Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The Fourth Costa Brava Dispatch

On our way to Cap de Creus we passed the vineyards of  Martin Faixó. Intrigued by the surroundings, I got hold of a bottle at a local wine shop.

2008 Perafita, Martin Faixó
This is a blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Garnatxa Negra and 17% Merlot. It has a nose with a beginning maturity and notes of plumpudding, melted asphalt, herbs, warm rocks and some stables. A fine density. Very, very good.
The taste is warm, structured and somewhat mature with notes of warm black currants, dry herbs, scorched earth and plums. A fine warmth with juicy tannins. Long and fine. Could evolve some more but this is a fine drink today.
89p   (tasted 2015/07)

The Third Costa Brava Dispatch

This is a kind of preparing-for-tomorrow post. Tomorrow I will visit Castello Perelada, a producer located just 15 km from where we are staying. I have tasted one of their premium wines, although it was some time ago - the 2007 Ex Ex, a 100% Mourvèdre wine.

When shopping in a local Supermercat I noticed a couple of bottles of Castillo Perelada, and I bought the wine below out of curiosity.
Looking forward to tomorrow! Post will follow.

2010 Finca La Garriga, Castello Perelada
The La Garriga is made from Samsò (Carinyena) and comes from the oldest vines on Perelada´s estate, more than 50 years old. Aged for 14 months on American oak barriques.
The nose is deep, warm and inviting with finr notes of plums, ripe blueberries, new leather, coffee powder, some smoke and a hint of diesel oil. Very, very good. Powerful, yet graceful.
The taste is sturdy and strong with notes of warm blueberries, scorched earth, meat stock and a touch of old whiskey barrels. Long, compact and balanced. This I like!
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Second Costa Brava Dispatch

Time for another producer dynamic duo, and like the wines in the first dispatch, this was a recommendation from Vila Viniteca.

The producer is Espelt, who is located in Empordà.

2011 Coma Bruna Trés Old Vineys. Espelt
This 100% Carignan has a big, warm, somewhat meaty nose with notes of smoke, plums, bay leaves, spices and some dried strawberries. Very, very good and intoxicating. I could, and have, sniffed this most of the evening.
The taste is tight, still rather young and concentrated with notes of dried red and black berries,dry liquorice, cocoa, warm gravel and smoke. A long, fine finish with a good warmth. This is very good and I would happily open another bottle, if I could get one. Could someone please import this to Sweden - thanks!
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

2014 Quince Roures, Espelt
A blend of 50% Lledoner Roig/Grenache Gris) & 50% Lledoner blanc/Grenache Blanc, it opens rather shy, but with some swirling, notes of warm grass, white pepper, dried peach and white currants emerge. Laid back and very good.
The taste is mediu, bodied and spicy with notes of dusty warth, white pepper, aome dry wild strawberries and dried flowers. A very fine warmth. Very good.
88p   (tasted 2015/07)

Monday, 20 July 2015

The First Costa Brava Dispatch

Being in Spain, you only drink Spanish wine, one thing I do to seldom. Before heading to Empuriabrava, we spend a few (hot) days in Barcelona and there I visited the shop Vila Viniteca, and was recommended some bottles of wine.
I started with a white and a red from Tomàs Cusiné, from Costers del Segre.

2014 Auzells, Tomàs Cusiné
This is a interesting blend of an array of grapes - Macadeu, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Albarîno and Chardonnay. Sounds weird, but it works. The nose is light, fresh and outgoing with notes of grass, peach, elderberries, summer flowers and acacia honey. Very salivating.
The taste is young, fresh, fruity and rather elegant with notes of fresh herbs, grass, white currants and
tangerines. The finish is medium long and dry. Very, very good. A really refreshing wine, although it is hard to peg a dominate grape character.
89p   (tasted 2015/07)

2012 Geol, Tomàs Cusiné
The Geol is a blend of Samsò, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. It sports a big, varm nose with lots of ripe plums, cocoa, red beet juice, burning autumn leaves and the aroma of a beef getting the Maillard coating on the grill. Complex but a tad top heavy.
The taste is slimmer, yet sturdy and concentrated with notes of plums, dark chocolate, liquorice, warm autum leaves and even a hint of port wine feeling (the label says 14,5%). Long, dark, warm and concentrated. A wine for the November stews. Today it is a bit too much.
88p   (tasted 2015/07)

Saturday, 18 July 2015

A Structured Tasting - Part Two - The Unstructured Portion Of TheEvening...

After the structured part of the evening was completed, the grill was lit, some meat was put on it and bottles of red wines appeared on the table, some blind and some open. These are my somewhat hazy notes of the wines.

2005 The Pict, Torbreck
Me and Torbreck is not a match made in heaven. I usually find the a bit top heavy and fiery. This was no exception. The nose is young, spicy, hot and inky with lots of sweet black fruit, toothpaste and balsamic vinegar.
The taste is young, fiery and seedy with notes of blackberries, mint and toothpaste. The finish is long, creamy and hot. Not my cup of tea.
72p   (tasted 2015/07)

1964 Château Les Ormes de Pez
From a magnum. The nose is mature, medium deep and open for business, with notes of earth, dry black currants, lead pencil and old leather. The fruit is somewhat faded. Good though.
The taste is mature and dry with notes of autumn leaves, dried black currants, scorched earth and some coffe. The finish is medium long and dry. Good with food.
85p   (tasted 2015/07)

2008 Trilogia, Christos Kokkalis
This was a surprise! Poured blind everyone at the table guessed Bordeaux, then California, the Italy, get the picture. Greece wasn´t mentioned. And it isn´t the first time that this has happened. The nose is a poster child for a ripe Cabernet based wine with fine notes of sweet black currants, cassis, warm tiles, new leather and sugared coffee. Very, very good.
The taste is young and tight with notes of sweet red and black currants, asphalt, leather and tobacco. The finish is long and warm. This will get even better with 3+ years in the cellar.
90p   (tasted 2015/07)

2010 Langhe di Nebbiolo, Bartolo Mascarello
A fine, traditional nose with notes rosehips, fresh mushrooms, rose petals and lots of ripe cherries. Cool and elegant. Very good.
The taste is young, fresh and dry with notes of red cherries, mushrooms, rosehips and some dry balsamic notes. A long, earthy finish. Drinking really well with the food.
88p   (tasted 2015/07)

2007 Forman Cabernet Sauvignon
Aaaah, what a gorgeous nose with ripe fruit, a fine depth and balance. There are notes of sweet black currants, Valrhona chocolate, plums and tobacco. Very yummy. This is really up my Alley.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of ripe black currants, plums, cold coffe and warm gravel. Plenty of polished tannins. Very balanced. Long, long and warm. A very fine wine.
93p   (tasted 2015/07)

2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Terroir, Domaine La Barroche
Hot years in Châteauneuf - no thanks. The nose is big and overripe with notes of kirsch, raspberry liquorice, hot glue and dry herbs. Somewhat one dimensionel, The heat is the dominant factor.
The taste is big and fiery with notes of raspberry jam, pine sap, scorched earth and dry herbs. A long, hot finish. It works with a big slice of meat but on its own it is too much, for me anyway.
80p   (tasted 2015/07)

1995 Hardy´s Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon
This turned out as a very positive surprise. The cork was dry through, so we had to filter corks parts through our teeth...but when the wine hits out taste buds, that was no longer a problem. The nose is deep, mature and complex with notes of sweet black fruits, smoke, pipe tobacco and asphalt. A very fine dried up sweetness. Handsome. A lovely maturity.
The taste is beautifully mature with notes of ripe blueberries, dark chocolate, old expensive leather, warm tiles and a tiny touch of mint. A long, warm, velvety finish. Great wine.
93p   (tasted 2015/07)

2012 Les Chamois du Paradis, Jean Francois Ganevat
To round off the evening this Chardonnay was opened. It has a young, fresh nose with notes of dried apricots, lemon cream, minerals and summer flowers. Very elegant and fine.
The taste is young and dry with notes of lemon cream, biscuits, summer flowers and some chalk. A long, fine finish. Very, very good. A very fine acidity.
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

Exploring The Forgotten Side Of Bordeaux - Chapter VIII

Time for a mini vertical of Château La Louvière. La Louvière is part of the André Lurton empire. He bought La Louvière in 1965 and have made great efforts to restore both the vineyards as to the château itself. The name comes from the wolfes (louves) that rummaged the local forest and made the region a favourite hunting place for the medieval society.

The 1983 below was the last vintage that was fermented and stored in tanks and cemet vats. From the 1984 vintage barriques was used, at first with 100% new oak, and by now it has been scaled down to ca 45%.
The cepages is now 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon, but reading David Peppercorn´s Bordeaux from 1991 it is obviously that the Semillon part was higher during the 80´s. Funny enough he lists the vintages of "real quality" to be all vintages between 1981 and 1986 (the last vintage even "exceptional", glad I have one...), except the 1983. Interesting, since I found it to be a really good wine, see below.

I have liked the wines from this estate, the relatively few times I have tasted it. I have old notes from the 1995 (90p), 1996 (89p) and 2000 (90p) and here is a recent note of the 2008.

1983 Château La Louvière
A beautiful mature, deep, warm nose with notes of candied lemons, warm grass, lanolin and some moisturizer. Very good. There is an ever so slight scent of botrytis. A very fine dried up sweetness. Lovely.
The taste is warm, spicy and mature with notes of tangerines, lanolin, dried apricots and rubber. A fine acidity. Long. This has matured into a fine bottle of white Bordeaux.
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

1990 Château La Louvière
There is some maturity here as well, but the fruit is fresher and more vibrant than the 83. Fine notes of sweet lime, paint, coconut flakes and thai basil, Complex and fine. A very spicy nose. Very, very good.
The taste is big and intense with notes of candied lemons, rubber, stale nuts and warm grass. A long, creamy finish with a fine acidity. This is on top of its game. A different creature than its 7 year older sibling, but as good.
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

1998 Château La Louvière
Unfortunately, this turned out to be the ugly duckling in the line up. The nose is subdued and earthy with notes of dried fruit, some fur and a moist wall-to-wall carpet.
The taste is big and steady with notes of candied tropical fruit, soap, glue and moist earth. Very dense. I´m sceptic that this duckling will transform inte a beautiful swan with age, but since I have one more bottle I will wait 10+ years and see.
78p   (tasted 2015/07)

Thursday, 16 July 2015

A New Super Tuscan Acquaintance - 2001 Salamartano, Fattoria Montellori

I have not tasted anything from Fattoria Montellori and when I spotted a bottle of their 2001 Salamartano.
In Supertuscans (Andrea Zanfi) the cepage is stated as 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot, and since that book (a must have bye the way) was printed in 2002, I would guess that this wine consists of that blend. According to Montellori´s website the blend is now 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Merlot.
They have also cut down on the new wood, the book states that 80% is new and the website describe it as 60% new, yet the time in wood is the same, 14 months.
The first vintage of Salamartano was the 1992.

2001 Salamartano, Fattoria Montellori
The nose is really good, with some maturity and fine notes of ripe plums, pipe tobacco, pine nuts, expensive leather and a touch of asphalt. A fine depth. Ripe fruit. Some coffe notes after a while. This is very good.
The taste is tighter and more structured than the nose with notes of plums, chocolate covered black currants, tobacco, autumn leaves and graphite. A creamy texture although it ends dry after the long finish have ceased. I guess I caught this one on its apogee, but it will surely stay like this for another 3+ years. A very likable new acquaintance.
92p   (tasted 2015/07)

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Is 1959 Or 1961 The Better Vintage In Bordeaux?

One of life´s truly thrilling questions, right? :-)
Here is a micro experience to find out the thruth. I have gotten hold of two bottles from respectively vintage, from a Bordeaux negociant. Same provenance, the level is very good on both bottles and the general condition seems good.

What say the pros about these two vintages?
Steven Spurrier in his Académie du Vin Wine Course (1983) gives 1959 - 16,5p and 1961 - 20p.
Yves Durand in his Connoisseur´s Guide to Bordeaux Wines (1987) gives 1959 - 19-19,5p and 1961 - 20p.
When Reading David Peppercorn´s Bordeaux (1991) it is obvious that he prefers 1961 to 1959.
The same could be said about Clive Coates assesment in his Grands Vins (1996).
Michel Broadbent gives both vintages 5 stars in his Vintage Wine (2002).
Last but not least (!), what does Robert Parker has to say? He doesn´t give scores (!) to the vintages but reading what he has to say in Bordeaux (1998) he gives the nod to 1961, even though he says that the 1959's could outlive the 61´s.

So its seems that 1961 has the upper hand according to our experts above.
Well, let see what I have in the glasses and which is the better wine.

1959 Bordeaux, J. Lebègue & Co
The 59 has a deep, soft yet intense nose with notes of dried black currants, fresh stables, charchoal and sweet tobacco. Very much alive and kicking. There is even a hint of mint. Evolves all evening long and becomes sweeter. Warm tiles. Very, very good.
The taste is a tad more linear than the nose and the fruit lacks some stuffing. Still holding on though and with some grilled minced meat steaks with root vegetables and red wine sauce, it held its own. A good warmth to the dried up fruit. Very nice.
85p   (tasted 2015/07)

1961 Bordeaux, J. Lebègue & Co
The 2 year younger generic Bordeuax has a gorgeous mature, refined nose, with notes of ripe red and black currants, forest floor, coffee beans, dry leather and dried flowers. Not as sweet as the 59 but it has a more laid back elegance and balance. This is actually really, really good. Given this blind, I would on the nose alone guessed it to be from 82 or 78...
The taste is yet again a bit more high strung than the nose, but the 61 has more stuffing than the 59 and there are fine notes of dried black currants, earth, tobacco and old expensive leather. The finish is long, dry and balanced. And as with the 59, it was great with the food.
89p   (tasted 2015/07)

Both bottles were a positive surprise, in that they were in such good shape and also held up for several hours. The 1961 took the prize in this head to head match.
The last time I had the fortune to try these vintages head to head was a couple of years back when we had the opportunity to drink 1959 and 1961 Château Mouton Rothschild, and then the 1959 was a perfect wine, while the 1961 scored a measly 97p...:-)

Sunday, 12 July 2015

2010 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Il Grigio, San Felice

I have previously tasted 1976, 1978 and 1988 Il Grigio from San Felice and I noted that the monopoly had the 2010. Lets test drive one bottle.

2010 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Il Grigio, San Felice
With some air, it evolve a fine, old style Sangiovese nose with notes of sweet/sour cherries, a Tuscan gravel road, violets, dry leather and rosemary. It has a fine warmth. Some raspberry liquorice after a while. Really good.
The taste is young, tight and structured with notes of cherry pips,  warm rosemary, gravel, violets and a long, long, taut finish. A lovely mouth feel. This I like, and it will evolve nicely. More bottles are on their way.
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

Friday, 10 July 2015

A Structured Tasting - Part One - The Structured Portion Of The Evening...

Ulf & David invited to a structured tasting. Intrigued I accepted and showed up at Ulf´s place with 2 bottles of red wine to go to the more unstructured part... Notes to follow.
Ulf, David and the other participants - thanks for a great evening - 23 more notes in my notebook! :-)
All wines tasted double blind.

The first flight was a bubbly one, and we were told that one or two but not all three were the real stuff.
2010 Knightsbridge, Ridgeview
A lightly earthy, seedy nose with notes of dry lemons, melon, some fudge and a hint of petrol. Wit air it becomes more apple scented. Very good.
The taste is dry, cool and a touch yeasty with notes of apple juice, gravel and dru biscuits. The finish is light, nice and dry. Nice enough.
85p   (tasted 2015/07)

2006 Cuvée MO Brut Nature, Schlossgut Diel
Schlossgut Diel can make some really fine wines, as this 06 Spätburgunder was a great example of. This bubbly shows a finely tuned, detailed nose with notes of mango, sweet lime, matchbox, minerals and a hint of mint. Very deep and fine. A hint of maturity.
The taste is dry and structured with notes of ripe red apples, forest floor, dried flowers and some chocolate notes. Very long and expressive. This is good!
92p   (tasted 2015/07)

2008 Millèsime Exception, Drappier
I tasted this recently and it behaved almost identical on this evening. This is a great 2008, one among many.
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

The second flight also turned out to be one with bubbles. I tasted this line up from Jacques Selosse, although with other degorcement dates, some time ago. Fun to do it again!
Initial, Jacques Selosse
Degorced 2012-07-05. A young, focused nose with notes of yellow apples, butter biscuits, warm gravel and dry lemoncello. A fine depth. A touch of rubber, in a positive sense. Very, very good.
The taste is nicely balanced and buttery with notes of smoke, yellow plums and sweet minerals. A very fine, tight acidity. Long and savoury. Very fine.
92p   (tasted

V.O., Jacques Selosse
The V.O. has a more nutty aroma with additional notes of lemon butter, nettles, freshly washed clothes and smoked. Deep, earthy and very, very fine.
The taste is young, tight and complex with notes of lemon juice, cap gun smoke, almond paste and birch sap. A lovely texture. Maybe a tad more restrained than the Initial but with greater depth. Great wine. Degorced 2012-07-23.
94p   (tasted 2015/07)

Substance, Jacques Selosse
A wonderful, refined, utterly gorgeous nose flows out of the glass, with notes of limefudge, hyachint, dry lemoncello and smoke. Ethereal in the true sense of the word. So, so fine. Depth, balance and focus in one package. Marvelous.
The taste is as good as the nose, with a lovely purity and freshness. Stunning notes of sweet lime, summer flowers, smoke, hazelnuts and minerals. The acidity is faultless and the length is counted in minutes. A joy to drink. Just beautiful. Degorced 2013-06-10.
98p   (tasted 2015/07)

Now it was time for the third flight. No info were given but we agreed on that it was Riesling. The rest of the guesses are best forgotten...
2008 Von der Fels, Keller
A fine, detailed nose with notes of sweet/sour lemons, dried apricots, wet rocks and old vanilla ice cream. Light yet intense. Very good. Some maturity.
The taste feels younger than the nose with notes of unripe pears, grass, almonds and minerals. A long, fine finish. Very good.
89p   (tasted 2015/07)

2009 Von der Fels, Keller
The 09 has a young, upfront nose with interesting notes of fish scrapings, yellow pears, chlorophyll and the blue things that you find in a certain place in a men´s room... Complex. Very good.
The taste is in a way purer with more traditional notes of white currants, pears, minerals and grass. A very fine, crisp acidity. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2015/07)

2010 Von der Fels, Keller
The 10 is some steps up the quality ladder, compared with the 08 and 09. The nose is young and restrained, yet sports a focused and expressive nose with notes of William pears, a hint of white pepper, vanilla ice cream and minerals. Pure as a mountain river. Great.
The taste is young and tight with notes of lemon peel, unripe pears, melon, gravel and vanilla ice cream. The finish is long and refined. A very high acidity. This will evolve well. A really fine wine.
93p   (tasted 2015/07)

The fourth flight turned out to be spectacular. And when the quality is on this level, it is easier to guess producer, so Keller was mentioned early in the discussion.
2008 Kirchspiel, Keller
A wonderful, upfront nose with notes of apricots, ripe pears, a hockey puck and freshly cut grass. Intense and beautiful. Has a lovely depth. This is really fine. Complex.
The taste is exquisite, tight and pure with notes of apricot ice cream, wet asphalt, nuts and a hint of vanilla cookies. The acidity is high and beautifylly integrated. Very, very long. Great wine.
94p   (tasted 2015/07)

2009 Kirchspiel, Keller
The 08 Kirchspiel is a great wine, but the 09 is even better! The nose is more restrained but with some vigorous swirling, fine scents of sour/sweet lemons, almond paste, shellfish and warm minerals emerge. Deep and concentrated. Still young.
The taste is dense, concentrated and just brilliant with a gorgeous acidity and stunning notes of sweet minerals, sour/sweet lemons, warm grass, melon and some cap gun smoke. The finish goes on for minutes. Soooooo fine.
96p   (tasted 2015/07)

2010 Kirchspiel, Keller
Lo and behold - the 10 Kirchspiel is even more amazing than the 09! The purity and intensity is of the charts. There are breath taking notes of oyster shells, birch sap, matchbox, ripe melon and spices. Yet it is impossible di describe the balance between density and lightness. Awesome.
The taste is purity and complexity liquefied, with perfect notes of tangerines, lemon cream, dry caramel, asphalt and grass. The finish goes on and on and on. In 5+ years this will probably be a perfect wine. I am glad I have some.
97p   (tasted 2015/07)

The last and fifth flight turned out to be the same line up as the fourth, only with younger vintages. They seemed more linier than the 08-10, but maybe its just because they are younger?
2011 Kirchspiel, Keller
A cool, withdrawn nose with notes of white currants, lemon peel, coconut flakes and gravel. Very, very good in a restrained way. Still young.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of lemon, almonds, gravel and grass. Racy and fine. Needs time. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

2012 Kirchspiel, Keller
The 12 Kirchspiel has a cool, refined nose with notes of chalk, wet earth, unripe yellow apples and a touch of fresh fish. Very, very fine. Evolves all evening long in the glass. Some dried fruit and almond paste after  a while. Very deep and clean.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of lemon peel, green apples, chalk and almonds. The finish is very long with a high acidity and a stunning balance. A great wine in the making.
93p   (tasted 2015/07)

2013 Kirchspiel, Keller
A very young, frsh nose with lots of pear ice cream, chalk, grass, melon and some iron. Dried herbs after a while. Needs time. Very, very good.
The taste is cool and seedy with notes of white currants, pears, earth and some iron. The finish is long and balanced. This will turn out fine, after 5+ years in the cellar.
92p   (tasted 2015/07)

Ulf´s notes here.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Two Bottles Of Mature Spätburgunder

These bottles came out of a mixed case I bought some time ago. It wasn´t these bottles that caught my interest in the case in question, but they came along. So lets see what I got.

1993 Spätburgunder, Franz Keller
A big, ripe, somewhat murky nose that opens up with notes of overripe raspberries, boiled root vegetables, forest floor and warm spices. A fine mature warmth. Nice.
The taste is mature and warm with notes of ripe lingonberries, dry herbs, earth and dry tobacco. A medium long finish with a nice dry character. This is actually rather nice, with a fine mature feeling.
84p   (tasted 2015/07)

1998 Oberrotweiler Vulkanfelsen Spätburgunder, Heinrich Neponuk Steyert
Smells and taste (ouch!) like sewer water. Dead like a dodo.
50p   (tasted 2015/07)

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

A Bottle Of Bubbly - 2008 Grande Sendrée, Drappier

Finally! The last mail has been sent, the last phone call is finished, all yellow post it notes are taken care of. And now, 5 weeks vacation! I need to open a bottle of Champagne to quickly get in holiday mood - aaaaaaaah...

2008 Grande Sendrée, Drappier
This cuvée is made out of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay. I tasted Drappier´s 2008 Millésime recently and found I to be an exciting wine. The Grande Sendrée has a young, concentrated, stony nose with a fantastic note of ripe, sweet lemons and additional notes of dried flowers, gravel and toast. A ever so slight touch of a vanilla pod. Very, very fine.
The taste is fresh and silky although there is a high, pure acidity in the long finish alongside sweet yellow fruit and lots of gravel and dried flowers. With air more notes of baked bread emerges. It has a very fine balance. Should evolve well. Another great 2008 in the glass.
93p   (tasted 2015/07)


Monday, 6 July 2015

A New Player In Town - Tasting Through The Sortiment From Brix Wine

Jörgen, who previously worked at a Swedish importer have started up his own import and consulting business - Brix Wine.
I got the opportunity to taste through a part of the range. Very much to like and a few things that I have to put in the cellar.
I give a approximate score since I only spent a minute or two with each wine.

First out was a few bottles from Domaine Collet, an up to now unknown producer for me. The NV Empreinte de Terroir Extra Brut has a fine, elegant nose with notes of summer flowers, grass, assorted nuts and some fudge. The taste is tight and pure with a racy acidity and sweet lemon fruit (~89p). Same wine as the above but with a bit more dosage, the NV Empreinte de Terroir Brut is more buttery on the nose and has a fine lavender note. The taste is almost identical to the extra Brut and the 3g more dosage isn´t really noticeable (~89p). The NV Empreinte Blanc de Blancs Brut was next and this beauty has a racy, pure nose with notes of freshly washed clothes, cold butter and candied lemons. The taste is cool and refined with buttery cookies, grass and gravel as notes. Very good (~91p).

Lastly, the two prestige cuvees was poured. First the NV Anthime Cuvée Hèritage Brut (100% Chardonnay) displays a lovely, deep and complex nose with notes of buttercup flowers, almond paste, hazelnuts and a fine salty scent. The taste is long and expansive with notes of butter cookies, warm grass, hazelnut cream and dried flowers (~93p). NV Anthime Cuvée Sensation Rosé Brut (90% Pinot, 10% Chardonnay) is a finely tuned wine with notes of lingonberries, sandalwood, wild strawberries and gravel. Deep and fine. The taste is tight and restrained with fine red fruits and a high acidity. The finish is long and lovely (~92p).

Some whites followed - I very much liked the 2014 Alsheim Fruhmesse Riesling Trocken from Juliane Eller with its spicy, earthy, pure nose and the salivating taste with lots of acidity and notes of melon, minerals and flowers (~91p). In line with my current tasting project, the 2012 Faugères Blanc showed a very fine character with a dense, deep nose with notes of ripe yellow apples and lanolin. The taste is tight and young with lots of dried tropical fruit, rubber and warm rocks. Long and fine (~91p).

A real bargain is the 2014 Trassegum Blanc, Chateau d´Oret de Gueules which sports a young, spring-like nose with notes of candied lemons, peach and sweet flowers. The taste is fresh and perky with a fine acidity and a medium length. For 13 Euro (ex VAT) this is a must buy (~90p).

From the previous producer, we start with the reds. The 2011 La Bolida is made from Mourvedre from 80 year old vines. It has a deep, complex nose with notes of mashed blueberries, liquorice and autumn leaves. The taste is earthy and warm with notes of spicy blueberries, old leather and bonfire. Very, very good (~90p).

A for me new producer from Piedmont blew me away with their Barbaresco´s. The 2012 Barbaresco, La Ca´Növa has a intricate, old fashioned Nebbiolo nose with notes of rose petals, dried mushrooms, earth and a delicate cherry sweetness. The taste is refined and structured with a fantastic cherry fruit and additional notes of roses, truffle and meat stock. Really, really good (~93p).
Even better is 2011 Barbaresco Montefico Bric Mentina which impresses with its deep, focused nose with notes of ripening raspberries, forest floor, mushrooms and rosehips. The taste is young and tough but the fruit, acidity, tannin and structure is impeccable and creates a harmonious package. Given this blind I would have guessed some of the big names from the foggy hills in Piedmonte... (~96p). Great stuff and both wine are must buys!

Staying in Italy, we move down to Brunello land. 2010 Rosso di Montalcino, Le Ragnaie is a very fine Rosso with upfront cherry fruit and notes of violets, liquorice and gravel. The taste is young and seedy with fresh cherry fruit and a uplifting acidity (~90p). The big brother from the same vintage - 2010 Brunello di Montalcino, Le Ragnaie - has a wonderful, refined nose that hits all the right spots - bright cherries, flowers, violets and dusty gravel. The taste is young and impressive with sweet red cherries, Tuscan gravel, warm tiles and a hint of dark chocolate. Long, long and intense (~95p).

Last up is two bottles of St Emilion - the 2012 Haut Faugères has a rather big, tight and focused nose with notes of plums, chocolate, expensive soap and warm earth. The taste is pure, intense and warm with notes of red currants, plums, chocolate and tobacco. Very long and intense (~92p). Lastly, the 2010 Chateau Faugères is a gorgeous creature with its nose full of ripe plums, Valrhona chocolate, new leather, dark flowers and warm tiles. Very deep and fine. The taste is powerful yet light on its feet and has a wonderful combination of sweet fruit, ripe tannins and a taut structure. Still young, but very impressive (~94p).