Friday, 31 January 2014

A Bottle Of Port - 1997 Quinta do Noval Port

This is apparently a perfect wine, according to a certain wine advocate from the other side of the pond. Make no mistake - it is good, even really, really good, but it is not a perfect wine, IMHO anyway...:-)
Although - with some aged stilton it created a perfect combination.

1997 Quinta do Noval Vintage Port
A deep, concentrated, still young nose with notes of ripe plums, figs, dark chocolate, some tobacco flakes and toasted almonds. Very deep and powerful. Even on day three it hasn´t budged much. This is for the long haul. A very fine sweetness.
The taste is broad shouldered and muscular with notes of raspberry truffles, balsa wood, asphalt, licorice, tobacco, dates and toasted almonds. The finish goes on for over a minute. A iron fist in a iron glove... Very intense. Let your bottles lie for another 10+ years. Impressive but not that seductive.
93p   (tasted 2014/01)

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Drinking Tonight - A Small Taste Of Paradise

Well, when the Châteaux name is Paradis (in Swedish paradis means paradise), you get some expectations. And when its from the heralded vintage of 1982, they just rises, wouldn´t you say...? :-)

Seriously, I had no expectations what so ever - I bought this a while back with some other mature wines for 22 Euro. It turned out to be a bargain! Info here.#!

1982 Château Paradis
As seen on the pic below the cork was long and in good shape. The first sniff showed a lot of moist undergrowth. But with some air it evolved beautifully. After one hour the glass was full of ripe red and black currants, plums, fresh stables, sugared coffee and autumn leaves. Perfectly mature and so lovely.
The taste is smooth, mature and very fine with notes of red plums, old leather, milk chocolate, tobacco ashes and some dried meat notes. A medium long finish that ends with a fine dry twist. I caught this in a perfect drinking stage. As far from a modern blockbuster you could get, this mature Montagne-Saint-Emilion provided great pleasure for the two hours it took to finish the bottle.
91p   (tasted 2014/01)


Monday, 27 January 2014

Yet Again - Fine Bottles of Mature Burgundy, Bad Bottles of Natural Wine & Much More...

This was easy enough - I just recycled the same heading as from six months ago.
And again, Mikke invited, we came and ate and drank well (except for some wines...) - as usual! Thanks!

All wines tasted double blind.

1963 Finest Dry Oloroso, Gonzalez Byass
A stunner! The nose is bottomless deep and striking with notes of dried fruits, assorted nuts, acetone, dried mushrooms, paint, hay and white beans. Very rich, complex and deep. After a while it smells like something out of a dentists practise. Sooo fine!
The taste have been turned to eleven, with stunning intensity and complexity and notes of stale nuts, pickled ginger, dry rubber, dried fruit and hay. The acidity is not of this world and the finish goes on for minutes. This is a great bottle of wine! I had the 64 some years ago and that was equally fine.
96p   (tasted 2014/01)

Mikke then brought two decanters to the table. As soon as they were poured and I put my nose into the glasses, I shouted - "nature wines - why Mikke, why?!" And that is was...
2011 Cuvée de L´Enfant Terrible, Jean Francois Ganevat
As you can see from the link above, I wasn´t exactly thrilled over the 2011 Pinot from Ganevat. This would turn out even worse...
Well, lets see if I could get you excited over the nose - stale Coca Cola, lingonberry yogurt that have fermented, iron, athletes sweaty socks and old wood. No?
How about the taste then - dry, hollow and yesty. Diluted lingonberry juice, dried up balsamic vinegar and yogurt. Thankfully the taste is short. A disaster, or just "terrible"... Made from Poulsard.
56p   (tasted 2014/01)

2011 Plein Sud, Jean Francois Ganevat
This stunner (being ironic here...) is made from Trosseau and are even worse than the wine (?!) above. A big, foursquare, hollow nose with notes of fermented cherries, wet dog, old rubber and yogurt. Smells like a Beaujolais that have stood in a shop window in the sun for the previous three years.
The taste is dry, angular and yeasty with notes of old, stale liquorice, lingonberry yogurt that have fermented and wet dog fur. The acidity is high and lies on the side of the (miniscule) fruit. A disaster, short and simple.
54p   (tasted 2014/01)

With a creamy seafood soap three decanters of white wine was brought to the table and the guessing game began...
2009 Les Grand Teppes Vieilles Vignes, Jean Francois Ganevat
It got better, thankfully! He can obviously get Chardonnay right, even though this is not a great wine either. The nose is fine, deep and rather elegant with notes of spicy lemons, almond cookies, earthy and with a salty note that is interesting. Unfortunately it gets a bit cheesy when it gets warmer in the glass. Really good as long as it is cold.
The taste is young, tight and fine with notes of grilled lemons, summer flowers, almond paste and earth. A medium long, fine finish. But again, with some time in the glass, a yeasty, cheesy note appear. If you drink this cold and fast, it is very good. But when compared to a great Burgundy Grand Cru (which we happened to have in the next glass), it doesn´t stand a chance.
88p   (tasted 2014/01)

2009 Batard-Montrachet, Bachelet-Monnot
Aaaaah, this is the real thing. From a producer unknown to me. The nose is big, deep and penetrating with a laser focus and stunning notes of ripe melon, lemon cream, summer flowers, sweet minerals and matchbox. Very deep and refined. Great!
The taste flows over your tongue with gorgeous fruit, a fresh acidity and a length counted in minutes. Notes of spiced up lemons, summer flowers, cold butter and lots of chalk. The finish is spicy and fresh, and leaves you wanting more. Really fine.
94p   (tasted 2014/01)

2009 Block 2 Chardonnay, Felton Road
This is not the faint hearted but oooh boy, it is good! A big, all-over-the-place nose with notes of vanilla fudge, white currants, modelling clay, warm grass and a touch of white peppers. Very creamy and fine. Deep. Smells like snow, not the yellow kind though...
The taste is deep, focused and fine with notes of lemon cream, ripe yellow apples, modelling clay and dried flowers. A lot of warmth, in a good way. A very long, creamy finish with a fine acidity. This is good!
92p   (tasted 2014/01)

With another soup, this time a creamy mushroom variant we were presented with three older gentlemen. We almost got the decades right...
1949 Corton, ?
A deep, mature (!), meaty nose with notes of mushrooms, cooked raspberries with muscovado sugar, smokes sausages and dried up Coke. Pretty interesting even though it is over the hill, but not that far away.
The taste is dry and a bit hollow with notes of dried up rowan berries, lingonberries, lots of warm earth and meat stock. Still hanging in there, but not much more. A nice warmth in the finish.
78p   (tasted 2014/01)

1959 Corton, Jourard
10 years older but ooh so much fresher! The nose is full of ripe, sweet raspberries, forest floor, Christmas spices, liquorice and rose petals. Very fresh and floral. Deep and fine. This has matured into a fine bottle of Burgundy.
The taste is tight, mature and rich in flavour with notes of dried raspberries, lingonberry jam, forest floor, spices and a touch of tobacco. A long, velvety finish that gives lots of pleasure. This is fine!
92p   (tasted 2014/01)

1969 Beaune Clos de L´Ecu, Domaine Jaboulet-Vercherre
A medium bodied, ripe, mature nose with notes of just ripening raspberries, rowan berries, warm earth and beet juice. A cool feeling to the fruit. Elegant. This is mature but just so. Fresh.
The taste is semi mature, fresh and lively with lots of lingonberries, a touch of strawberries, undergrowth and beet juice. A very fine acidity. For drinking now and the coming 10+ years. Very good.
88p   (tasted 2014/01)

Next up was a trio of, seemingly youngsters and we were pretty much of base even guessing their origin...
1995 Nuits-St-Georges Les Pruliers, Domaine Jean Grivot
A deep, restrained, powerful nose with notes of black cherries, liquorice, rosehips, spices and forest floor. Cool and fine. Still very young.
The taste is very tight and withdrawn with notes of red cherry fruit, lingonberries, rosehips, forest floor and smoky notes. A very high acidity. A bit sharp. This needs time but I wonder if it ever will get harmonious?
86p   (tasted 2014/01)

1995 Savigny-les-Beaune Les Narbantons, Leroy
A deep, sweet and intense nose with notes of ripe red cherries, rose petals, licorice, tobacco and a touch of coconut cream. Very deep and multi layered. This is also very young but the building stones are there for something really fine.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of ripe red cherries, dried raspberries, licorice, spices, tobacco and some fine chocolate notes. A long, long, fine finish with a fine acidity. Needs another 5+ years to really unfold.
92p   (tasted 2014/01)

1995 Clos de la Roche, Domaine Laurent
This starts out a bit foursquare but gets better and better as the evening progress. A deep, broad nose with notes of red cherries, sweet lingonberries, rose petals, dried mushrooms and some tobacco. Very, very good.
The taste is finely concentrated and still rather young, with notes of sweet/sour cherries, tobacco, rosehips and warm earth. A very refined structure. A long, fresh finish. Could use 3+ years in the cellar.
91p   (tasted 2014/01)

Dessert time! A liquid one...
1969 Château Filhot
A mature, deep and semi sweet nose with notes of saffron, glue, band aid and molasses. This has matured gracefully, even though it lacks some stuffing in the core of the nose. Good.
The taste is bigger and more intense than the nose leads you to believe. Fine notes of ripe tangerines, blood orange peel, saffron, glue and dry milk chocolate. Very charming.
86p   (tasted 2014/01)

1959 Château Maut...?
Unfortunately corked "#¤%¤#"#¤%!!

1953 Croix-de-Monts, Unknown producer
A deep, lovely nose with notes of tangerines, almond paste, saffron and detergent. Very good. A touch of cold sugared coffee after a while. Soft but interesting.
The taste is a bit more hollow with notes of blood orange jam, almond paste, band aid and dried up saffron. The finish is medium long and ends semi dry. A good nose but the taste is a bit past it.
82p   (tasted 2014/01)

The night wasn´t over - Mikke thought that we needed more - and so did we!
1970 Royal Rioja Reserva, Bodegas Franco-Espanolas
A warm, mature, dry nose with notes of dried strawberries, lingonberry bushes, balsa wood and autumn leaves. Very good. Fully mature.
The taste is mature, warm and seedy with notes of dried raspberries, red currants and autumn leaves. A fine warmth. A bit short. I guessed a Burgundy from the 70`s - well, it wasn´t...
85p   (tasted 2014/01)

2004 Inflorescence La Parcelle Blanc de Noir, Jean-Pierre Bouchard
This was a great palate cleanser to finish the night of. A young, fresh and sprightly nose with notes of green apples, almonds, lime peel and lots of minerals. Very fresh, and very young.
The taste is young, tight and with lots of potential. Notes of lime, lemons, potato peels and chalk. Very refreshing. My palate was kind of jaded by this hour and I didn´t really took serious notice of this wine. Would love to taste it again. Hence that, I don´t give it a score.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Wines From Last Night

No notebook. Just a few pics. A great evening with friends!

Still young, fresh and very drinkable!
With a salmon dish these were perfect!
The Porphyr was yummy but the Jamet was stunning with its peppery meat and blueberry notes
A reminder that I drink Sauternes to seldom nowadays - soooo good!
Our host thought that we needed more wines and this beauty was choosen - drinking perfectly now.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Just Bought

1971 and 1979 Tignanello. 1971 is the debut vintage of Tignanello. The level of this bottle is a bit low, but the overall appearance is fine, so I have high hopes! :-) This wine is mainly Sangiovese blended with Canaiolo, Trebbiano and Malvasia, in the Chianti Classico style of the time. In 1975 they changed the blend to ca 80% Sangiovese and ca 20% Cabernet.
Some 15 years ago I had a stunning bottle of 1979 Sassicaia, so I hope that the Tignanello of the same vintage will follow that example!

An interesting place to place the vintage

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Day Of Wine

Today in Sweden it is apparently The Day of Wine -
Well, any excuse for open a bottle of wine is good in my book. But I thought every day was a wine day...:-)

2009 Volnay En Caillerets, La Pousse d´Or
A young, gorgeously pure and fresh nose with notes of lingonberries, barely ripe raspberries, forest floor, Asian spices and some woodsmoke. Very refined. Opens up nicely during the afternoon with more warmth and darker fruits. Very, very good.
The taste is young, fresh and velvety with notes of mashed raspberries, lingonberry bushes, bakelite and spices. A high, fine acidity. Broadens in the glass with time and air, and becomes a bit darker. Still needs 3-5 years in the cellar to really open up, but this is drinking fine on this Day of Wine.
90p   (tasted 2014/01)

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Some Chardonnays Of Late

2005 Meursault Les Narvaux, Yves Boyer-Martenot
This Meursault shows some maturity on the nose in the shape of ripe yellow apples, apricot cream, warm hay and assorted nuts. A fine structure. Some minerals and spicy notes after a while. Very good.
The taste is big, mature and ripe with notes of yellow apples, butter cookies, spices and a fine smoky note. The finish is medium long and ends dry. A good acidity. Fully mature. Very good.
88p   (tasted 2013/12)

2005 Pernand-Vergeless, Domaine Cachat-Ocquidant
I hadn´t much expectations over this bottle before I took the corkscrew to it. But lo and behold - this was a fine surprise!
The nose is fresh, vital and very fine with notes of lime, wet rocks, hay, cold butter and fennel seeds. Kept evolving all night. Complex and fine. After some hours notes of pickled ginger and almond paste emerge. Really, really good.
The taste is cool, fresh and lively with notes of lemon cream, orange ice cream, crushed rocks and a hint of smokiness in the medium long finish. A fine acidity. Very, very good. A fun surprise!
91p   (tasted 2013/12)

2010 Chassagne-Montrachet La Maltroie, Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard
This is still very young with fine notes of hazel nuts, cold butter, white currants, lemon cream and a beautiful smokiness in the background. With air and getting warmer in the glass it expands all night long, but I would wait 2-3 year for the next bottle.
The taste is young, tight and yet creamy with notes of white currants, warm grass, cold butter, summer flowers and a touch of coconut. The finish is long and shows off a fine acidity. Again, give this some more years in the cellar. The 2008 tasted in the autumn of 2012 was even finer.
92p   (tasted 2014/01)

Saturday, 18 January 2014

I´m Continuing The 1988 Theme Tonight - Two Bottles Of Brunello

Lately I have had a craving for Brunello - that project really wetted my appetite for Brunello.
Tonight I opened these two bottles to go along with grilled chicken fillets with a porcini pasta (from Morelli ( - a fantastic pasta) and a mushroom and rosemary sauce.
It went well...:-)

1988 Brunello di Montalcino, Chiesa di Santa Restituta
Right out of the bottle - what a seductive, mature, intense nose with notes of forest floor with a hint of truffle, rowan berries, dried raspberries, sweet tobacco and a touch of meat stock. Very, very complex. A wonderful maturity. Keep going all night.
The taste is like drinking velvet with perfectly polished and integrated tannins and notes of sweet lingonberries, warm tiles, undergrowth, tobacco and black tea. A lovely mouthfeel. This has matured into a graceful, amazing Brunello. Just stunning!
95p   (tasted 2014/01)

1988 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Fuligni
I tasted this almost a year ago. And on this night it behaves almost identical. The fruit is younger than the Santa Restituta above and delivers a bit more punch and sweeter fruit, but it hasn´t reached the perfect maturity that the Santa Restituta shows on this night. But this is bloody good never the less!
93p   (tasted 2014/01)

Friday, 17 January 2014

Another 1988 Tonight - 1988 Chianti Classico Vigneto Bertinga, Castello di Ama

To go along with some home made pizza with truffle salami and ceps, I opened this mature Chianti. Castello di Ama apparently doesn´t make the Vigneto Bertinga any longer. A quick search on the web only comes up with the 1990, and no vintage after that. But I don´t know exactly, I will mail the estate tomorrow, if I get more info I will update this post.
Out of 19.045 bottles made this was bottle number 1660.
On to the wine!

1988 Chianti Classico Vigneto Bertinga, Castello di Ama
Right out of the bottle it opens a bit shy, but with a bit of air it expands to a gorgeously mature Sangiovese. The nose is stunning with notes of cool red cherries, dried rosemary, black tea, a touch of liquorice and a hauntingly beautiful aroma of cigarette ashes. Deep, complex and soooo fine.
The taste is round, fresh and perfectly mature with notes of red and black cherries, red currants, dry leather, gravel and some black tea aromas. The tannins are perfectly integrated and polished to the finest grain. Drinking absolutely perfect today. This is why one cellar wines for years and years and years.
94p   (tasted 2014/01)

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Drinking Tonight - 1988 Château Beauséjour

I was in the mood for something mature but nothing that I would feel like analysing into microscopic parts. This bottle fitted my cravings perfectly tonight!

1988 Château Beauséjour
This has a lovely mature, laid back nose with notes of fresh stables, just ripening red and black currants, autumn leaves, worn leather and old chocolate. Fully mature, but still giving and impression of wanting more.
The taste is smooth, warm and mature with notes of red currants, lingonberries, leather, matchbox and autumn leaves. The finish is medium long and ends with a dry twist. Not a blockbuster, not a complex wine, nothing to write home about, but on this night it delivered a soothing experience - just what the doctor ordered...
86p   (tasted 2014/01)

Monday, 13 January 2014

The Results From The Swedish Syrah Jury!

Well, the Great Syrah Competition took some time to jot down. But here it is - the results are in!

Of the 15 wines we had to pick out 6 favourites and give them points in a strange system...but when the points had been counted, this was the total result:

No 1 - 1998 Côte-Rôtie La Turque, Guigal
No 2 - 2002 Sine Qua Non Just For The Love Of It
No 3 - 2001 Sadie Family Columella

I had the Guigal as winner, and on shared second place the Just For The Love Of It and the Astralis, see notes below.

All of this black wines got me thinking of one of the blackest albums - Dissections Reinkaos - one of my desert island albums.  I will illustrate some of the wines below with the "proper" songs from the album. :-)
Black wines goes great to black metal!

All wines tasted double blind. A great thanks to M & J for a great evening!
The rest of the bottles will show up in a post later.

1999 Boekenhoutskloof Syrah
This South African Syrah has always found a sweet spot on my tasting buds. But not on this occasion. The nose is big and smoky with notes of grilled meat, hot earth, sugared coffee and some Islay whisky smokiness. So far so good, but there is a dirty note to it that don't air of.
The taste is  big and fiery wih notes of grilled, burnt meat, dark chocolate, rubber and violets. A long, warm finish that show some unbalance. Very smoky. Good but not in the league of earlier vintages.
85p   (tasted 2013/12)

1997 Podere Il Bosco Syrah
M put us to the test here. Served from a magnum this was poured in glass 2 as well as glass 5 for us humble tasters. Did we figured that out? Nope.
The nose is big, deep and somewhat mature with notes of  meat, sweet raspberries, violets, earth and some flowery notes. complex and fine. This is from glass 2, the other glass showed more withdrawn and with more black fruit, go figure.
The taste is younger than the nose leads you to believe with notes of asphalt, licorice, blackberries and violets. Expressive and fine. A long and focused finish. Very, very good. The other glass showed even more of a tight structure with more tanninfeel and youthfulness. This magnum showed better than a single bottle a while back.
91p  (tasted 2013/12)

1996 Clarendon Hills Astralis
A gorgeously deep, mature and profound nose with notes of sweet blueberries, rapberry licorice, rose petals, eraser and some barnyardy notes. Impressive. Very hedonistic but at the same time focused and precise. Reminded me of the 1998 Fox Creek Reserve.
The taste is velvety yet broad over its shoulders with great notes of blackberries, licorice, violet pastills and meat that have hunged for some time. Well integrated tannins. A long, seductive finish. This is stunning.
96p   (tasted 2013/12)

"This is the realm of Azerate, eleven as one
Destroyer of cosmic order, extinguisher of the sun
In this place so sinister I shall find my dreams
Illuminated by the blackest flame
To transcend with dragon wings"

2001 Sadie Family Columella
This opens with a warm, spicy, beautiful nose with notes of just ripening raspberries, white peppers, balsa wood and sweet summer flowers. Deep and complex. Very, very good.
The taste is bigger than the nose leads on, with notes of blackberries, white peppered meat, blueberry pie and dried flowers. The finish is long, warm and intense. The tannins leaves a mark at the end, indicating that this needs some more time in the cellar.
93p   (tasted 2013/12)

"Our dark gods of chaos will return, this time to rule forever supreme
The dragon mother will then resurrect and end this cosmic dream"

2004 Viña Montes Folly
This has a big, ripe, almost slutty nose with sweet notes of blackberries, raspberry truffles, liquorice, eucalyptus and sweet summer flowers. Very much in your face but it keeps together. Very, very good.
The taste is big, tight and concentrated with notes of blackberry jam, orange peel, liquorice, raspberry truffles and violets. Lots of fiery tannins in the long finish. I feel a alcohol sting in the end. Very, very big. But in some weird way, I like it.
89p   (tasted 2013/12)

2003 Sine Qua Non Papa
If nothing else, I´m consistent - the second time in a year that I get this blind - and I have loathed it both times. As I said in the previous note, I usually love SQN, as the Just For The Love Of It proved just an hour later. But this is a train wreck.
The nose is like a bad blend of Syrah and Port with notes of burned almonds, Cherry Heering, motoroil, rotting flowers and VA, lot of VA. It is deep, I´ll give it that, but not in a good way.
The taste is massive, fiery and unfocused with notes of figs in liquor, rubber, glue and hot asphalt. The only thing that is noticeable in the finish is alcohol. This is a vulgar wine. Even worse than the previous bottle.
58p   (tasted 2013/12)

2005 Tua Rita Syrah
This Italian Syrah has a deep, sweet, tight nose with notes of black currants, sweet liquorice, sugared coffee, violet pastilles and some warm earth. Very good without being great.
The taste is young tight and expressive with notes of black currants, black olives, tar and hot gravel. A long, warm finish with lots of juicy tannins. Could surely evolve with 3-5 years in the cellar.
89p   (tasted 2013/12)

1998 Côte-Rôtie La Turque, Guigal
Aaaaah, the first sniff told me that this would be a great tasting experience. The nose is hauntingly deep, focused and intense with gorgeous notes of ripe blueberries, cigarr ashes, black peppered meat, sugared coffee and fresh herbs. A profound nose. It has it all, except for maturity.
The taste is like that well known iron fist in the equally known velvet glove, with stunning notes of blueberries, blood, crushed black peppers, violets and forest floor. The concentration is amazing. The finish goes on for two minutes. The 1998 La Landonne was perfection a while back. This is close.
98p  (tasted 2013/12)

"Bringer of nocturnal light
Grant us the powers of the eyeless sight
Unveil thyself our obscene Queen
And cleanse us with the Black Flames of your beauty"

2001 Les Apres, Domaine Cros
I tasted this when it was released almost ten years ago and I have gone through more than one case of it. I only have one bottle left, so it was fun tasting it tonight. It has been great all of its life, tasted last time in in the spring of 2012.
On this night the nose is deep, a tad mature and warm with notes of ripe blackberries, rosemary, raw meat, violets and some vanilla pods. Very, very fine. Deep and complex. Layers upon layers of sweet, black fruit with some cigar notes tossed in.
The taste is big and bold with lots of sweet blackberries, rosemary, rosehip, dark raspberry chocolate and warm earth. Very long and balanced. This is very, very good, and could easily be saved for another 5+ years, even though I don´t think it will get better.
93p   (tasted 2013/12)

"I invoke thee, possessor of all hidden keys
God of the unknown and the lawless ecstasies
Initiate me, thy most faithful child
In the darkest of mysteries and all pleasurable crimes"

2009 Clonakilla Shiraz
This beauty consists of 94% Shiraz and 6% Viognier. The nose oozes up from the glass with scents of violets, blackberries, ginger bread, coffee powder and a fine flowery note. Very refined. A stunning sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is young, elegant yet firm with notes of raspberries, blackberries, balsa wood, white pepper and dried flowers. A long, fresh finish with nicely polished tannins. This could turn out even greater with 3-5 more years in the cellar.
94p   (tasted 2013/12)

"Mighty god of darkness
All salutations to thee
Your gift of knowledge and rebellion
Will set our spirits free

2001 Torbreck Run Rig
M is generous to a fault - the first bottle was corked, so he got another one of this Parker favourite. But this is not a favourite of mine. The nose is big, brawny and all over the place with notes of rubber, blueberries made in a factory, glue and scorched earth. Some bacon fat after a while. And blood orange peel. It has depth, and character, but I don´t fancy it.
The taste is big, intense and forceful with notes of cooked blackberries, sweet liquorice, blood orange juice, rosemary and scorched earth. Very, very long, but the tannins, acidity and fruit doesn´t play together. If this come together, I guess it could create magic, but it does not do that on this night.
80p   (tasted 2013/12)

2002 Sine Qua Non Just For The Love Of It
Yes! Manfred rules! I have always loved SQN - the big exception is the Papa above on two occasions. This stunner has a deep, powerful, intense nose with notes of blood & iron, blueberries, rubber, Cohiba cigar and violets. Very, very fine. It has depth and refinement alongside hedonistic volumes of sweet fruit. Just great!
The taste is big and broad with everything in the right place. The fruit is marvellous and consists of ripe blue- and blackberries with some raspberries tossed in. Then there are notes of scorched earth, cigar ashes, coffee powder and violet pastilles. The finish goes on and on and on. Brilliant and not remotely in the same mould as the Papa.
96p   (tasted 2013/12)

"Kalika, black tongue of fire, embrace me
Make me one with your power for all eternity
Awaken within me the reflection of your flame
Kiss me with your bloody lips and drive me insane"

2008 First Drop The Cream Shiraz
Here they have tried to cram everything out of the grapes, and while living on the edge, it is a little too much for me. The nose is deep, intense and (overly) sweet with notes of raspberry jam, vanilla dusted blackberries, burned rubber, dark chocolate and some VA.
The taste is massive, tight and fiery with notes of blackberry jam, rose water, dark chocolate, vanilla oak and sugared coffee. A very long, warm finish. A very small sip is good but more than that, it verges on cloying.
81p   (tasted 2013/12)

1999 Greenock Creek Creek Block Shiraz
I usually associate Greenock Creek wines with soya sauce wines... - but not this one! This has a deep, upfront, lovely nose with notes of  sweet lingonberries, blueberry bushes, violets, lightly peppered meat and some pencil shavings. With air it becomes more Cabernet like. Concentrated and fine. Very, very good. There is also some notes of moist dog fur - in a good way!
The taste is tight, intense and complex with notes of ripe cherries, blackberries, lingonberries, liquorice, tobacco and tar. Very structured, tight and fine. Still rather young. Very fine.
91p   (tasted 2013/12)

M thought that there were too little Syrah on the table so this was produced as an encore:
2003 Côte-Rôtie Cote Blonde, R. Rostaing
A beautiful, deep and elegant nose with notes of sweet lingonberries, crushed white pepper, violets, rosehips and rosemary bushes. A little laid back, but oooh so fine and persistent. This is great!
The taste is medium bodied but oozes class and freshness with notes of just ripening raspberries, violets, veal meat stock and fresh herbs. No 03 warmth here, just a very elegant, structured wine with a long life ahead of it. A stunner!
95p   (tasted 2013/12)

"Napalm blood is burning in my veins
The ripping bliss of one thousand pains
Cleanse me from the haze of illusion
In the shining abyss of dissolution"