Wednesday, 22 November 2017

1969 Nuits-Saint-Georges, Claudius Chauvenet

I am familiar with Chauvenet but I have never bumped into a bottle from Claudius Chauvenet.

Nine is a fine ending number in Burgundy when it comes to vintages - 1949 (my favourite vintage (apart from 64 of course!)), 1959, 1969, 1989, 1999 and 2009.

1969 Nuits-Saint-Georges, Claudius Chauvenet
From the get go, the nose is wide open and beautiful mature with notes of ripe red beets, chrushed raspberries, moist earth and a meaty perfumed scent that only aged Burgundy can display. Almost a touch of VA but it keeps it on the right side of things. Very, very fine.
The taste is velvety, rich and lovely with notes of dried strawberries, raspberry vinegar, root vegetables, dried flowers and old leather. The finish is long, dry and refined. Perfectly mature and a perfect drink on this nigth with a grilled chicken and a sallad. Really fine.
93p   (tasted 2017/11)

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Lunches & Dinners In Piedmont - Part One

You just don´t drink the greatest wines in this world when you are in Nebbiolo land, you eat the greatest too. My love for Carne Cruda, Tajarin, Plin, Coniglio etc is endless.

Tuesday - La Coccinella
Aaah, back for the fourth time this year, at our favourite restaurant. And the Barolo Boys had great company this evening - Maria Teresa Mascarello.
You can check out the meny and wine list here - La Coccinella

NV Brut, Aubry
A fine, smoky nose with notes of dried apricots, freshly washed clothes, some floral scents and gravelly. Deep and interesting.
Apparently it is a blend of 60% Pinot Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay. Very, very good.
The taste is cool, fresh and lively with notes of wet rocks, cucumber, lime and a passion fruit. A very fine acidity. Long and yummy. This I like!
91p   (tasted 2017/10)

2015 Derthona, Walter Massa
Only the second time ever I drink a wine made from Timorasso. And the second time that I´m not impressed. The nose is nutty and oily with notes of soap, warm rocks and dark flowers.
The taste is a tad heavy with a low acidity and lots of dried flowers, apricots and hand cream. A Viognier style of wine, and that is not a plus in my book.
84p   (tasted 2017/10)

2001 Barolo Pie Rupestris, Cappellano
A very handsome, refined nose with notes of cool red cherries, rosehips, violets, paint and mushrooms. A high, pure nose. Just lovely.
The taste is luscious and velvety with notes of hard cherry candy, rose petals, ripe lingonberries and a hint of raspberry licorice. Very long, refined and gorgeous. Both 01 Cappellano bottles performed on a very high level on this night but there and then I preferred the Rupestris over the Franco. My fellow Barolo Boys had the Franco as the finest. Both stunning wines.
Since the late Theobaldo didn´t want his wines to be scored, I never do   (tasted 2017/10)

2001 Barolo Pie Franco, Cappellano
The Pie Franco is deeper and darker than the Rupestris with notes of ripe strawberries, herbs, a hint of black olives and some balsamic notes, Very deep and fine.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of tapenade, asphalt, ripe rd and black cherries and undergrowth. Very, very long with sandy tannins. Will need more time than the Rupestris, say 8+ years more.
Since the late Theobaldo didn´t want his wines to be scored, I never do   (tasted 2017/10)

1989 Barolo, Bartolo Mascarello
Maria Terese brought this bottle to the dinner. I have never tasted the 89 from Bartolo Mascarello, so it was indeed a special treat. And the wine? This is what dreams are made of, at least mine...
The nose is deep, complex, perfectly mature with stunning notes of decaying leaves, truffles, dried cherries, coffee grounds, a hint of figs and a high spirited scent of the land of Langhe. Truly fine.
The taste is pure, velvety and concentrated with notes of violets, dried cherries and flowers, a hint of tobacco, some dog fur for complexity and masses of autumn leaves. The finish goes on for over a minute, ending perfectly dry. A great wine in great company. Thanks Maria Teresa!
97p   (tasted 2017/10)

Two happy Barolo Boys with Maria Teresa and a fantastic bottle of Barolo  (photo: MK)

Wednesday - Centro Storico
Lunch at Centro Storico! How many times have we done that? Who counts. Always a treat, sliding in, saying hello to Ciccio and order some hearthy food and some wine.

2006 Aubry de Humbert, Aubry
Since the Aubry impressed us the night before we thought we should try their vintage, made out of equal parts of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Note to self - buy Aubry! This is goood!
The nose flows up from the glass with intriguing aromas of ripe oranges, cap gun smoke, lemon curd and a hint of Islay whiskey. Very deep and fine.
The taste is rich and refined with notes of orange peel, smoke, dried up honey, chalk and dried flowers. Long, complex and a with a very fine dryness. Great wine.
94p   (tasted 2017/11)

2016 Langhe Nebbiolo, Burlotto
Light on its feet with fine, floral aromas and lovely cherry fruit. Very, very good. Some additional notes of licorice and undergrowth.
The taste is silky and rewarding with notes of red cherries, licorice, chrushed rocks and violets. Sandy tannins. Really good. Better than the 2015.
89p   (tasted 2017/11)

Wednesday - Osteria Veglio
Osteria Veglio is a really fine restaurant with classic Piedmont food with great flavors. The calf trippa (stomach) I had, see below, was splendid.

We were looking forward to taste the new Jacquesson 740 but it was sold out for the moment so we took the really fine 739 instead.

2013 Barolo Rocche di Gastiglione, Brovia
The 13 Rocche from Brovia performed on the same high level as in May when we tasted it with Alex. Maybe it starting to shut down a bit, the tannins was present a bit more. But what a wine!
96p   (tasted 2017/11)

Friday, 17 November 2017

Friday Dinner Barolo - Why Not Three Bottles?

Yes, why not?

2012 Barolo Cascina Massara, Gian Carlo Burlotto
A deep, earthy nose with notes of red currants, violets, smoke and lots of rosehips. A fine warmth. Very young. Hard cherry candy. Needs time.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of ripe lingonberries, dry licorice, paint and warm sand. Long and lingering. Needs at least 6 years. Very, very good.
88p   (tasted 2017/11)

2011 Barolo Bussia, Stroppiana
A very fine, spicy, raspberry laden nose with depth and character, and additional notes of smoke, rose petals, licorice and a hint of asphalt. A very fine, silky nose. A fine warmth. This is going to turn out great with 5+ years.
The taste is tight, seedy and warm with notes of red cherries, raspberries, tar and some tobacco. A long, finely tuned finish with a nice grip to the tannins. A great wine in the making.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

2009 Barolo Monsori, Cascina Tetti
A big, open nose with notes of cranberries, scorched earth, herbs and warm asphalt. Lots of sweet fruit but a tad clumsy.
The taste is mouthfilling, warm and sandy with notes of dried mushrooms, cooked cherry fruit, smoke and dark orange peel. A long finish that ends on the dry side. I don´t think this will get better, just disjointed. Worked well with the accompanying steak though.
83p   (tasted 2017/11)

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Barolo Boys Visits Bartolo Mascarello, Giacomo Conterno & Ceretto

The Barolo Boys are home again from another fantastic trip to Piedmont. 12 wine grower visits, 117 wines tasted of which 65 were Baroli.
Great restaurant visits with the company of Maria Terese Mascarello, Giacomo Conterno, Elisa Scavino, the Marengo´s and the Pira´s - notes to follow.

But I start with the three first visits.

Bartolo Mascarello
On the day of our arrival we drove to Barolo and parked ouside the cantina of Bartolo Mascarello. Maria Teresa met up with us and guided us up to her fathers office where we talked for an hour or so (time just evaporates in the Langhe air...) and tasted these wines.

2015 Barbera d´Alba
This was bottled just three months ago. A pure, racy, herbal nose with notes of violets, licorice, blueberries and fertile soil. A lovely nose.
The taste is cool, round and inviting with notes of ripe cherries, licorice and warm gravel. A juicy acidity goes through the long, lingering finish. I could drink this every day of the week.
91p   (tasted 2017/10)

2013 Barolo
A refined, gorgeous, uplifting nose with notes of wild strawberries, roses en masse, dry licorice, paint and a high perfumed note. This is a stunning piece of work.
The taste is tight yet expressive and penetrating with notes of ripe linfonberries, dried strawberries, mushrooms and violets. The finish goes on for minutes in a restrained kind of way. Just lovely.
96p   (tasted 2017/10)

Giacomo Conterno
Next stop this day - Giacomo Conterno. It is always nice to visit Roberto and his assistent Stephanie. We were given the mandatory (but oh so nice) visit of the cellar which is so clean that you could eat of the floor.

2015 Barbera d´Alba Vigna Francia
A deep, dark, spicy nose with notes of ripe blueberries, fir wood, old balsamico and licorice. Very concentrated. Just gorgeous.
The taste is young, fresh and with a fine intensity, with notes of ripe black cherries, licorice, fried herbs and ink. A very long finish with a cleansing acidity. Great.
93p   (tasted 2017/10)

2013 Barolo Cerretta
A very deep, concentrated nose with notes of ripe black cherries, licorice, violets, roses and a fine dark perfumed scent. Distinguished. Very, very deep.
The taste is pure as a mountain river yet with tannins and stuffing built for the ages. Notes of hard cherry candy, gravel, dried rose petals and dry licorice. Chewable tannins. Great wine. 10+ years.
94p   (tasted 2017/10)


2013 Barolo Monfortino
From cask. No Francia in 2013, just Monfortino, the equivalence of 28.000 bottles (the max is 30.000 bottles according to Roberto). A perfect wine. The nose is breathtakingly beautiful with deep, stunning notes of perfectly ripe red cherries, rose petals, wild strawberries, a tiny whiff of white pepper and a hint of dried up chocolate biscuits. Sooo fine.
The taste is the poster child of purity, class and finesse with notes of chrushed rocks, hard cherry candy, iron, violets, paint and dried wild strawberries. The finish goes on forever. Perfection. Too bad the price for Monfortino have gone through the roof, the recently released 2010 goes for 1000+ Euros...
100p   (tasted 2017/10)

We visited Ceretto in May this year, and Selena was kind enough to receive us on the 1th of November, which is an Italian holiday (we were in Alba later in the day and all, I mean all, inhabitants of Langhe was in Alba...). We got to taste pretty much the same vintages as in May, but this is learning, how the current vintage change (or not) with some additional months in bottle.

2015 Nebbiolo d´Alba
This one we didn´t taste in May. The nose is open and very spicy with notes of lingonberry bushes, undergrowth, dark berries and some nutty aromas. A tad linear.
The taste is tight and a bit foursquare with notes of ripe cherries, warm sand, dried flowers and gravel. Good.
86p   (tasted 2017/11)

2014 Barbaresco Asili
Interesting enough, with the two 14 Barbaresco, I had the opposite view when we tasted them in May. Then I had the Asili as the superior wine. Not this time.
The Asili sports a spicy, young, focused nose with notes of ripe red cherries, forest floor, tobacco and a hint of toothpaste. Very, very good.
The taste is cool, balanced and fine with notes of spices, cherry pips, licorice and gravel. Very long and fine with sandy tannins. 5+ years.
91p   (tasted 2017/11)

2014 Barbaresco Bernadot
The Bernadot is a shoulder higher than the Asili on this occasion, with a nose filled with sweet/sour cherries, earth, dark flowers and warm gravel. Very high and pure. Really fine.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of sand, ripe flowers, raspberry licorice and a hint of tobacco. A very long, intense finish. Lovely. 6+ years.
93p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo Brunate
As opposed to the Barbaresco´s above, the Brunate performed identical as in May. A splendid wine that will go on for 10+ years to come.
93p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo Bricco Rocche
The Bricco Rocche is impressive with its mix of high, floral notes alongside ripe, sweet cherry fruit and a long, long, lingering taste that ends with a fine acidity and tannins that are polished with the finest cloth. Impressive in May, equally impressive now. One for the cellar - 12+ years.
95p   (tasted 2017/11)

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

2001 & 2004 Barolo Riserva Rocche Di Gastiglione, Sordo

These were bought at the estate when I visited Sordo this summer.

2001 Barolo Riserva Rocche di Gastiglione, Sordo
After two hours in a decanter fine notes of mushrooms, rosehips, wet dog, clay, autumn leaves and paint flows up from the glass. Some maturity. Deep and fine.
The taste is somewhat mature, rich and dry with notes of beet roots, red currants, mushrooms, earth and some balsamic notes. A fine warmth in the long finish. Starting to mature, drink this from now and the coming 6+ years.
91p   (tasted 2017/11)

2004 Barolo Riserva Rocche di Gastiglione, Sordo
The 04 is deeper, more complex and a tighter wine than the 01. The nose reminds me of a perfect autumn walk in a moist forest with some mushrooms and truffle aromas popping up from time to time. Additional notes of tar, candle grease and dried cherries adds to the complexity. Very fine.
The taste is tight and multi layered with a lovely cherry fruit and notes of leather, dried strawberries, licorice and gravel. Very long with silky tannins. Great wine. Drink now and the coming 10+ years.
95p   (tasted 2017/11)

Saturday, 11 November 2017

A Grand Cru In All But The Name - Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques

If there is one Premier Cru that should be elevated to Grand Cru level it would be Clos Saint-Jacques. And that view was demonstrated the other day when I got the chance to taste this stunning Pinot from all producers, and one negociant bottling.

Clos Saint-Jacques is 6,7 ha and the current ownership is divided like this:
Armand Rousseau / 2,21 ha
Sylvie Esmonin / 1,6 ha
Louis Jadot / 1,0 ha
Bruno Clair / 1,0 ha
Fourrier / 0,89 ha

All wines tasted double blind.

2007 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques, Louis Jadot
A deep, dark, warm nose with notes of earth, root vegetables and ripe raspberries. A very fine warmth. Deep and fine.
The taste is round, generous and flirty with notes of cherries, raspberries, forest floor and a  hint of tobacco. A long finish with a fine warmth. Drinking fine on this day. Would not keep this for much longer than 5+ years.
90p   (tasted 2017/11)

2005 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques, Sylvie Esmonin
A lovely, complex, sweet nose with some maturity and notes of red cherries, plums, dog fur and dried strawberries. A very fine depth. Lovely.
The taste is charming and velvety yet with a fine concentration and notes of plums, raspberries, undergrowth and a hint of milk chocolate. Really fine. Very long and satisfying. 8+ years.
93p   (tasted 2017/11)

2006 Chambertin, Louis Trapet
H throwed in a "real" Grand Cru just for comparison. Double blind, I had it as the best wine... The nose is beautiful with notes of red flowers, forest floor, smoke, violets and a touch of menthol. Very deep and focused. Stunning.
The taste is energetic, somewhat mature and just lovely with notes of dry raspberries, wood smoke, root vegetables, tobacco and hay. Multi layered and very complex. Long, long, long. A very fine acidity. Very drinkable but will go on for 7+ years.
96p   (tasted 2017/11)

2008 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St-Jacques, Bruno Clair
The Bruno Clair shows of a tight, still young nose with notes of a lukewarm lingonberry- and blueberry pie, matchbox, tobacco and undergrowth. A fine, restrained nose.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of ripe lingonberries, violets, sandelwood and dry tobacco. A long, warm, focused finish. Very, very good. 10 years.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

2008 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St Jacques, Dominique Laurent
This is a negociant wine, since Laurent doesn´t own any land in Clos Saint-Jacques, but the label doesn´t give any info where the grapes come from. This is gooood.
The nose is high strung and intense, with notes of ripe raspberries, fire smoke, moist forest floor, dark flowers and plums. Very deep and fine.
The taste is deep, dark and verging on inky with great notes of violets, ripe raspberries, smoke, plums, gravel and clay. A very long, intense finish with a great acidity and mouthfeel. Will go on for 10+ years.
94p   (tasted 2017/11)

2008 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St Jacques V. V., Domaine Fourrier
This one was weird. Alongside the fine notes of ripe red fruits, herbs, smoke, licorice and forest floor there was a underlying note of herb scented pickled herring. A very nice, smooth taste with a fine acidity, but still, there is the herring touch. Judgement referred.
??   (tasted 2017/11)

2008 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St-Jacques, Armand Rousseau
Aaaah. This started out - one hour decanter time - somewhat restrained but it kept on evolving all night long. The nose is deep, concentrated and lovely with notes of beet root, nutmeg, raspberry licorice and forest floor. Very deep, very fine and very intoxicating.
The taste is refined, seedy and complex with notes of dried raspberries, bakelite, root vegetables, fir and herbs. The finish is over a minute long and sports a stunning, cleansing acidity. A great wine that will continue to evolve for 8+ years.
96p   (tasted 2017/11)