Wednesday, 31 May 2023

A Bottle Of Bubbly - NV BLCK, Alain Mercier

NV BLCK, Alain Mercier
This Blanc de Noir offers up a steely, laid back nose with notes of dried raspberries, tiles, sweet minerals and a touch of lavender. Very, very good.
The taste is racy and fine with a cleansing acidity and notes of red apples, steel, minerals and dark bread. Long and fine. 3+ years.
91p   (tasted 2023/05)

Tuesday, 30 May 2023

A Louis Roederer Lunch Tasting

I was invited by Vinunic to a lunch tasting at Agnes (great food as always). Alexis Deligny from the estate conducted the tasting with charm and humour.

2015 Blanc de Blancs
A fresh, forward nose with notes of lemon candy, smoke, chrushed rocks and white flowers. Very delicate and fine.
The taste is tight and refined with a racy acidity and a long lasting intensity. Very fine. 6+ years.
94p   (tasted 2023/05)

2016 Rosé
A gorgeous rosé with a deep, focused nose with notes of wild strawberries, sun warm rocks, dried raspberries and a fine perfumed note.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of dried strawberries, flint, raspberry licorice and dried flowers. Very long. 5+ years. 62% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay.
94p   (tasted 2023/05)

2015 Brut
A handsome, electric nose with notes of lemon cream, steel, wet cement and white flowers. Very fine.
The taste is racy and balanced with a cleansing acidity and lots of yellow fruits. A bit closed. Very long. 8+ years. 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay.
93p   (tasted 2023/05)

2015 Cristal
Very deep, very focused and very lovely, with gorgeous notes of white peach, red apples, almond paste and ripe flowers. A lovely salinity.
The taste is rich and rewarding with a stunning intensity and balance. Boatloads of ripe lemons, red apples, spices and chrushed rocks. Very, very long. 10+ years. 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay.
96p   (tasted 2023/05)

Collection 244
Based on the 2019 vintage (54%), and the rest from the perpetual reserve (vintages between 2012 - 2018). The nose is young and mineral laden with notes of dark bread, red apples and grass. Very fine.
The taste is dry and fine with notes of warm grass, dry passionfruit and lots of chrushed rocks. 5+ years. 41% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir & 26% Pinot Meunier.
92p   (tasted 2023/05)

Collection 243
From magnum. A tight, stony nose with notes of lemon cream, violets, red apples and assorted spices. Very fine.
The taste is crisp and steely with notes of lemon zest, white peach and flint. A very fine structure for aging. Based on the 2018 vintage (59%). 42% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir & 18% Pinor Meunier.
92p   (tasted 2023/05)

Collection 242
From magnum. A deep, creamy nose with notes of brioche, Lily of the Valley, ripe lemons and steel. Very, very good.
The taste is nicely concentrated with a cool lemon fruit, a fine acidity and a medium long finish. 4+ years. 42% Chardonnay, 36% Pinot Noir & 22% Pinot Meunier.
90p   (tasted 2023/05)

Collection 241
From magnum. A somewhat restrained nose with notes of dry nuts, candied lemons, gravel and a slight metallic touch. Very good.
The taste is dry and a tad foursquare with notes of hay, apple peel, gravel and nuts. Medium bodied. Don´t know if aging will develop it, but I will find out, since I have a magnum of this... 42% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay & 18% Pinot Meunier.
87p   (tasted 2023/05)

Monday, 29 May 2023

2011 Les Blanches Voies Blanc de Blancs, Penet-Chardonnet

2011 Les Blanches Voies Blanc de Blancs, Penet-Chardonnet
This 12 year old bubbly is fresh as a daisy with notes of mature green apples, chalk, smoke and summer warm gravel. Distinct and fine.
The taste is cool and smoky with a fine yellow fruit, a cleansing acidity and a long, elegant finish. Somewhat mature but this still has a long way to go.
92p   (tasted 2023/04)

Friday, 26 May 2023

1998 Côte-Rôtie, Guigal - d´Ampuis, La Mouline, La Turque & La Landonne

S invited to a faboulous tasting a couple of weeks ago. The first flight was, in short, awesome!
Tasted double blind.

1998 Côte-Rôtie d´Ampuis, Guigal
A spicy, medium bodied nose with notes of black currants, dusty earth, black pepper and violets. Very, very good.
The taste is mature and seedy with a fine warmth, dried black fruits and a long, dry finish. I would say fully mature.
91p   (tasted 2023/07)

1998 Côte-Rôtie La Mouline, Guigal
A very deep, refined nose with notes of bakelite, pounded meat, violets and sun warm rocks. Very fine.
The taste is tight and complex with gorgeous black fruit, silky tannins and notes of undergrowth, salt licorice, violets and smoke. Very, very long. 5+ years.
96p   (tasted 2023/07)

1998 Côte-Rôtie La Turque, Guigal
A high, intense nose with notes of black olives, fresh herbs, dark flowers, chrushed rocks and sweet violets. Just stunning.
The taste is tight and finely structured with still sturdy tannins and notes of green peppers, olives, dark chocolate and spices. Great wine. 8+ years. 
97p   (tasted 2023/07)

1998 Côte-Rôtie La Landonne, Guigal
A very deep, focused nose with notes of dried blackberries, dark chocolate, diesel oil and dark tobacco. Gorgeous.
The taste is meaty and taut with broad tannins and notes of black pepper, scorched earth, violets and iron. Very, very long. 8+ years.
97p   (tasted 2023/07)

Next up - 1999 Côte-Rôtie, Guigal - d´Ampuis, La Mouline, La Turque & La Landonne...

Thursday, 18 May 2023

NV La Cuvee Influence Rose, Miniere F&R

NV La Cuvee Influence Rose, Miniere F&R
A fine, toasted bread filled nose with additional notes of orange zest, almond paste, red apples and sun warm tiles. Open and fine.
The taste is willful and dry with a fine acidity and notes of red apples, smoke and minerals. A long, fine finish. 41% Pinot Meunier, 31% Chardonnay, 28% Pinot Noir. Dosage 3,8 gr. Degorged 2021/08.
90p   (tasted 2023/05)

Tuesday, 16 May 2023

Two Baroli From Le Strette

2013 Barolo Corini-Pallaretta, Le Strette
A very fine "tar & roses" nose with additional notes of violets, forest floor, diesel oil and dried strawberries. Complex and fine.
The taste is young and focused with polished tannins and notes of dried flowers, iron, violets and dried strawberries. A fine length. 6+ years.
94p   (tasted 2023/05)

2015 Barolo Bergeisa, Le Strette
A bigger nose in structure, yet withdrawn when it comes to individual traits, but there are notes of dark cherries, bakelite and warm rocks. 
The taste is broad and tight with rugged tannins and notes of dark cherries, asphalt and hints of tobacco. Very long. 8+ years.
91p   (tasted 2023/05)

With these two cru´s I have now tasted wines from 117 MGA`s. There are 170 MGA´s in total but 27 of them are not produced as a single vineyard wine. That leaves 143. 
26 to go...

Sunday, 14 May 2023

2019 Nebbiolo d’Alba La Pipina, La Bioca

2019 Nebbiolo d’Alba La Pipina, La Bioca
Tasted at the winery in January 2022 - - it was fun tasting this wine again. Brought up in concrete vats, as shown on the label, this Nebbiolo sports a fresh, open nose with notes of herbs, dried strawberries, violets and hockey pucks. Very nice.
The taste is cool and seedy with notes of rosehips, red cherries, tobacco and a fine coffee bitterness in the finish. Very mineral laden. 5+ years.
90p   (tasted 2023/05)

Thursday, 11 May 2023

2007 - 2020 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling GG, Dönnhoff

This was a really impressive tasting, all vintages between 2007 and 2020 from the master Helmut Dönnhoff and the Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle vineyard in Nahe. 

L & M had planned a executed a perfect tasting dinner with great food and these stunning Rieslings.

Despite 13 years between the youngest and oldest, all wines, regardless of age, but more so in the younger versions, displayed a crystalline purity, a freshness and raciness that is hard to pin down and describe. They were pure like a mountain river on a cold spring day.

My favourites age wise was the 2009-2011 vintages. They are still young and fresh but have taken baby steps towards a fine maturity. 
Below I note the individual characters of the vintages.

2007 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle
Deep, evolved and with more dried than fresh fruit. A tad warm in the finish but with a fine maturity.
90p   (tasted 2023/04)

2008 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle
The 08 shows of a very deep, beautiful nose with apricots, bay leaves and iron. The taste is long and balanced with a beginning maturity. Very fine.
93p   (tasted 2023/04)

2009 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle
A high, energetic nose with notes of ripe flowers, mosquito repellent and lemon candy. The taste is rich and concentrated with a brilliant acidity and gorgeous violet notes. Loooong.
95p   (tasted 2023/04)

2010 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle
A bootomless deep, hauntingly beautiful nose with notes of wet asphalt, matchbox, summer grass and passionfruit. On the palate this is 5-10 years away from perfection - grip, concentration and a finish that goes on forever.
97p   (tasted 2023/04)

2011 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle
A gorgeous nose with skin cream, sun warm rocks and lemon candy. On the palate it all about focus and elegance. Lovely. 6+ years.
95p   (tasted 2023/04)

2012 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle
The 12 is a restrained creature with shy notes of wet asphalt, tangerines and grass. A tight, grapefruit dominated taste with lots of locked up fruit. Needs plenty of time.
93p   (tasted 2023/04)

2013 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle
A high, cool nose with notes of ripening strawberries, grape and spices. The taste is cool and tight with a very fine focus and purity. 6+ years.
93p   (tasted 2023/04)

2014 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle
Oooh boy, the nose is a dream with notes of nutmeg, sweet minerals, dried flowers and incense. On the palate there are layers upon layers of rich lemon fruit, lemon licorice and a acidity that is of the charts. Awesome. 6+ years.
97p   (tasted 2023/04)

2015 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle
A deep, mineral laden nose with notes of chives, dry licorice and sweet minerals. The taste is handsome, balanced and rich. A stunning wine that needs 7+ years.
96p   (tasted 2023/04)

2016 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle
A racy, refined nose with notes of birch leafs, wet cement and grass. A young, tight taste with sour/sweet lemons and racy minerals. 9+ years.
93p   (tasted 2023/04)

2017 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle
A cool, stony nose with notes of grapefruit, white peppar and chrushed rocks. The taste is high and elegant with locked up yellow fruit and a very fine acidity for the future. 10+ years.
92p   (tasted 2023/04)

2018 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle
A deep, grassy nose with notes of lemon cream, dry licorice, herbs and violets. The taste is fresh and racy with a fine intensity and a beautiful ripe lemon fragrance. 8+ years.
94p   (tasted 2023/04)

2019 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle
Ooh so young, ooh so much embryonic power, ooh so much to look forward to in 10-15 years. Heaps of blood oranges, smoke, detergent and white flowers. Just stunning.
97p   (tasted 2023/04)

2020 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle
Very laid back on the nose with timid notes of grapefruit, grass and cold vanilla ice cream. The taste is tight and focused but very restrained. This will need plenty of time, 10+ years.
94p   (tasted 2023/04)

Tuesday, 9 May 2023

2021 Cinsault, Rall

2021 Cinsault, Rall
Another bottle from this South African winery. This Cinsault jumps out of the glass with high energy and salivating notes of fresh herbs, ripening raspberries, gravel and tobacco leaves. Very, very good.
The taste is cool and fresh with low key, silky tannins, a good acidity and lots of red berries. A fine gravelly note in the finish. For gulping down now and the coming 6+ years.
90p   (tasted 2023/05)

Sunday, 7 May 2023

Two Minor 1995 Bordeaux

1995 Château de la Commanderie
This Lalande-de-Pomerol sports a mature nose with notes of dried plums, smoke, iron and dried ink. 
The taste is light and fully mature with notes of dried plums, forest floor, old leather and smoke. The finish is dry and good. On its own this is a 84p wine, but - with the help of a couple of centiliters of Port in the decanter (an old trick that I taught from Hugh Johnson) the nose is richer and the palate is still dry but with more body and with a fine laid back sweetness.
86p   (tasted 2023/05)

Château Coufran
One of my earliest multible buys (I think it was eight bottles) was the 1982 Coufran, so I have always have had a soft spot for this château. The 1995 opens with a nicely mature, medium rich nose with notes of ripe black currants, pipe tobacco, fresh stables and a ever so slight hint of mint. Very, very good.
The taste is mature and velvety with notes of cigarr, black currants, leather and moist earth. Medium long and fine. Perfect for drinking now and the coming 6+ years.
88p   (tasted 2023/05)

Thursday, 4 May 2023

Just Bought

This bottle came with a hilarious description in the auction catalog - "Wine made from fresh grapes"...

Tuesday, 2 May 2023

2013 Barolo, Aldo Clerico

2013 Barolo, Aldo Clerico
A deep, dark nose with notes of forest floor, dried strawberries, herbs and fir wood. The fruit is coated with a large dose of new oak.
The taste is young and tight with notes of dried tomatoes, fir wood, earth and dry tobacco. Ends on a bitter oak note. This will need 8+ years to integrate the wood.
85p   (tasted 2023/04)

Saturday, 29 April 2023

Bond, The Name Is Bond

I was invited by Divine to a extraordinary tasting of wines from Bond. Max Kast from the estate conducted the tasting with humour, flair and knowledge.

All the cru´s from 2019 had some characteristics in common - perfectly ripe Cabernet Sauvignon fruit, perfectly polished tannins, a suave character and a lovely balance. Below I have written down their individual traits, as I saw them.

2019 Melbury, Bond
Melbury is a 2,8 ha large vineyard which was planted in 1989. The nose shows of notes of cigar smoke and moist earth. A bit more "common people" than the rest.
The taste is generous albeit silky and pure with notes of plums and tobacco. Lovely. 6+ years.
94p   (tasted 2023/04)

2019 Quella, Bond
The warmest of the cru´s with an area of 3.5 ha. Lots of dark flowers on the nose alongside minerals, iron and fir wood. Very, very deep.
The taste is racy and refined with the same dark flowers as on the nose. Stunning. 8+ years.
96p   (tasted 2023/04)

2019 St. Eden, Bond
4,3 ha, pure volcanic rock that shows of the nose with that smoky, volcanic scent. Some fresh herbs. 
The taste is very tight with notes of dark coffee, sun warm cement and damsons. Looong. 10+ years.
96p   (tasted 2023/04)

2019 Vecina, Bond
My favourite in the line up. From a 4,3 ha large, east facing vineyard. A restrained, aristocratic nose with notes of black olives, minerals and violets.
The taste is, for the exception of maturity, perfect. Every knot and bolt are in the perfect place. 8+ years away from perfection.
98p   (tasted 2023/04)

2019 Pluribus, Bond
The most backward on the cru´s. The most intense with the most tannins and structure. Lots of chrushed rocks, minerals and violets. Will require 12+ years in the cellar. Impressive.
97p   (tasted 2023/04)

2014 St. Eden, Bond
We were then privileged to get the opportunity to taste two bottles with some age. The 2014 St. Eden offers up a bottomless deep nose with notes of plums, tapenade, moist earth, wet stone and perfectly ripe black currants. Just stunning.
The taste is still tight and with some broad tannins but the velvety fruit offers a glimpse of maturity. Gorgeous notes of ripe black currants, cold coffee, minerals and plums. Elegance and power. 4+ years.
97p   (tasted 2023/04)

2011 Quella, Bond
I always know that I am in the presence of greatness when I start to write profanity in my tasting book. These kind of wines are hard to describe. Some other scribblings are violets en masse, dried herbs, dried plums, tiles and smoke. The balance is perfect, the maturity is spot on and the lenght is counted in minutes. Almost perfect. Wish I had some...
99p   (tasted 2023/04)

Great vegetarian dish at Rutabaga

Monday, 24 April 2023

2021 Dolcetto d´Alba, Bruno Giacosa

2021 Dolcetto d´Alba, Bruno Giacosa
The nose is young and seedy with notes of iron, bakelite, violets and a fine blueberry fruit. Some plums comes forward with air. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and focused with silky tannins, a good grip and notes of plums, rowan berries and tobacco. A very fine mouthfeel. Needs time, 6+ years.
90p   (tasted 2023/04)

Sunday, 23 April 2023

1990 Barolo, Salvano

1990 Barolo, Salvano
Needed some time in the decanter to come around, and then showing of a mature, deep nose with notes of mushrooms, dry leather, sweet violets, dark roses and rosehip powder. Very, very good.
The taste is dry and mature with notes of dried red cherries, canned mushrooms, cold coffee and violets. Fully mature with a soft, fine finish.
88p   (tasted 2023/04)

Monday, 17 April 2023

2021 San Luigi & Papà Celso, Marziana Abbona

2021 Dogliani San Luigi, Marziana Abbona
A fine, open nose with notes of violets, blueberry bushes, iron and some summer asphalt aromas. High and fine.
The taste is cool and elegant with notes of a mix of raspberries and blueberries with additional notes of iron, gravel and violets. 4+ years.
90p   (tasted 2023/04)

Dogliani Papà Celso, Marziana Abbona
More structured than the San Luigi with denser fruit, deeper and with fine notes of ripe blueberries, iron, paint and a touch of tobacco. Very fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of ripe blueberries, bay leaves, chocolate biscuits and gravel. Best Papà Celso ever tasted. 6+ years.
93p   (tasted 2023/04)

A visit to Marziano Abbona:

Wednesday, 12 April 2023

An Evening With Great Bottles - Abtserde, Cristal, Montrachet, Ornellaia, LCC, Grange & More

The concept was simple, a BYOB with the added clear and concise instruction - bring a bottle of really good juice. All did.
Tasted double blind.

2018 Abtserde, Keller
A cool, refined, laid back nose with notes of chalk, lemon zest, dry mango and smoke. Very, very fine.
The taste is high and tight with an almost electric nerve, a cleansing acidity and lots of grape and lemon fruit. Very long. Very young, 8+ years.
94p   (tasted 2023/04)

2008 Cristal, Louis Roederer
A deep, intense, layered nose with notes of sweet lime, fudge, strawberries and moist earth. Very complex and fine.
The taste is rich and refined with notes of toasted bread, fudge, chrushed rocks and lime. A finish that goes on and on. Just brilliant. 6+ years.
98p   (tasted 2023/04)

2019 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Gain, Lucien Le Moine
A big and bold nose with notes of melted butter, lemoncello, dark fudge and glue. Deep and intense.
The taste is very focused and rich with notes of white peach, milk chocolate fudge and ripe flowers. Very long. 6+ years. 
94p   (tasted 2023/04)

2007 Montrachet, Moret-Nominé
A very deep, mature nose with notes of dried apricots, matchbox, earth and sweet minerals. Heavy in a positive sense.
The taste is elegant and mature with notes of yellow plums, smoke and dried flowers. An oily, old viney feeling. 
93p   (tasted 2023/04)

1997 Ornellaia
An almost fully mature nose with gorgeous notes of blueberries, cigarr smoke, herbs, ink and dry leather. Very deep and fine with a dried up warmth.
The taste feels younger than the nose with still some juicy tannins alongside notes of dried blackberries, tobacco, fried herbs and warm tiles. Very fine.
95p   (tasted 2023/04)

2000 Château Leoville-Las-Cases
Last tasted in September 2021 and this bottle behaved almost identical, maybe with a slight more adolescent impression. A stunning Bordeaux that will go on for 10+ years.
96p   (tasted 2023/04)

2020 OH, Sami-Ode
Only 815 bottles made of this beauty. Also the first vintage of OH (our hill). The nose is elegant, spicy and open with notes of asphalt, ripe blueberries, grilled meat and bay leaves. Very handsome.
The taste is tight and concentrated with velvet blueberry- and cherry fruit, lots of fresh herbs, some meaty notes and black pepper. Very long. The vines were planted in 2017, a really impressive wine from very young vines. 8+ years.
95p   (tasted 2023/04)

1991 Grange, Penfolds
My offering. The cork crumbled to pieces but the wine poured was stellar. It displays a big and bold nose with gorgeous notes of dark plums, fried herbs, violets, dried tomato and salt licorice. Very, very deep. A touch of maturity.
The taste is massive and structured with notes of soya, plums, pipe tobacco, asphalt and violets. The finish goes on for minutes. Ends very dry and fine. Will go on for another 10+ years. Great wine.
97p   (tasted 2023/04)

2001 Châteaneuf-du-Pape Reserve, Le Clos de Caillou
A large scaled, somewhat mature nose with notes of damsons, sweet lingonberries, coffee powder and cigarr smoke. A very fine sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is tight and rich with lots of ripe black fruit, scorched earth, smoke and sweet herbs. Very, very long. 5+ years.
93p   (tasted 2023/04)

2017 Valbuena 5o, Vega-Sicilia
A young, deep, spicy nose with notes of black cherries, violets, lightly peppered strawberries and rhubarb licorice. Very fine, albeit young.
The taste is taut and broad shouldered with a high intensity, lots of black fruit and a long, long distinct finish. Very promising. Needs 8+ years.
93p   (tasted 2023/04)

1994 Dow´s Vintage Port
A very deep, lifted nose with notes of plums, dark chocolate, quinine, iron, fried nuts and bakelite. Still on the young side of things. 
The taste is intense and focused with notes of salt licorice, plums, iron, damsons and chocolate covered cherries. Very, very long. Still needs 10+ years.
95p   (tasted 2023/04)