Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Fine Bottles of Mature Burgundy, Bad Bottles of Natural Wine & More...

Mikke invited to an impromptu tasting dinner in the midst of summer. Due to holidays we were four brave tasters to arrive at Mikke to eat and drink well - as usual! :-)

We started with
1996 Cuvée Nicolas Francois Billecart, Billecart-Salmon
Out of a half bottle this is almost fully mature with nice notes of tangerines, almond biscuits, red apples, slate and gravel. Very fine. A lot of fudge appears with air.
The taste is elegant and pure with notes of tangerines, lemon peel, herbs and gravel. A fine acidity. A long, slender finish. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2013/07)

2011 Cuvée Julien, Jean Francois Ganevat
This Jura Pinot (11,5%) is apparently a rave on the natural wine scene. I wonder why, since it is a crappy wine. The nose is light, anemic and unripe with notes of lingonberries, dry licorice, gravel and lots of sour milk. Yeasty. With air the sour milk note keeps getting larger and larger. No, no, no.
The taste is tight, dry and hollow with notes of lingonberries, cranberries and gravel. A high acidity and dry tannins that are not integrated in the wine. The finish is rather short (thankfully!) and ends with a bitter note. This was not a bad bottle, just a bad wine, it got worse, keep on reading...
No filtration, no fining, no sulphur, but no character, no charm, no joy either.
60p   (tasted 2013/07)

Sadly, the bottle of 1964 Meursault, unknown producer was corked. Even sadder, you could feel that it was a fine mature white Burgundy beneath the cork damage.
Luckily, the two next bottles made us smile.

1992 Meursault Charmes, Roland Remoissenet
When I tasted this nine months ago that bottle was more evolved than this one. This has a deep, creamy, fresh nose with notes of lemon cream, peaches, dry fudge, sea shells and some matchbox aromas. Gorgeous. There is some maturity but it behaves like it is 10 years younger.
The taste is pure, racy and intense with notes of lemon cream, cap gun smoke, yellow apples and lots of chalk. The finish is long and focused. A very fine acidity. Really fine. Shared WOTN for me.
92p   (tasted 2013/07)

2004 Meursault Charmes, A. Buisson-Battault
This new producer for me delivered a fine Meursault with a nose full of William pears, summer flowers, warm grass and smoke. Young and delicious.
The taste is big, steady and tight with notes of lemon cream, candied orange peels, smoke and warm grass. A long, intense finish. This needs 6-8 years in the cellar. Has potential though.
89p   (tasted 2013/07)

Time up for some mature Burgundy!
1943 Pommard, N. Vernaux
I brought this bottle, since I had a hunch that it would be old bottles on the table. The nose is mature and round but with a fine sweetness and notes of mashed raspberries, old leather, muscovado sugar, cigar ashes and autumn leaves. A good warmth. Keeping up well all night.
The taste is sweet, round and with a fine warmth to the fruit. Notes of forest floor, cigar ashes, old leather and dried herbs is detectable when the wine is swallowed. Still some signs of tannins in the finish. Medium long and warm. It feels like an old Burgundy, but the dark colour and the sweetness makes one wonder if there was something added in the process...?
89p   (tasted 2013/07)

1929 Charmes-Chambertin, unknown producer
From a half bottle. At first it smells like an old Madeira with tea leaves, nuts and dried fruits. But with air it fattens up and instead there are notes of candied orange peel, forest floor, ripe lingonberries and autumn apples. Not complex, but alive and interesting.
The taste is mature (!), rather slender but with fine notes of dried red fruits, cigarette ashes, undergrowth and violets. The finish is long and ends not in the least dry. And it doesn´t just keep, it actually gets better during the evening. There is something special with old Burgundy!
85p   (tasted 2013/07)

1964 Clos de Vougeot, Paul Tribourg
A fine bottle from a great vintage! :-) The nose is cool, deep and fresh for its age with notes of ripe lingonberries, raspberry candy, forest floor and a hint of mint. A very fin maturity. A high, intense nose. Very, very good.
The taste is cool, elegant and fine with notes of lingonberries, dried strawberries, pine needles, forest floor and beet juice. Has a very fine, lively sweetness. This could still be kept for 5+ years.
91p   (tasted 2013/07)

Next up was two older gentlemen from Bordeaux, who were in pretty good shape - I guessed 1985 or 1978...
1966 Château Pichon-Lalande
A deep, finely mature nose with soft notes of cedar, red and black currants, rosehips, leather and some coffee aromas. Gentle, mature and very nice. Fully mature.
The taste is tight and dry with lots of red currants and notes of graphite, autumn leaves and cold coffee. Soft tannins. A very nice mature Bordeaux.
86p   (tasted 2013/07)

1966 Vieux Château Certan
This is a different creature though. Riper, deeper, sweeter than the Pichon-Lalande. Gorgeous notes of plums, tobacco, red currants, dark fudge and forest floor. A very fine sweetness to the fruit. In a very fine stage maturity wise. Deep and fine.
The taste is big, deep and sweet with lovely notes of red cherries, plums, tobacco, minerals and autumn leaves. A fine seedy note in the finish, which is long, warm and generous. Really fine. Shared WOTN.
92p   (tasted 2013/07)

2009 Les Chalasses Vieilles Vignes, Jean Francois Ganevat
Since we were whining so much over the Jura Pinot, Mikke had to prove to us that they at least make a fine Chardonnay, so he kindly opened this bottle. Much better than the Pinot but still nothing to go ga-ga over. The nose is young, fresh and focused with notes of gooseberries, lemon candy, white currants and some smoky aromas. A fine spiciness. Very good.
The taste is tight, fresh and cool with notes of orange peel, tangerine, candle grease and smoke. Good acidity. Still very young, this could turn out nicely. But with no sulphur what so ever added, how will it age?
86p   (tasted 2013/07)

NV J´en Veux!!!, Jean Francois Ganevat
We couldn´t let go of the Pinot, now when we had tasted a good wine from Ganevat, so Mikke was ever so kind to fetch a bottle of this. I just wished he hadn´t...
This is apparently made out of 17 different local grapes. At university I had a friend who made his own wine from a wine kit. This wine smelled exactly as the wine he made. Yeasty, light, unbalanced and with notes of eraser, dried lingonberries and yogurt. Smells like a Belgian lambic beer. No, no, no, no.
The taste is dry, hollow and simplistic - it´s basically lingonberry juice (and not a good one at that) without substance, interest or character.
The emperor has no clothes... This must have been made like this...
55p   (tasted 2013/07)

1979 Clos Laurensanne
The state monopoly used to bottle a lot of inexpensive Bordeaux in Sweden. Usually fairly priced and often worth at the time. But you shouldn´t cellar them this long...
A dry, empty nose with some dry red currant scents and shrivelled autumn leaves.
The taste is as the nose - dry and empty.
53p   (tasted 2013/07)

2009 Forster Stift Rieslaner Auslese, Reichsrat von Buhl
As a sweet ending this Rieslaner was poured. The nose is pure, lovingly upfront and juicy, full of green apples, ripe pears, lemon peel and almond paste. Very good.
The taste is cool, fine and ripe with notes of tangerines, green apples and lemon cream. A fine, but not searing acidity. Medium long and fine. A nice ending of a great evening - thanks Mikke!
87p   (tasted 2013/07)

Monday, 15 July 2013

Two Bottles of Pinot

I found some nice lamb sausages that looked perfect for the grill. Took them home, threw them on the grill and served them with a lukewarm potato salad and a mild garlic sauce.
What to open to that dish then? Hmm, what am I in the mood for...?


2010 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir
This Kiwi Pinot has a luscious, deep and sweet nose with notes of mashed strawberries, root vegetables, smoke, damp earth and thyme. Very creamy, upfront and immediately likeable. A lovely sweetness to the fruit. But it also have structure and finesse. Very, very fine.
The taste is big, concentrated and yummy with sweet notes of wild strawberries, raspberries, red cherries, licorice, earth and spices. A very fine acidity. Long and fine. This is drinking great but have the stuffing and backbone for cellaring 5-8 years. As good as the previous vintage.
93p   (tasted 2013/07)

2010 Gevrey-Chambertin Poissenots, Louis Jadot
When I tasted this in december last year, it was more open for business then on this night. The nose is deep and elegant but a tad restrained. With plenty of air scents of dark raspberries, blueberry bushes, spices and lots of beets arises from the Riedel Sommelier Burgundy glass (or the fish tank as it lovingly described as...). It still has the lovely perfumed note I felt last time I had it. Needs time.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of almost ripe raspberries, blueberries, rosemary, leather, spices and warm tiles. A long, tight finish with a high, refreshing acidity. Not as hedonistic as seven months ago, but still a great wine. Needs at least 5+ years in the cellar. Gonna be really good!
93p   (tasted 2013/07)

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Just Bought

A sweet one arrived from the King of vintages - 1945. No detectable traces of seepage on the bottle but I don´t know what to say about the tilt of the cork... :-) Better open sooner than later, I think.

Yet Another Bottle of Rosé

But unfortunately not a good one. I kind of liked the 2010 last year. Not this vintage though. With a pasta with chicken, pesto and vegetables it behaved acceptable, but on its own it was no fun.

2011 Marsannay Rosé, Bruno Clair
A cool, soft, thin nose with notes of unripe raspberries, rhubarb, gravel and smoke. Rather feeble and lightweight.
The taste is dry, foursquare and seedy with high acidity and not enough fruit to match. The acidity makes it work with the food, but without the food it is too dry and one dimensional.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

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

Chapter 30 celebrates with two bottles of the great 1975 vintage. Still holding fine if you get well stored bottles (or have stored them yourself...).

Silvio Nardi was one of the founding fathers of the Brunello Consorzio and was the first producer in Brunello that didn´t have his roots in the area. He bottled his first Brunello in 1958. Info here.

 The 1997 Vigneto Manachiara tasted here and the 2006 Brunello tasted here.

1975 Brunello di Montalcino, Silvio Nardi
A big, open, mature nose with notes of chocolate covered cherries, bonfire, rose petals, cigarr ashes and red tea. Intriguing and very fine. Medium depth. This has matured gracefully. Very, very good. The sweetness of the fruit is impressive, given its age.
The taste is mature, warm and silky smotth with notes of sweet cherries, licorice, autumn leaves, cigarr ashes and dried flowers. The finish is medium long and ends perfectly dry. Harmonoius. Not the most complex Brunello I have had but in a perfect drinking stage this night, really delivering the goods.
90p   (tasted 2013/07

1975 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Silvio Nardi
Given the performance of the regular Brunello, I had high expectations on the Riserva. But, alas, that was not to be. This bottle have had a tough ride somewhere along the line before ending up in my cellar.
The nose is hot, sweet and a bit compressed with notes of cooked cherries, licorice, tomato juice and lots of warm earth. This has probably been stored too warm.
The taste is big, warm and a bit hollow in the middle. Lots of warm cherry fruit, undergrowth, licorice and old wood. There is a tea like bitterness in the finish that ends very dry. Too bad. It is drinkable with food and then behaves a bit better.
66p   (tasted 2013/07)

Monday, 8 July 2013

Two Bottles of Chardonnay

With some grilled fish - salmon and cod - I opened these two bottles of Chardonnay. The Jordan was the clear winned among all, both on its own but also with the food. Need to get more bottles of this one.

2011 Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay
This stunner from South Africa only costs 22 Euro but behaves like a (at least) twice as expensive Burgundy. The nose is big, pure, racy and buttery with notes of white peaches, red currants, spices, summer flowers and some cap gun smoke. Deep and fine. A kind of Puligny scent. Very, very good.
The taste is tight, focused and fresh with notes of white peaches, cold butter, flint, fudge and warm grass. A fine acidity cleans the palate. Long and fine. Still young, this could evolve nicely for 3-5 years. Lovely!
92p   (tasted 2013/07)

2011 Calera Mt. Harlan Chardonnay
A fine, creamy, deep nose with notes of lemon cream, white currants, pears, crushed rocks and summer flowers. Needs to come up in temperature befores the nice fruit show itself. After a while some matchbox aromas emerges. Fine.
The taste is big, creamy and lush with notes of fudge, lemon cream, white and red curranrs, sweet minerals and dried flowers. The finish is long, warm and upfront. This is drinking fine, but I think, especially in comparison with the Jordan, that it is a tad warm on the palate. A good wine all the same.
88p   (tasted 2013/07)

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Château La Garde - A Very Good 2009 & A Broken Bottle of 1949

First - the good news - the 2009 Château La Garde behaved really fine. A classic Bordeaux that have some modernistic touched but still manage to display its terroir.

But the sad news is that the 1949 that was supposed to the partner in a Then & Now post, was broken when the (wet...) package arrived. I got a refund so there was no problem but it sadly was their last bottle.

So here comes the 2009 La Garde on its own.

2009 Château La Garde
A medium big, open, fine nose with notes of red and black currants, warm tiles, dark fudge, forest floor and a touch of iron. Very well put together. Very, very good. It deepens with air and shows more earthy notes. On day three it was equally good.
The taste is cool, tight and medium bodied with notes of red and black currants, cherries, coffee powder, leather and some caramel notes. The sandy tannins give a fine support to the sweet fruit. It becomes cooler and more Bordeaux typical with some hours in the decanter. Long and fine. This should turn on really nice in 5-8 years time. The taste alike on day three. For 32 Euro it is a bargain.
91p   (tasted 2013/06)

Thursday, 4 July 2013

The Perfect Ones - Part 19 & 20

Roberto Voerzio´s cellar - I voluntered to sleep here but Roberto declined...
It has been a while since the last chapter in this series. Anyway, these two bottles below make up number 19 and 20 of my "perfect" wines. If I had to obey to any other rules than my own, these two maybe wouldn´t even make the list. We´re talking about two barrel samples here.

On a glorious October day in 2006 we arrived at Azienda Agricola Roberto Voerzio and was meet at the gates by the man himself. Full of energy and seemingly enjoying the visit of three Swedish wine enthusiasts, he immediately asked if we would like to taste all his 2004 Barolo´s from barrel.
Is the pope catholic?, would have been the rhetorical question, if we would have given the chance - Roberto was already heading down the stairs to the cellars.

While chatting in his rapid tempo, mostly in Italian, sometimes in French and occasionally in German, he kept pouring the seven different 2004 Barolo´s that lied in long rows of barriques.

And the quality was amazing. Yet there was big differences between those seven wines, although they came from the same commune - La Morra. They have been nurtured in the same way in the vineyard, they have been given exactly the same treatment in the cellar. And still seven different characters. That´s the soil, the terroir talking directly to you. A fascinating experience.

They were poured to us in this order by Roberto. First we got a taste of the Cerequio which had a classic Barolo nose with red berries, roses and asphalt, and a taste on those lines with a fine elegance (92p). The Riserva vecchie viti dei Capalot e delle Brunate was up next with lots of power and structure, both on the nose and in the mouth. Very dense and concentrated yet harmonious and simply gorgeous (97p).
The following wine, the Rocche dell´Annunziata Torriglione oozed of violets, tar and sweet red cherries with a complementary taste of spices, licorice and red cherries. Luscious and creamy (95p). Time stood still when I sniffed and tasted the Fossati Case Nere, see below. The Brunate had an uncompromising, tight structure but I could sense the sweet, delicious fruit under the wall of tannins and acidity (92p).
The last but one was the La Serra and this stunning creature was all about ceps, rosehips and sweet spices with a taste that took a firm grip of my olfactory senses with its dark fruit, licorice and a iron taste that was impressive (96p). Roberto had saved, along with the Fossati, the best for last. The Sarmassa di Barolo was perfection in the glass from the first sniff until the last drop had run down my throat, see below.

Roberto himself - photos from their website (I can´t find my own for the moment...)
2004 Barolo Fossati Case Nere, Roberto Voerzio
This perfect specimen has a deep, powerful yet graceful nose filled to the brim with notes of red cherries, dried mushrooms, rosehips, tea leaves and licorice. So intense, so pure, so perfect.
I have just noted - "the taste is perfect" - you couldn´t be more clear than that, could you? I have also noted things like "supernatural", "ethereal", "gorgeous", and some expressions of a more strong language...
100p   (tasted 2006/10)

2004 Barolo Sarmassa di Barolo, Roberto Voerzio
If possible, this should get more than 100p. It is that good. Or perfect. I remember that I couldn´t stand still when tasting this, leading Roberto to ask me if something was wrong. There wasn´t. I just had drunk some of the best wine that had entered my mouth. He seemed glad when I told him why I behaved like I did.
Words seems so inadequate when trying to describe something that it out of reach of description. Just trust me, wine doesn´t get better than this. Maybe equal, but never better.
100p   (tasted 2006/10)

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Sunday Lunch Barolo - 2001 Barolo La Serra, Gianni Voerzio

With a big bowl of fresh pasta, thin slices of San Daniele ham, red pesto, parmesan shavings and a little drizzle of truffle oil, this mature Barolo went down beautifully. Opened by lunch, gone by afternoon...

2001 Barolo La Serra, Gianni Voerzio
This was my third and last bottle, and even though it could be cellared for 5+ years more, I don´t think it will get any better.
The nose is open, earthy and with a dark sweetness. With air some pleasant notes of cherry pips, rosehips, tobacco, dried ceps and licorice emerges from the glass. Very good. Not heaps of complexity but with a genuine Piedmont character.
The taste is mature, round and sweet with notes of cherry compote, raspberry licorice, autumn leaves and beets. The finish is medium long and finishes a tad dry. With the food it behaved gracefully and there was no problem finishing the bottle.
87p   (tasted 2013/06)

Monday, 1 July 2013

Two More Bottles of Rosé

I keep downing those rosé bottles. Speaking of which, here is an interesting article about these wines.

2012 Tavel La Dame Rousse, Domaine de la Mordorée
Yet again the Rosé from la Mordorée is a sure winner. The nose is fresh and clean with notes of red currants, wild strawberries, flowers and a fine white peppar note. With air some rosemary aromas comes through. Very good.
The taste is medium bodied with a fresh acidity and notes of raspberries, red currants, licorice and lots of dried spices. In the finish there is, as on the nose, some white peppar flavours. Very easy to appreciate.
88p   (tasted 2013/06)

2012 Domaine de la Tour du Bon Rosé
This was one of the best rosé´s last year, but the 2012 version doesn´t even come close. The nose is rather feeble - you have to swirl the glass heavily too get some aromas - and then you get some notes of elderberries, red currants, road dust and dried spices. There is shortness of depth and it appears to be anemic.
The taste is cool, tight and foursquare with some flavours of red currants, dried strawberries and gravel. A medium long finish that is rather hollow. Went ok with food but this is no charmer.
72p   (tasted 2013/06)