Monday, 29 April 2013

Tasting Dinner With Stunning Food & Wines

It was time again for our tasting group semi annual tasting dinner. As always - great food, stunning wines and lots of wine talk....and laughter. Can´t wait until the next one!
Some previous dinners here and here.

All wine tasted blind (except the one I brought...)

With a mini tasting of foie gras - two different French ones and one Hungarian - we were served three fantastic bottles of Champagne.

NV Initial, Jacques Selosse
Always a beauty, this version of Initiale (degorced 2012-09-20) didn´t disappoint. The nose is young with lots of substance and notes of hazelnuts, white currants, brioche, lime juice and lots of crushed rocks. Very fine.
The taste is young, fresh and lively with notes of lemon and lime peel, white currants, dried flowers and wet stones. A high, refreshing acidity. There is a touch of bitterness in the finish, just like the white in a grapefruit peel. Very, very long. Very, very fine, but not as exquisite as the one tasted a year ago.
91p   (tasted 2013/04)

NV V.O., Jacques Selosse
To my recollection, I have never tasted the VO before. And after this I have to get me some, for this was some serious juice. The nose is captivating in its elegance, structure and balance with notes of lemon peel, green apples, fish stock, ginger and freshly washed clothes. So, so elegant and deep.
The taste is tight, elegant and luscious with notes of sour/sweet lemons, cucumber, licorice and lots of crushed slate. Long, balanced finish with creamy acidity. So pure and fine. Breathtaking!
96p   (tasted 2013/04)

NV Substance, Jacques Selosse
A big, creamy, mature nose with lovely notes of yellow apples, peach ice cream, dried honey and some mushroomy notes. Deep and intoxicating. Very fine.
The taste is round, ripe and ready for prime time drinking, with its notes of dried peaches, white raisins, yellow apples and sweet minerals. This beauty was degorced 2010-12-21.
92p   (tasted 2013/04)

Next up was a Thai infused soup with scallops and tiger prawns and it went perfectly with three of the four bottles in front of us.

2006 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling Spätlese, Robert Weil
A fine, light, elegant nose with notes of lemon grass, wet asphalt, lemon peel and gravel. It has a penetrating yet cool character. Still young. Very, very good.
The taste is laid back and elegant with fine notes of sweet lime, red apples, peach candy, earth and a touch of band-aid (in a positive way). A sleek acidity. Very fine.
91p   (tasted 2013/04)

1999 Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese, Egon Müller
This semi mature Scharzhofberg has an interetsing nose with notes of gooseberries, licorice, ripe pears and lots of chalk. There is a hint of petrol. Very deep. A gorgeous elegance. Really fine.
The taste is tighter than the nose leads on with notes of grey pears, lemon peel, grapefruit and lots of minerals. A long, sleek, elegant finish. A gorgeous, fresh acidity. This still needs another 3+ years in the cellar. Great.
92p   (tasted 2013/04)

2003 Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese, Egon Müller
The younger Scharzhofberg is a tad warmer and not as sleek as the 99 but there is fine notes of peaches, hay, chalk and a fine after-the-rain on the nose. Very good although not that deep.
The taste is tight, round and fine with crisp notes of grey pears, sweet lime, earth and grass. A fine, medium long finish. Very nice but in the company a bit short handed.
88p   (tasted 2013/04)

2007 Kiedrich Gräfenberger Riesling Auslese, Robert Weil
To ne honest, this didn´t go with the food. It is to sweet. But what a wine! The nose just explodes from the glass with stunning notes of ripe peaches, red apples, hand cream, cap gun smoke, licorice and lily´s of the valley. Very deep and intoxicating. Lovely ripe fruit.
The taste is big, intense and laser focused with notes of honey, dades, ripe pears, wet asphalt, sweet minerals and a touch of tobacco (!). The acidity that cleans up the mouth is amazing. The finish goes on and on and on...
94p   (tasted 2013/04)

The main course was a breast filet of corn feed chicken stuffed with foie gras, truffels and thyme. Exactly the food to match four Burgundy´s.

1990 Clos de Vougeot, Henri Rebourseau
A deep, decadent, ripe nose with lovely notes of mature raspberries, lingonberries, boiled vegetables, veal stock and cigar ashes. A fine maturity. Maybe a bit loose in the edges but this gives much pleasure.
The taste is mature, tight and pure with notes of dry raspberry jam, wet earth, herbs and old leather. Even a touch of wet dog. Medium deep, decadent and very good.
90p   (tasted 2013/04)

1990 Clos-Vougeot, Château de la Tour
A big, tight, mature, sweet nose with notes of ripe strawberries, dark chocolate, autumn leaves, pan fried herbs and some animal touches. Deep, mature and just fantastic. Gorgeous fruit.
The taste is big, tight and intense with notes of raspberries, strawberries and lingonberries with some balsamic vinegar, licorice and root vegetables added. The finish is long, fresh and just lovely. Gets better and better all night long. Great stuff!
94p   (tasted 2013/04)

2009 Clos de Vougeot, Jean Grivot
A nose to kill and die for! Just the nose gets 100p, easy, but... Well, how do justice in words to this nose? Deep, sweet and concentrated with extraordinary notes of the sweetest rasp- and blueberries imaginable, licorice, rosehips, forest floor, new leather, parsnips, fresh herbs and the most ethereal flowers that ever blossomed. Holy f...k! It is worth the prize just to sit and sniff on.
The taste is very good, make no mistake about it, but compared to the nose it is brutal, tight and uncompromising. The tannins steamrolls over the tongue and there are fine notes of red cherries, raspberries, leather, cigar ashes and forest floor. But the lasting impression is of tight tannins and a hard acidity. If this comes together in 8-12 years, you´re looking at perfection.
94p   (tasted 2013/04)

2010 Clos de Vougeot, Lucien le Moine
My notes have some vulgarity in them and will spare them from you, but this is as ripe, voluptuous, decadent as you can imagine, but with added complexity, charm and grace. The nose is packed full of notes of raspberries, summer flowers, expensive perfume, root vegetables, a full herb garden and some dark chocolaty notes. Very, very deep and just magnificent.
The taste is tight, concentrated and focused with notes of perfumed blue- and raspberries, spices, moist forest floor, rosehips, rose petals, licorice and Cohiba cigar. The finish is counted in minutes. Still very young. A really stunning wine!
96p   (tasted 2013/04)

After that impressive line up we went on to dessert - and more Riesling!

1976 Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Beerenauslese, J. Lauerburg
A mature, big, sweet nose with notes of dried apricots, lime cream, rubber boots, canned mushrooms and wet asphalt. A fine maturity although not very deep.
The taste is mature, fine and rather concentrated with notes of dried fruit, petrol station, dried honey and some rubbery notes. A good acidity. Ends semi dry. Very good.
87p   (tasted 2013/04)

1999 Rüdesheim Berg Rottland Riesling Beerenauslese, Georg Breuer
A deep, concentrated, fresh nose with notes of lime juice, peach ice cream, apricots, warm grass and a hint of detergent. Deep and elegant. Very, very good.
The taste is tight, concentrated and deep with massive fruit concentration and a matching acidity. Notes of dried tropical fruits, banana peel, lime juice, warm grass and a fine perfumed note. Very, very long. Still young. Wait another 10+ years...
90p   (tasted 2013/04)

And as a finishing touch, before the hard liquor..., Mikke produced a bottle of Madeira.

NV Aguilar´s Old Reserve
A deep, tight, lovely nose with notes of pan fried nuts, dades, tea leaves, autumn leaves and mushrooms. Some old wood notes. Medium deep and rather elegant. Become deeper and more focused with air. Very fine.
The taste is tight, pure and just stunning with lovely notes of green raisins, nutmeg, tea leaves, dried lime leaves, milk chocolate and a high octane acidity that cleans the palate. The finish is two minutes long. Very, very good. Going by the sweetness I would guess a Verdelho or a Bual, but who knows?
92p   (tasted 2013/04)

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Another Tenuta Grillo Wine - 2004 Tornasole

The 2003 Pecoranera from Tenuta Grillo is a great wine, but there have been talk about another wine from the same producer. So bring forth the cork screw!

2004 Tornasole, Tenuta Grillo
As with the Pecoranera this opens with a bit of funky aromas, but those disappears with air. And then some gorgeous aromas of ripe plums, licorice, warm herbs, bonfire smoke and a touch of strawberry jam emerges. Deep and fine. The fruit is open and yummy.
The taste is big, warm and rather intense with notes of ripe blueberries, licorice, moist earth, meat stock and some smoke. The tannins carries some weight and leaves the mouth dry after the finish. Drinking great now with a grilled steak but could easily be cellared for 6+ years. This 100% Merlot impresses. Another fine wine from this producer.
91p   (tasted 2013/04)

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Luncheon With Wines From La Chablisienne

Another invitiation from VinUnic, another stunning lunch, another vivacious winemaker and another set of gorgeous wines - life is hard...:-)
Hervé Tucki from La Chablisienne presented the wines and talked about Chablis, Château Grenouille, vintages and much more with great passion and humour.

We were greated with a glass of
2006 Vive-la-Joie, Caves de Bailly
This lovely Crèmant de Bourgogne consists of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir. The nose is light, fresh and lively with notes of oyster shells, earth and seaweed. A nice sweetness to the fruit. Very good.
The taste is medium big and fresh with notes of almonds, crushed oyster shells and dry fudge. The finish is on the light side but it is clean and healthy. Apparently, this is the first vintage of this cuvée. For 23 Euro, this is a bargain.
87p   (tasted 2013/04)

Then a smattering of Chablis bottles followed, and at the end of the lunch my teeth were strained from the amounts of acidity, but I was happy...

2011 Petit Chablis, La Chablisienne
A young, petit (!) nose with notes of green apples, pears, lemon peel and a fine spiciness. Cool and fine.
The taste is young and unrelieved with notes of green apples, crushed rocks and lots of minerals. Very good although I would like it 2-3 years older.
85p   (tasted 2013/04)

2007 Chablis Cuvée LC La Séreine, La Chablisienne
A fine, elegant nose with a touch of maturity and notes of yellow apples, earth, crushed rocks and a lovely smoky note. Not a hint of warmth.
The taste is cool, elegant and fine with notes of ripe pears, minerals, grilled lemons and lots of fresh acidity. This is drinking perfectly right now, but will surely keep for 4-6 years. A find for 17 Euro!
88p   (tasted 2013/04)

2010 Chablis 1er Cru La Singulière, La Chablisienne
A young, fresh, stony nose with notes of oyster shells, grey pears, almonds and minerals. Very young and you have to coax the glass well, to get those notes out of the glass.
The taste is very young, cool and fresh with lots of just ripe green apples, white currants and lemon peel. Fine fruit but the acidity isn´t as high as many of the other wines. Lacks a bit of charm.
84p   (tasted 2013/04)

2010 Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre, La Chablisienne
My favourite 1er Cru and this proves why - a deep, elegant, spicy nose with notes of grey pears, flowers, smoke, grass and sweet minerals. Deep and graceful. Very, very fine. Has one more dimension than the Singulière.
The taste is tight, intense and gorgeous with sweet lemons, pears, minerals and almond paste. The finish is long and fresh and the acidity hits the palate with everything it got. Stunning! This should turn out even greater in 5-7 years.
91p   (tasted 2013/04)

2004 Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume, La Chablisienne
Mute, mute and mute - that´s the nose. Mute, mute, mute - there´s the taste. This is a 2004 and still its locked in. When we were told to empty our glasses for the next flight, something started to move. Tiny hints of butter fried almonds, grilled lemons and fish stock. Needs pleeenty of time.
The taste didn´t move at all. It is impossible to make a judgement on those minutes that I had with it - but I would surely love to have this for a whole evening. Will get back.
??p   (tasted 2013/04)

The Enigma...
2008 Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses, La Chablisienne
A deep, pure, gorgeous nose with notes of white peaches, yellow apples, licorice, crushed rocks and cap gun smoke. The nose is pure hedonism. The smoky note is fantastic. Really, really fine.
The taste is tight, focused and intense with a high flinty acidity packed in a sweet buttery fruit. The finish goes on for a minute. A beautiful purity. Great wine!
93p   (tasted 2013/04)

We were then presented with a stunning line up - 7 vintages of the Grand Cru Grenouille, and specifically the Château Grenouille, which La Chablisienne took over in 2003. More info here.

2012 Chablis Grand Cru Château Grenouille, La Chablisienne
This barrel sample almost explodes out of the glass with aromas of spicy pears, lemon peel, wet asphalt and lots of sweet minerals. A lovely spicy note. Beautiful.
The taste is pure, fresh and elegant with notes of yellow apples, white currants, lemon juice and crushed rocks. Very, very fine. Would love to reconnect with this beauty when its bottled.
91p   (tasted 2013/04)

2011 Chablis Grand Cru Château Grenouille, La Chablisienne
The 2011 version of Grenouille is medium deep with a nice lemon and whitepeppar nose with some additional notes of warm grass and spices. Not that complex but nice enough.
The taste is the same, good enough but it lacks the nerve and complexity of the other Grenouille´s. Some enjoyable notes of lime, grass and gravel.
85p   (tasted 2013/04)

2010 Chablis Grand Cru Château Grenouille, La Chablisienne
A deep, elegant, laid back nose with well groomed notes of lemon peel, crushed oyster shells, gravel and a touch of cap gun smoke. Very pure and fine, even racy. Very young still, this has potential.
The taste is taut, elegant and cool with lots of lemon peel, white peppars, oyster shells and minerals. The finish is long and delicious. Great acidity. This will be stunning in 6-8 years time, mark my words.
91p   (tasted 2013/04)

2009 Chablis Grand Cru Château Grenouille, La Chablisienne
This beauty has a very different profile than the others - more open, warmer and hedonistic - and I love it! The nose is deep, intense and gorgeous with notes of grilled lemons, red and white currants, dry fudge and thyme. A lovely perfumed note. Very, very fine.
The taste is deep, pure and rich with notes of lemon cream, summer flowers, almond paste and lots of sweet minerals. The finish is long and creamy. A fine acidity even though its not up to par compared to the 2010 or the 2008. Delicious! For drinking now and the coming 10+ years.
92p   (tasted 2013/04)

2008 Chablis Grand Cru Château Grenouille, La Chablisienne
A stunner! Pure and simple - the best wine of the tasting. The nose is a posterchild for complexity, intensity and enjoyment. Gorgeous notes of grey pears, white currants, almond paste, summer flowers and a lovely spiciness flows upp from the glass. Combines the hedonism of the 09 and the raciness of the 10. Magic!
The taste is pure, intense and tight with notes of lemon juice, crushed rocks, almond paste, gravel and a touch of fudge. The finish is one minute long and filled with a taut acidity. Gorgeous now, and probably breathtaking in 5-7 years. Both 08´s were stunning wines - I want some!!
95p   (tasted 2013/04)

2007 Chablis Grand Cru Château Grenouille, La Chablisienne
A warm vintage, and it shows. The nose is more spicy with notes of butter fried lemons, ripe yellow apples, licorice and earth. Medium deep. As long as it is chilled it is nice enough but as the temperature rises it beomes a tad unfocused.
The taste is medium big with warm ripe yellow fruit and notes of sun warm rocks, dry fudge and grilled lemons. There is a touch of alchol warmth in the finish, which becomes more dominent when the wine becomes warmer. When drunk chilled it is a nice glass of a semi mature Chablis.
87p   (tasted 2013/04)

2006 Chablis Grand Cru Château Grenouille, La Chablisienne
This was served out of magnum bottles. A fine, cool, elegant nose with notes of white currants, lemon peel, fish stock and a touch of a bonfire from a distance. Very, very fine.
The taste is tight, elegant and finely tuned with notes of ripe pears, almond paste, crushed rocks and some fine spicy elements. Medium long and balanced. A touch of maturity, but from magnums, this has a long way to go.
91p   (tasted 2013/04)

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

In Search of Brunello di Montalcino´s Soul - Chapter XXIV

It has been a while since the last Brunello post, but fear not, I have not stopped drinking Brunello! It has just been the miscellaneous bottles with dinner over the last couple of weeks. Here they are gathered in one post.

2004 Brunello di Montalcino, Il Poggione
A young, seedy, fresh nose with notes of red cherries, licorice, thyme, violet pastills and a fine flowery scent. Keeps evolving all evening long. Notes of pine nuts and smoke emerges. This has a fine depth. Very, very good.
The taste is young, tight and seedy with fine sweet/sour cherries and notes of dried herbs, licorice, balsa wood and lingonberry bushes. Fresh acidity. A medium long, dry finish. This could use 4-6 years in the cellar and will surely become even better. The 1994 and 2006 was also terrific wines.
90p   (tasted 2013/04)

1998 Brunello di Montalcino, Il Fortèto
A deep, soft, mature nose with notes of sour cherries, licorice, autumn leaves, cigar ashes and dried thyme. A very fine warmth. Fully mature and beautifully soft and fine.
The taste is mature, taut and warm with notes of ripe morellos, licorice, gravel and dried herbs. A long fine finish with soft tannins. This is drinking perfectly now.
When I started this project I read a lot of articles and blog posts on how expensive Brunello are. And yes, some of the bottles I have bought have cost me a fistful of euros, but at the same time I have bought the likes of this bottle for 25 Euro - great quality and ready for prime time drinking - seems like all Brunello doesn´t have to be expensive.
89p   (tasted 2013/03)

1999 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Donatella Cinelli Colombini
A stunning, fine, expressive nose with gorgeous notes of dark cherry fruit, almond paste, rosehips, violets, dried flowers and sun warm tiles. Very deep and refined. Has started its way to maturity but isn´t really there yet. Lovely.
The taste is big, intense and fine with notes of sweet black cherries, warm gravel, violets, menthol cigarettes and a touch of dark chocolate. The finish is long and concentrated with a large dollop of polished tannins. A beautiful warmth in the finish. Great stuff! This should hit its peak in 4-5 years, and I would love to drink it again then. Almost as good as the 98 Prime Donne.
93p   (tasted 2013/03)

2007 Brunello di Montalcino, Caprili
This youngster opens rather ungainly and all over the place with notes of black cherries, new leather, spice, dark chocolate, sweet pipe tobacco and a deeply, rather sweet perfumed note - you know the kind of which some a bit older ladies drown themselves in... But - with air it becomes more focused and stringent, although the sweet aspect goes through the nose.
The taste is big, warm and spicy with notes of black cherries, sweet licorice, violets, summer flowers and some vanilla oak flavours. A long, warm finish. This needs time. There is a hint of corn sweetness, like a Jack Daniel feeling. A touch overblown, although there is a fruit quality here, that needs, at least, 6-8 years to be tamed. But I liked 06 much more.
85p   (tasted 2013/04)

Sunday, 21 April 2013

One on One - 1997 Château Montrose & 1997 Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon

Beforehand, this one on one rumble should have been an easy California victory since our omniscient lawyer have rated the Dunn 92+p and the Montrose 87p.
But, as so many times before, the proof was in the bottle...

1997 Château Montrose
A fine, mature, rather elegant nose with notes of just ripe black currants, cranberries, saddle leather, graphite and sugared coffee. Not a blockbuster, not extracted to the max, just a mature, laidback, graceful Bordeaux. Very good.
The taste is cool, fine and on the light side with notes of red and black currants, sandalwood, tobacco, saddle leather and a touch animal. The tannins are very finely sandpapered. It finish dry and fine. As Broadbent would have said - a nice luncheon claret. Elegant and fine.
88p   (tasted 2013/04)

1997 Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon
The nose is on the same level of maturity as the Montrose but the fruit is darker and warmer. Notes of black currant jam, scorched earth, leather, tobacco and some eucalyptus. A fine warmth. Not as deep and focused as I would have thought, based on the vintage and previous Dunn bottles. But very good all the same.
The taste is tight, warm and a bit seedy with lots of ripe black currants and notes of licorice, mint, black cherries, leather and a touch of oak. A long, warm finish. A good ripeness to the fruit. Could evolve some more with a few more years in the cellar but I´m not sure it will get any better than today.
88p   (tasted 2013/04)

Friday, 19 April 2013

Drinking Tonight - 2008 Corton-Charlemagne, Vincent Girardin

What could be more satisfying than a glass or two of a great white Burgundy on a Friday evening after a looong week?
Not much. But a plate of grilled scallops with a truffle scented Jerusalem artichoke purée did a perfect matching job.

2008 Corton-Charlemagne, Vincent Girardin
A young, deep, lovingly scented nose with notes of lemon curd,  hazelnuts, lime fudge, butter cookies and some sweet summer flowers. With air a striking minerality comes forward. Deep, young and very, very fine.
The taste is tight, young and full of gorgeous sweet yellow fruit and notes of lemon pie, fudge, lime juice, lots of minerals and a hint of milk chocolate. The finish is long, fresh and with plenty of tight acidity. This sure have a great future - give it at least 6 years. A beauty!
92p   (tasted 2013/04)

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Six Syrah´s On A Monday

A great way to start the week! Håkan W was in charge of this monthly tasting in our tasting group. We were in some cases of the mark in guessing where they came from but the unanimous guess for grape was Syrah - always something! :-) Thanks Håkan for a great line up and yummy food!
All wines tasted double blind.

1996 Crozes-Hermitage La Guiraude, Alain Graillot
A mature, linear, foursquare nose with notes of rowanberries, unripe lingonberries, white pepper and green bell peppers. This isn´t much fun. Dried thyme and road dust. Unripe. The green streak goes right through the wine.
The taste is dry and mature with notes of unripe lingon- and blueberries, matchbox, rubber and dried herbs. Very, very dry at the end. Medium long. Like licking a rubber tire... Somewhat better with the food, but no thanks.
66p   (tasted 2013/04)

1998 Hermitage La Chapelle, Jaboulet
Even though all wines had 1,5 hours in a decanter before the first pour this kept evolving all evening. At first I thought it was rather dull with some dusty red fruit and a medium long dry taste. But the nose opens up nicely with notes of warm blue- and blackberries, burnt toast, chocolate covered cherries, meat stock and a touch of mint. Very fine. Even elegant.
The taste is mature, tight and medium bodied with notes of ripe blueberries, peppered meat, hot earth and balsa wood. The finish is long and fine. The last sip was the best. Almost fully mature this will keep on going for at least 6-8 years.
91p   (tasted 2013/04)

1998 Henschke Mount Edelstone
A deep, warm and a bit all over the place kind of nose, with notes of raspberries, licorice, lilys of the Valley and some eucalyptus. Lots of muscles but not that much finesse. Some volatile notes. Good but not great.
The taste is big, warm and upfront with notes of sweet blackberries, bacon, meat stock and cherry liqueur. The finish is long and warm. Good sweet fruit, but a bit over the top.
I was disappointed when the bottle was revealed - I had guessed a Aussie Shiraz - but Mount Edelstone have always, in my book, behaved with much more grace and charm than this bottle did.
86p   (tasted 2013/04)

1998 Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz
Aaaa, what a beauty - this combines, as the Mount Edelstone doesn´t, power and hedonism with grace and finesse. The nose oozes up from the glass with gorgeous notes of black cherries, christmas spices, sweet rosemary, sugared coffee and a deeply perfumed note. Smells like entering a Zegna store! Very, very deep and profound.
The taste is big, steady but light on its feet with notes of sweet black- and blueberries that are dusted with vanilla sugar, some tar, bacon fat, tobacco and a hint of eucalyptus. The finish is counted in minutes. Very intense, balanced and complex. Tasted two months ago this bottle behaved almost identical. Great stuff!
96p   (tasted 2013/04)

2005 Pax Walker Vine Hill Vineyard Syrah
A very young, dense, sweet nose with notes of sugared blueberries, matchbox, blackberry yoghurt, raw oil and wet earth. Big and bold but a tad overblown in its sweetness. Maybe it will cool down with some years in the cellar?
The taste is big, intense, almost fiery with notes of overripe blueberries, licorice, chocolate covered cherries, sweet flowers and some meaty notes at the end. Very, very long and warm. A lot of power but I feel that the stuffing isn´t really up to par. Wait and see.
86p   (tasted 2013/04)

2006 Saxum James Berry Vineyard
This beauty consists of 45% Syrah, 38% Grenache and 17% Mourvédre. The nose jumps out of the glass with gorgeous notes of raspberries, sweet tobacco, new leather, some peppery notes and a beautiful perfumed scent. Very deep, very intense and oooh so yummy.
The taste just invades your mouth with ripe, juicy, sweet fruit: big, bold tannins and a finish that goes on for two minutes. The label says 16,6% alcohol and even though it is warm, you couldn´t guess that it was akin to a port... Notes of blackberries, raspberries, resin, meat, pressed flowers, sugared coffee and expensive leather. It just goes on and on and on. Impressive in an almost scary way! What will this become with age - will it fall apart or achieve perfection?
95p   (tasted 2013/04)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Quality Control - 2003 Pecoranera, Tenuta Grillo

A couple of days ago I received the bottles I ordered after this tasting, where some nature wines were presented. I especially liked the 2003 Pecoranera, and since I bought a couple of bottlesI thought that I should open one to check the quality.

When you test drive wines at these kind of trade tastings, you spend 1, 3, 5 minutes on a wine, and then you move on to the next one. There is a difference when you open a bottle and follow it during an evening or more. Lets see if my good impressions lasts when emptying a whole bottle...

2003 Pecoranera, Tenuta Grillo
It opens a bit funky/barnyard but that blows off with air. After a while there is instead nice notes of sweet cherries, rosehips, autumn leaves, raspberry licorice and dried mushrooms. With even more air rose petals just oozes up from the glass. A very fine warmth. There is some signs of maturity but this still needs time. Has that old school Barolo nose - great!
The taste is big, warm and earthy with lots of ripe cherries, lingonberry pie, licorice, violets and forest floor. Fine, tight, sandy tannins that leaves a mark in the finish. This could still use 4-6 years in the cellar. Very, very good. For 25 Euro this is real bargain! Info here.
92p   (tasted 2013/04)

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Drinking Tonight - 2004 Stielle, Rocca di Castagnoli

We are not spoiled in this country when it comes the state monopoly offering mature wines. And if they do, they usually cost an arm or a leg...
But this is an exception, the 2001 previously tasted here.

2004 Stielle, Rocca di Castagnoli
The nose is open, fairly big and with lots of sweet/sour cherries and additional notes of rosemary bushes, tobacco, a Tuscan gravel road and some hints of chocolate. Very good. This is almost fully mature. With air it has a scent of sugared coffee.
The taste is medium bodied with nice notes of red cherries, lingonberries, licorice, hard cherry candy and some chocolaty notes. The finish is dry and fine. Could be cellared for 3-5 years more but it wont get any better. Very good. The same level of quality as the 2001.
Went perfectly with a pasta dish with chicken, tarragon and mushrooms on this Sunday evening.
88p   (tasted 2013/04)

Saturday, 13 April 2013

An Evening of Highs & Lows, Mostly Highs...

When invited to M & J, the evenings usually are full of highs withouth lows. But not on this night - not their fault though - they haven´t made the wines - others are to blame...
The food and company on the other hand was, as always, topnotch! :-)
Thanks M & J for a wonderful evening!

It was a tuesday - 16 bottles - wednesday was a tad heavy.
All wines tasted double blind.

1987 Saarburger Rausch Riesling Kabinett, Ziliken
A mature, cheesy nose with notes of banana peel, burnt butter, matchbox and wet earth. Some moldly cellar notes without being corked. No thanks.
The taste is over the hill and far away with flavours of cheese, mold and overripe pears - yummy!
54p   (tasted 2013/04)

1992 Klüsserather Bruderschaft Riesling Spätlese, Clüsserath-Schmitt-Eifel
A wide open, mature nose with notes of grilles lemons, dried herbs, shellfish shells, grass and a touch of rubber (in a positive way). A fine maturity. Really good.
The taste is round, mature but with a fine structure and some fine lemon fruit. The finish is medium long and dry. Notes of dried fudge and apricots in the end. Very good.
87p   (tasted 2013/04)

1989 Erdener Treppchen Riesling Auslese, Dr. Loosen
A deep, mature, fine nose witn notes of peach, smoke, hay and some buttery scents. Fully mature and fine.
The taste is mature, tight and a bit off dry with notes of dried fruits, hay, smoke and a touch of saffron. Nice maturity. Very good.
86p   (tasted 2013/04)

1988 Veuve Clicquot Rare
A beautiful pure and fresh nose with notes of red apples, mustard seeds, dry fudge and summer flowers. Complex and fine. Have started to reach maturity. Very fine.
The taste is sprightly and juicy with lovely notes of apple sorbet, lavender, wet rocks and dried flowers. A fine refreshing acidity. A medium long, dry finish. A beautiful bubbly!
91p   (tasted 2013/04)

1997 Kongsgaard Chardonnay
A deep, smoky, tight nose with profound notes of grilled shellfish, lemon cream, matchbox, butter cookies and some earthy aromas. Very deep and fine. The sweetness of the fruit is amazing. Stunning stuff!
The taste is pure, tight and concentrated with notes of butter fried nuts, lemon cream, summer flowers, dried tropical fruits and wet rocks. The finish goes on for minutes and offers lots of pleasure. Very fresh.
Huh? A 1997 Kongsgaard? We were surprised when it was revealed, I had pegged it much younger. Delicious juice!
95p   (tasted 2013/04)

1999 Kistler McCrea Vineyard Chardonnay
This on the other hand have been manhandled somewhere during its journey to our table - a dry nose with notes of sherry and almond paste with a big, ripe, alcoholic taste with lots of overripe red apples and wet earth. Tasteable, but not much more.
58p   (tasted 2013/04)

2000 Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay Art Series
A intense, finely tuned nose with gorgeous notes of white peaches, dried flowers, smoke and a sweet minerality. Very very fine. Elegant and poised.
The taste is complex, deep and gorgeous with notes of peach, grilled lemons, lime fudge and lots of crushed rocks. The finish is long and elegant. This is really fine.
92p   (tasted 2013/04)

2002 Corton-Charlemagne, Louis Jadot
A deep, concentrated but a bit restrained nose that needs lots of air to unfold. But then things happens - lots of sweet yellow apples, melted butter, chalk and cap gun smoke. A very fine, high pitched nose.
The taste is young, tight and concentrated with a lot of weight in the fruit and notes of grapefruit, cold butter, chalk and some bonfire notes. Long and fine, this needs another 3-5 years to unfold some more. Great wine!
92p   (tasted 2013/04)

2007 Les Crêtes Chardonnay Cuvée Bois
This Valle d´Aosta Chardonnay opens up with an interesting nose with notes of flowers, popcorn and smoke, so just going on the nose I thought that we were back in the USA. With air notes of seashells, dried pineapple and herbs in butter emerge. Very interesting.
The taste on the other hand brings you right back to Europe, with its stringency, acidity and structure. Lots of sweet lemons, almonds, grapefruit and minerals. The finish is medium long and dry. Very good.
88p   (tasted 2013/04)


2008 Talley Rosemary´s Vineyard Chardonnay
Just wow! What a nose! Deep, intoxicating and fresh with notes of star fruit, grilled lemons, vanilla ice cream, cold butter, fudge and smoke. Very, very deep. Wit air a beautiful note of summer flowers emerge. Magnificent!
The taste is tight, pure and creamy with the sweetest lemons imaginable alongside some white peaches, cold butter, dried flowers and cap gun smoke. The finish goes on for over a minute. Racy and hedonistic! Great stuff!
94p   (tasted 2013/04)

2010 Dog Point Chardonnay
The first bottle was corked, but M, afraid that weren´t enough to drink, got another bottle on the table. And we were happy, for this is delicious grape juice! The nose is cool, tight and fresh with notes of lemons, lime, cucumber water, cap gun smoke and chalk. Deep and fine. Opens up all night long. Very young.
The taste is tight and pure with lots of grilled lemons and limes and notes of fudge, cold butter, star fruit and chalk. Very long and finely tuned. Needs another 3-5 years. Great!
92p   (tasted 2013/04)

2010 Littorai Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay
And the stunning Chardonnay´s keep coming! This beauty opens with a deep, intense and laser focused nose with notes of lemoncello, licorice, butter cookies, summer flowers and crushed rocks. Keeps on evolving in the glass all night long. Very, very fine.
The taste is tight, concentrated and pure with notes of green apples, lemons, oyster shells and chalk. The finish is counted in minutes. A very fine acidity. Gorgeous stuff! Cellar it for 2-4 years, and it will be even better.
93p   (tasted 2013/04)

2010 Foxglove Chardonnay
A big, open, fine nose with notes of marshmallows, dried fruit, melon and green apples. Very good although not as deep and profound as the previous ones. A fine warmth.
The taste is fresh and medium intense with lots of interest and notes of lime, green apples, minerals and nuts. A medium long, fine finish.
Huh?! 11 $! This is apparently bottled by Varner, which Chardonnay´s I love. How can they make this quality and sell it for 11 $? And why can´t I buy it!?
88p   (tasted 2013/04)

To finish the evening of we were presented with three decanters - red wine time!

2009 Littorai Hirsch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
A fine, deep, opulent nose with notes of ripe rasberries, licorice, pan fried herbs and some dark chocolate. Big and juicy, but when it reach room temperature it gets a tad flabby. Otherwise, very fine.
The taste is young, tight and warm with notes of rasberries, plums, licorice, forest floor and a hint of oak. The finish is long and warm, and again, when it gets warmer, the alcohol makes an appearance in the finish. But there is fine fruit here and as long as you drink it between 14-17 degrees Celsius, it is a fine mouthful of Sonoma Pinot.
90p   (tasted 2013/04)

1996 Barolo Le Vigne, Sandrone
Aaaaaaaah - home sweet home! The maturing aromas of Nebbiolo - is there anything better? The nose is deep, elegant and fine with notes of cool cherry fruit, dried mushrooms, licorice, rosehips and a touch of chocolate. With some air a beautiful perfumed note emerge. A very fine warmth. Semi mature. Really, really fine.
The taste is like an iron fist in a velvet glove with lovely notes of sweet/sour cherries, licorice, rose petals and chocolate cream. The finish is long, structured and warm. Very, very fine. The tannins shows themselves in the finish. This stills needs 4-6 years before reaching full maturity. Aaaaah - there is nothing like a Baroli! :-)
94p   (tasted 2013/04)

2003 Papa, Sine Qua Non
Remember - we tasted all bottles double blind... What the f...k is this - plum compote with grain alcohol? But wait, there is more interesting notes - burnt toast, dark, dusty chocolate, sugared coffee, prunes and VA. Lots of VA. Ungainly and unfocused, this isn´t good. At this point I´m guessing a overripe Australian Shiraz.
The taste is big, fiery and angular with notes of overripe black cherries, plums, beetroots, soy sauce and dusty chocolate. The finish is very, very long, with overripe sweet fruit and alcohol. I´m still guessing a Australian Shiraz, M have presented some disgusting Aussie wines over the years. :-)
And it is revealed......SQN? What? I have loved SQN every single time I have had it - blind or not. And this bottle wasn´t wrong, it wasn´t cooked or corked or otherwise faulty. Just bad.
I had it at 62p, but being a label drinker (aren´t we all...? :-) I notched it up to
65p   (tasted 2013/04)