. There is some dark fruit, the licorice is there, a touch of chocolate, but the overall impression is of a wine with a fleeting character.
The taste is very tight with almost hard tannins. The fruit takes the backseat but poppes up in the finish. A long finish. But the tannins really comes out in this glass. But it is deeper than the ISO glass.
85p   (tasted 2012/02)

2004 Barolo Vigna del Gris, Conterno Fantino - in Riedel Vinum Extreme Cabernet
The same airy nose as in the previous glass, its almost identical, maybe a little sweeter, but the same fleeting character.
The taste is also the same - the tannins in the foreground and the fruit in the background. But you can feel that it is a promising wine.
85p   (tasted 2012/02)

2004 Barolo Vigna del Gris, Conterno Fantino - in Riedel Vinum Burgundy
This is a whole other ball game! Rounder, deeper, sweeter with lovely red fruit - cherries and rasberries, and notes of licorice, forest floor, dark chocolate and a beautiful smoky note. Much better in this glass. The sweetness of the fruit really comes out.
The taste is also very different and much better - the tannins acts like a support to the fruit in this glass, not a center player on its own. Feels very young here too, but the structure is so much better. Really enjoyable to drink from this glass.
91p   (tasted 2012/02)

2004 Barolo Vigna del Gris, Conterno Fantino - in Riedel Vinum Extreme Pinot Noir
The Extreme version is almost identical to the previous glass. Sweet, lovely fruit, albeit a little darker and mustier, think rasberries soaked in old balsamic vinegar. Very, very good.
The taste is also resembles the Vinum glass but the tannins show of a tad more. Long, sweet and with a nice warmth. Also great to drink from.
90p   (tasted 2012/02)

2004 Barolo Vigna del Gris, Conterno Fantino - in Riedel Sommeliers Burgundy Grand Cru
Well, how did this big boy fared then? The fish tank in the glass world - you can fill it with 1050 ccm/37 oz of wine... "I only have one glass of wine each day..."
The nose is big and deep, but the size makes it a little fleeting. Previous experience with this glass demands a heady aroma for it to really do its work, but then it is great. The fruit is sweet and fine though.
But it is in the taste that this glass triumphs. The wine hits all the best parts of the tongue and the sweetness of the fruit really comes forward. Long and very fine. But the nose isn´t up to that of the Vinum glasses.
90p   (tasted 2012/02)

To sum up - the Pinot Noir types of glasses were the ones to go to for this wine. The Riedel generic red wine glass was really good. The Bordeaux glasses didn´t bring any enjoyment, and should be avoided. And the ISO glass? In my view - not for drinking wine anyway...

Hard work to do this for every wine...  With your average Cabernet, Pinot, Syrah - just go with their destined glass, and it will work fine. But for Barolo, I have over the years experimented with different glass, and sometimes the Bordeaux glasses have been the best, but most times I have prefered the Burgundy glasses. I have to make some more studies on the subject, what to open next...?

Monday, 13 February 2012

Just Bought

Keeping up with the Chianti theme lately, these nice bottles arrived today. Bought for a song, I don´t have any elevated hopes for them, but you never know...
The 64 goes into the stash for my 50th birthday, but the 75 and 78 will be opened soon, stay tuned!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Another 2007 Chianti

Following up the imprints that the 2007 Vigna del Sorbo and Rancia did, I opened this one. Another strong showing for the 2007 Chianti´s.

2007 Chianti Classico, Castello Fonterutoli
A deep, penetrating, finely tuned nose with notes of fresh red and black cherries, Valrhona chocolate, new expensive leather and the dust from a Tuscan gravel road. Very balanced and fine. It has power, elegance and finesse. Very, very fine.
The taste is medium big, balanced and very fresh with lots of sweet black cherries, dark chocolate and lovely tannins, that are polished with the finest sandpaper. A long, structured finish. Still, of course, very young, but this is, with some air, drinking great right now. But I guess it will be even better in 5+ years time. Almost as good as the Rancia. Will be fun comparing these further down the road.
93p   (tasted 2012/02)

Friday, 10 February 2012

Some Beautiful Labels

Going down memory lane while looking through some old labels - these reflects my previous big crush on Bordeuax (which still pops up from time to time...).
Some more labels!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

A Great Set of Barolo´s

This monday is was time for a tasting with Senza Nome. D presented a great set of wines, and for once.....I was right on track regarding the theme. As you can see from the pics D has a very moist cellar, a few more years and it would be a guessing game...:-)
Tasted double blind.

We were treated to a warm up wine while D poured the wines:
1986 Blanc de Blancs, Jacques Selosse
Nice too see an old friend. And it has aged with finesse too. The nose is fine, round, mature and just yummy with notes of butter fudge, warm grass, mature yellow apples and digestive bisquits. The mature scents is great. Very, very good.
The taste is smooth, round but with enough punch not to be flabby, and the bitterness (think grapefruit) in the finish is awesome. Lovely notes of sweet lime, fudge and wet stones. This is in a perfect state of maturity. We all guessed a Blanc de Blancs from around 1990 - we were close...
93p   (tasted 2012/02)

Then on to the main event - 6 glasses of red wine, and the scents slowly filled the room.
1996 Barolo Le Vigne, Sandrone
A deep, spicy, fine nose with notes of lingonberries, red cherries, licorice and dried flowers, Very nice, but it felt a tad muted all evening long. A fine depth though.
The taste is fresh, rounded and rather creamy with lots of red currants, lingonberries and licorice. The acidity is fine and the finish is dry and elegant, but, again, it doesn´t really reveals itself. Somewhat anonymous.
I was really surprised when the bottles was revealed - I have had much better bottles. But it wasn´t bad at all, just muted.
88p   (tasted 2012/02)

1998 Barolo La Rosa, Fontanafredda
A warm, round, expressive nose with notes of dry leather, black cherries, blueberries and very tasty licorice note. A little laid back but all the better for it. Very, very good.
The taste is tight, long and beautiful with a good core of juicy red fruit, polished tannins and a fresh acidity. This is a fresh example of a medium mature Barolo. Very, very nice.
Fontanafredda always seems to deliver at a very good level, although I think that the 60 and 70´s was their best time, so far...
91p   (tasted 2012/02)

1998 Barolo Colonello, Aldo Conterno
A big, open, sweet and complex nose with notes of vanilla spiced blueberries, black cherries, dark chocolate and a touch of band aid. Deep, powerful and really fine.
The taste is as big as the nose with lots of sweet fruit and notes of rosehips, dried flowers, earth and leather. Very long and intense. This has just began its drinking window.
Well, Aldo Conterna always seems to make a type of "modern" Barolo that fits my taste buds.
93p   (tasted 2012/02)

1998 Barolo Brunate, Vietti
A cool, rather withdrawn nose with notes of lingonberries, dry licorice, ski wax and some gravelly notes. Very fine but a tad subdued. This still needs a lot of time it seems.
The taste is tight, linear and young with notes of rosehips, red cherries, Valrhona chocolate and dry licorice. The finish is closed and a bit angular. A lot of good structure here but very young. This still needs a lot of time.
Well, this was a surprise, I have loved the 98 Brunate from Vietti but it was a couple of years since I last tasted it. I´m gonna wait a couple of years until I open another one from my stash.
89p   (tasted 2012/02)

1998 Barolo Carobric, Paolo Scavino
Aaaaaaaah, world class from the first sniff to the last! This has both structure, elegance and hedonistic fruit. The nose is full of sweet red and black cherries, Valrhona chocolate, road dust, dark fudge, cigarette ashes and what I call a "Zegna" scent - the scent you sense when you walk in a Ermenegildo Zegna store.......I know...:-)
The taste is sooo concentrated, pure and fresh with notes of sweet cherries, dried flowers, mushrooms and almond paste. The tannins are made of pure silk. The finish goes on for over one minute. This is stunning!
Yes, Scavino makes really fine wines, although I haven´t been as impressed with vintages after 2001 as I have been with the older ones.
96p   (tasted 2012/02)

1998 Barolo Riserva, Borgogno
A deep, fine, old style nose with notes of dry leather, earth, dry chocolate and tobacco. This is more earthy and old fashioned than the rest of the line up, but very nice all the same.
The taste is tight, tannin driven and long with notes of lingonberries, dry leather and with a nice warmth. Not as complex as the others but a nice, big mouthfull.
Borgogno always delivers a more earthy, old style of Barolo, but they are always very well made. But they need age, and then they really delivers, the 1952 and 1958 - aaaaaaaah.....
86p   (tasted 2012/02)

Monday, 6 February 2012

The Perfect Ones - Part 9

Turning 33 isn´t that big of a deal, right? Well, I must have thought so way, way back in time... :-)
I arranged a birthday dinner with some really nice wines, and among them this perfect specimen blew everything else of the table. The rest of the wines are listed below.

1983 Batard-Montrachet, Domaine Leflaive
A deep, powerful, multi dimensionell nose with gorgeous notes of lemon juice, melted butter, honey, summer flowers, almond paste and some lovely smoky notes. Very, very deep and utterly captivating. The complexity is beyond description. Layers upon layers of the most perfect sweet fruit. Just the perfect nose!
The taste is breathtakingly beautiful with fruit, acidity and balance in perfect harmony. Notes of lemons, white peaches, almonds, hazelnuts and smoke caresses the palate. The finish goes on for two minutes. This stops time in its tracks!
100p   (tasted 1997/12)

The other wines at the dinner:
1982 Bollinger R.D.   (94p)
1964 Kinheimer Huberthuslay Riesling Spätlese, Deinhard   (86p)
1987 Château Montelena Chardonnay   (91p)
1964 Corbin Michotte   (90p)
1964 Château Léoville-Poyferré   (94p)
1964 Vieux Château Bourgneuf   (80p)
1984 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon   (92p)
1967 Château Mouton-Rothschild   (90p)
1964 Moulin Touchais   (94p)

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Wine & Cheese

After some really nice seafood last night we finished our dinner with an assortment of cheeses - a Gruyere, a Sainte Maure and a Tomme Crayeuse. The combination of the elegant hazel nut taste in the Crayeuse and the mature notes in the Chassagne-Montrachet from Niellon was to die for!

1995 Chassagne-Montrachet Clos de la Maltroie, Michel Niellon
An intense, deep, tight nose with an assortment of scents - everything from dried apricots to rubber boots...Very powerful. After a while in the glass a forest fire note emerges and when you don´t swirl the glass, it takes over the others scents. Very deep. More impressive than really hedonistic.
The taste is as intense and concentrated as the nose, with a fresh, potent acicidity and notes of lemon peel, crushed rocks, dried apricots and smoke. The finish last for over a minute. But the same goes for the taste, more impressive than lip smacking good. A very good wine all the same. But with the Crayeuse, as mentioned above, it created miracles!
91p   (tasted 2012/02)

Friday, 3 February 2012

An Empty Bottle

A few day back I read an article that it is estimated that ca 20% of all Lafite sold in Asia are fakes. And that empty bottles of Lafite goes for 100+ Euros on eBay.
Interesting....I remembered that among my empty memory bottles that occupies part of the cellar (my better half can´t for the life of her understand why I keep these empty bottles...) is a venerable bottle of 1934 Lafite. Bought and drank ages ago, if I remember correctly is was part of a mixed case bought in Copenhagen.

A quick search on wine-searcher reveals that a 1934 Lafite sells for 1200 Euro and up...what could a empty bottle be worth then...?:-)
Any takers?

Don´t worry, I would never sell it! I don´t even sell any bottles with the content still in the bottle. All bottles I buy is for drinking.
But what did I think of this bottle when I had it? It was drunk at a tasting with some other really great bottles.

1934 Château Lafite-Rothschild
A mid shoulder level, the cork came up in one piece. A soft, fine, elegant nose with notes of ripe red apples, plums, white raisins and lots of wet autumn leaves. Very perky for its age. More dry notes after a while, dry tobacco, road dust, dry leather and some woody notes. But very good all put together. After an hour in the glass it started to decline.
The taste is medium big with soft, finely grained tannins and a very delicate taste of ripe red currants mixed with a touch of tobacco. Some licorice and forest floor in the finish. Very fresh. The taste is full of finesse. This has kept very well.
92p   (tasted 1998/02)

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Another Bargain!

A champagne for 19 Euro?
A real champagne?
That you could drink or is it for motor oriented events (by the way, one of the most stupid behaviour ever, but that´s another story)?
Yes, for drinking.
Well then, how does it taste?
Funny you should ask...

NV Brut Grande Tradition, Charles Mignon
A pure, fine, open nose with notes of fennel, lemon peel, grape and almond paste. Not that expressive, more a understated elegance. Very good. Has a fine note of freshly washed clothes drying in the open air.
The taste is cool, finely tuned and on the lightish side with tiny bubbles, fresh acidity and lots of green apples with almond paste and lemon for support. There is a tiny metallic note in the end, but not in a disturbing way. Great for drinking now.
The cepage is 60% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier.
88p   (tasted 2012/02)

I know that there is lots of nice champagne in this price range in the rest of Europe, but since I´m living in, at least when it comes to alcohol regulations, one of the last communist states, where the state knows better than me, I have to make due with what they let me buy (ranting over...)