Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Brunello Di Montalcino - Ten Bottles From The 2012 Vintage


David & Ulf arranged a great tasting dinner a couple of weeks ago. The theme was some fine producers of Brunello and the vintage 2012. We had a bottle of Champagne and some really nice bottles of Riesling to begin with, but those will come in a later post.
The Brunellos were tasted single blind.

2012 Brunello di Montalcino, Cerbaiona
A very juicy, fresh nose with lovely ripe cherries and additional aromas of tobacco, Tuscan gravel and herbs. The cherries has gotten a sligth kiss of oak. Very fine.
The taste is stern and seedy with notes of ripe cherries, salmiak, herbs and warm tiles. Really juicy tannins. The finish is long and distinct. Great structure. This will surely make it to the high 90´s in 10+ years.
95p   (tasted 2018/05)


2012 Brunello di Montalcino, Salvioni
I felt a slight disappointment when the bottle was revealed. Not at all a bad wine, but being from my favourite Brunello producer, it was a bit of a let down.
The nose is deep, earthy and herbal with notes of bonfire, ripe cherries, a touch of cherry liquor and some meaty scents. Big and warm. Very deep.
The taste is tight and concentrated with lots of ripe black cherries and notes of scorched earth, ink and sweet licorice. Very long. The tannins are a tad rugged. Will time make this more harmonious?
91p   (tasted 2018/05)

2012 Brunello di Montalcino, Il Marroneto
The Normale from Il Marroneto is a beauty, with a deep, concentrated nose full of dark cherries, undergrowth, fir wood, rosemary and gravel. Very balanced and fine.
The taste is seedy and cool with notes of dried up cherry jam, licorice, herbs and gravel. Refined. Steady yet silky tannins. Very balanced. 6+ years.
94p   (tasted 2018/05)


2012 Brunello di Montalcino Colombaio Montosoli, Baricci
A new acquaintance for me (and after tasting it, hopefully my first and last encounter), this Brunello shows an open, superficial nose with notes of dried strawberries, old leather, dog fur and a high, almost yesty note.
The taste is warm and a tad foursquare with notes of dry licorice, dried cherries, asphalt and old herbs. Somewhat empty in the middle and there is a heat in the finish. A bad bottle or is this what this producer puts out?
82p   (tasted 2018/05)

2012 Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova, Casanova di Neri
A stunner! The nose is deep, yet open and flirty with notes of ripe cherries, dark chocolate, fried rosemary, earth and a fine balsamic scent. Really fine.
The taste has got it all - structure, finesse, balance, fruit and tannins in harmony, it just needs 8+ years in the cellar. Great wine.
96p   (tasted 2018/05)

2012 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso, Ciacci Piccolomino d´Arragona
The Pianrosso is a perennial favourite of mine and the 2012 doesn´t disappoint. The nose is deep and multi layered with notes of violets, Tuscan gravel, ripe red currants and cherries and a fine tobacco aroma. A cool refinement. Very, very good.
The taste is structured and fine with notes of ripe cherries, roses, earth, tobacco and a hint of asphalt. Very long and focused. Lovely. 6+ years.
94p   (tasted 2018/05)


2012 Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli, Altesino
A big, warm nose with notes of cherry liqour, band aid, scorched earth and bonfire. Ripe and rich, maybe a tad too much. Lots of sweet cherry fruit.
The taste is concentrated and warm with notes of cooked cherries, bonfire, warm herbs and violet pastilles. Very long and warm. Too marked by the vintage.
87p   (tasted 2018/05)

2012 Brunello di Montalcino Le Lucére, San Filippo
A deep, complex nose with notes of ripe red cherries with some blueberries tossed in, spices, violets and rosemary. Very refined. Lovely.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of ripe cherries, licorice, tobacco, violets and risemary. Silky tannins. Lots of energy and balance. Great wine.
93p   (tasted 2018/05)

2012 Brunello di Montalcino, Conti Costanti
A fine, warm, spicy nose with notes of dark cherries, bonfire, tobacco, herbs and a fine earthiness. Dense and fine. Deep. Very, very good.
The taste is finely tuned yet inviting and warm with notes of salmiak, ripe cherries, wort flavored bread, tobacco and red beets. Long, fine and interesting. Needs 5+ years.
91p   (tasted 2018/05)


2012 Brunello di Montalcino Madonna delle Grazie, Il Marroneto
Aaaaah! What a bottle of wine. This has an extra layer compared to the others, with laser focus, the finest fruit imaginable, concentration en masse yet lively and direct. Mint infused cherries, expensive tobacco, rosemary, asphalt, violets and moist earth are just few of the aromas you get when you coax the glass.
The taste is exactly like the worn expression - "an iron fist in a velvet glove". Everything in balance, every screw and nut in the right place, the tannins are polished with the finest cloth and the finish goes on for over a minute. Give this 8+ years and you are looking at perfection.
98p   (tasted 2018/05)

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

2015 Efferus, Ruggabellus

I tasted this beauty last year and bought a couple of bottles. Lets see what has happened since last year.

2015 Efferus, Ruggabellus
The fine bluberries are still there but the nose has become more herbal and a with a green, forestlike, attractive aroma. Some light bonfire notes. Light yet intense. Very fine.
The taste is more or less the same as one year ago with a lovely mix of blueberries, black olives and meat. A fine acidity. Long. Easily drunk today but I will give my remaining bottles (if I can resist...) 3+ years in the cellar.
93p   (tasted 2018/06)


Thursday, 7 June 2018

Two Bottles Of Pinot Noir

Two fine, different expressions of Pinot Noir.

2012 Sta Rita Hills Pinot Noir, Lompoc Wine Co
A warm, balanced nose with notes of ripe raspberries, asphalt, fried herbs, cap gun smoke and tobacco. A very fine, laid back warmth.
The taste is ripe and fruity yet handomely restrained with a fine acidity and notes of tobacco infused raspberries, Finnish licorice, herbs and leather. A long, juicy finish. A hint of maturity. Very, very good. For drinking now and the coming 6+ years.
90p   (tasted 2018/05)



2014 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Village, Domaine de Tilleuls
After tasting this beauty a couple of months ago I bought a bunch. Time to test drive a bottle.
The nose is a dream, with spicy, deep and concentrated aromas of ripe wild raspberries, nutmeg, forest floor and raspberry licorice. High, intense and addictive.
The taste is pure and refreshing yet with a firm backbone, a stern acidity and a long, long, structured finish. However, the fruit is playful and flirty, with notes of hard raspberry candy, rosehips, licorice, tarragon and smoke. Just lovely. Will be fun following this over the years, I guess it will hitting its peak in 8-12 years time. I will report back then...
94p   (tasted 2018/05)

Monday, 4 June 2018

Tasting Lunch With Olivier Humbrecht


On my way from this tasting I asked myself - when was the last time I had a bottle of wine from Alsace? I couldn´t remember. Probably a couple of years back, I kind of remember a so-so bottle of Cuvée Fredérick Emilé.
The next question that came to mind was - why don´t I drink it more often, at least when it is as good as these bottles were?

Thanks VinUnic for the invite and thanks to Olivier Humbrecht for making a passionate and knowledgeable claim for the these wines.


2015 Zind
This can´t be bottle as an Alsace wine beacuse of the Chardonnay content (2/3, the rest is Auxerrois). Not minding that, this is a fine wine with a deep, layered noes with notes of yellow plums, pickled ginger, cucumber and sun warm rocks. Very, very good.
The taste is broad and fine with notes of candied lemons, chrushed rocks, dry bread and some grassy notes. The nose has a dried up sweetness that doesn´t come through in the taste, it is bone dry. For drinking now.
88p   (tasted 2018/05)


Riesling
2016 Riesling Heimbourg
The 16 Heimbourg has a cool, refreshing nose with notes of lemons, chrushed stones, clay and a hint of metal/iron. Fresh and fine.
The taste is racy and fine with notes of lime peel, chalk and some salty notes in the finish. For drinking the coming 5+ years.
89p   (tasted 2018/05)

2016 Riesling Clos Windsbuhl
Here we move up in quality, with a deep, concentrated, luscious nose with notes of chalk, ripe lemons, dry grass, hard lemon candy and oyster shells. Complex and fine.
The taste is tight, ripe and focused with notes of ripe lemons, lemon grass, chalk and lots of minerals. Long and promising 5+ years.
92p   (tasted 2018/05)


2011 Riesling Clos Windsbuhl
This 7 year old Riesling shows a seedy, nice nose with notes of decaying summer flowers, wheat bread, gravel and grass. A tad anemic compared to the others. A fine structure though.
The taste is tight and refined with notes of dried yellow plums, dry lemons and hay. Again, a fine backbone but the flesh is somewhat missing.
88p   (tasted 2018/05)

1999 Riesling Clos Windsbuhl
Oooh boy, come to Papa! This delivers the goods in the shape of apricots, furniture polish, dried herbs, rust and wet stones. Very deep,  complex and fine. The slightest hint of botrytis. Oliver confirmed that there were probably some botrytis affected grapes in the mix. Today they are discarded. I wonder how the current vintages then will age, time will tell, but some botrytis grapes in the 1999 blend just makes is complex.
The taste is big, round, mature and lovely with notes of apricots, candied lemons, warm sand, hand cream and metal. Very long, intense and still perky. Great wine, for now and 3+ years.
95p   (tasted 2018/05)

Pinot Gris
2016 Pinot Gris Heimbourg
A young, fresh nose with notes of herbs, earth, plums and slate. Pure and fine. A touch of deep fish stock after a while. Really good.
The taste is pure and refined with notes of dried up lemon ice cream, warm grass, plums and hay. A very fine acidity. Long and fine. 4+ years.
91p   (tasted 2018/05)

2016 Pinot Gris Windsbuhl
The Clos Windsbuhl has a high, somewhat reductive nose with notes of grass, ripening yellow fruits, steel and gravel. A tad locked up.
The taste is dry, seedy and structured (in a fine way) with notes of lemon peel, clay, incense and minerals. Very tight but promising. 6+ years.
89p   (tasted 2018/05)



2011 PInot Gris Thann
The last vintage with the name Thann on the label. This is really nice! An open, direct, sweet nose with notes of yellow plums, smoke, handcream, dried up honey and wet stones. Lovely.
The taste is big and juicy with notes of apricots, plums, smoke and warm grass. A long, warm finish with a fine acidity. A fine maturity. Really good. A bargain at 23 Euro.
92p   (tasted 2018/05)

1999 Pinot Gris Clos Windsbuhl
Another stunning 99. According to Olivier this was harvested in mid November and the sugar level was 40 gr/lit! Now, 19 years later the sugar has, on the nose, subdued to notes of plum cakes, yellow pears, ski wax and dry honey. Intense and fine.
The taste is big and concentrated with notes of lemon candy, yellow plums, smoke and warm asphalt. Starts out semi dry but ends bone dry. Very, very fine.
93p   (tasted 2018/05)


Gewürztraminer
2016 Gewürztraminer Clos Windsbuhl
Another fine 2016, with a pure, handsome nose with notes of warm grass, herbs and summer flowers.
The taste is spicy and fat with that typical soap/overripe flowery notes that are so common in Gewúrztraminer (and the reason why I normally don´t like the grape) but this one keeps it in check and also displays notes of wet asphalt, gravel and smoke. A fine acidity. Very, very good.
89p   (tasted 2018/05)

2012 Gewürztraminer Goldert
A very deep, intense nose with notes of passion fruit, roses, dry caramel and spices. Very fine.
The taste is big and concentrated with notes of dried flowers, hand cream, gravel and smoke. A very fine acidity. Long and generous. Really good.
91p   (tasted 2018/05)


2003 Gewürztraminer Goldert
Olivier said that this could "be drunk as an anti freezer"... The nose doesn´t reveal its 17% alcohol content and is very interesting with notes of dried plums, rubber, nail polish, lemon candy and smoke. A very fine but odd nose.
The taste is concentrated and large scaled with notes of dried herbs in liquor, birch sap, dried plums and some notes resembling Triple Karmeliet. Very long and intense.
90p   (tasted 2018/05)

1999 Gewürztraminer Clos Windsbuhl
A very deep, multi layered nose with notes of dried flowers, wool, iron, hay, lemon cream and minerals. Very, very good.
The taste is big, tight and focused with notes of dried flowers, quince marmelade, apricots, hay and chrushed rocks. A fine dryness at the end.
90p   (tasted 2018/05)


Saturday, 2 June 2018

Chicken & Burgundy


Dinner a couple of nights ago - succulent chicken breasts with a morel sauce and mashed potatoes. A still young Volnay went perfectly with the dish.

2005 Volnay 1er Cru Les Brouillardes, Bernard & Thierry Glantenay
This 13 year old Volnay is still on the young side of things. It takes two hours before it really opens up, then with fine notes of red beets, dark flowers, raspberry licorice and iron. Deep and fine with a rather stern, but highly likeable, personality.
The taste is medium bodied and still tight with notes of spicy raspberries, violets, dried mushrooms and lots of gravel. Long and very finely balanced. Again, not a charmer but this I like. Glad I have more, there is no hurry here.
92p   (tasted 2018/05)

Thursday, 31 May 2018

A Bottle Of Bubbly - 2008 Aubry De Humbert

The Barolo Boys tasted the 2006 Aubry de Humbert a couple of months ago and I was eager to taste the 2008!

2008 Aubry de Humbert
From the bat, this feels much younger than the 2006, with a finely tuned, somewhat restrained nose with notes of dried up lemon curd, oyster shells, flint, fennel and candied lemons. Very handsome in a laid back style. Needs time.
The taste is cool, restrained and tight with notes of lemon peel, flint, chalk, cucumber water and some flowery notes. Long, structured and promising, but wait at least 4+ years. Didn´t budge for the two days is was open.
92p   (tasted 2018/05)


Wednesday, 30 May 2018

A Mini Vertical Of Rancia, Felsina


This Chianti Classico Riserva has always been a favourite of mine. It usually requires some years in the cellar before really approachable.
The first vintage was 1983. Sadly I haven´t tasted that one but the 1990 was really good a couple of years ago.

The wine is 100% Sangiovese from 3 plots in Podere di Rancia in Castelnuovo Berardenga with various soils. The vinification has changed over the years regarding maturation. In Burton Anderson´s book Best Italian Wines from 2001 the naturation is described as "14-16 months in wood (part in new or once-used barriques ans part in casks)." Nowadays, according to Felsina´s website it is 18-20 months in new French barriques. And there was a different oak touch between the older ones and especially the 2010.
Four fine vintages tasted the other day.

1997 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia, Felsina
This 21 year old displays a deep, round, mature nose with notes of old leather, dried cherries, flower water, tobacco and mocha. Very, very good. With air it resembles a mature Bordeaux. A fine scent of moist forest floor.
The taste is medium bodied, mature and dry with notes of dried cherries, pencil shavings, coffee and granite. A very fine dryness at the end. There is touch of salted black fruit. Very fine. Fully mature.
92p   (tasted 2018/05)

2001 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia, Felsina
There is a hint of maturity on the nose but at the same time copius amounts of fresh, juicy cherry fruit alongside notes of rosemary, ripe flowers, earth, handcream and Tuscan gravel. Just lovely.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of ripe red and black cherries, hard cherry candy, rosemary, sweet lingonberries and bakelite. Very long. A touch of maturity. Aristocratic. Great wine from now and the coming 10+ years.
94p   (tasted 2018/05)


2006 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia, Felsina
The 06 feels a loot younger than the 01. You have to swirl, even with some time in the glass, vigorously to get some notes of ripening cherries, gravel, juniper berries and a hint of violets. A fine depth. Verging on being a tad angular. Need lots of time.
The taste is seedy and upright with notes of red cherries, violet pastilles, chrushed rocks and bakelite. Long and stern. There is fine quality but it feels locked up today. Wait at least 5+ years.
90p   (tasted 2018/05)

2010 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia, Felsina
A deep, intense, balsamic nose with notes of dark cherries, coffee powder, violets, almond paste and a hint of chocolate. You can feel that there is more new oak on the nose on this one compared to the other vintages. But a lovely fruit sweetness takes care of it perfectly.
The taste is young, tight yet vivid with notes of licorice covered cherries, tobacco, earth and new leather. Very long and ample. This has lots of potential, give it 5+ years.
93p   (tasted 2018/05)


Saturday, 12 May 2018

Bottles From 1964, 1993 & Some Young Syrah Guns

It was my time to hold our monthly tasting in our tasting group and I opted for some different flights with some additional food with each flight.

Flight 0
2007 Oslavje, Radikon
To get the the taste buds started I poured this bottle. As I was the only one who know what the bottles were I thought I had got the last bottle mixed up with this one, for it has a old, wrinkled, semi dry Sauternes feel about it, with notes of rubber, hay, old lemon/licorice candy and a hint of a sewer in the distance. Not my cup of tea.
The taste is dry, earthy and linear with notes of dry oranges, apricots, decaying flowers and some rubbery notes. Not bad per se, but rather boring and one dimensional.
80p   (tasted 2018/04)


Flight 1
1964 Pommard, Faiveley
An old, layered nose with notes of shoe cream, wet earth, old leather and lots of dried mushrooms. Holds well in the glass. Good.
The taste is earthy and dry with notes of dried strawberries, dried herbs and forest floor. Medium bodied. A fine dryness at the end. Not for keeping longer though...
85p   (tasted 2018/04)


1964 Pommard, M. Javouhey
A deep, fine mature nose with notes of sugared coffee, dried raspberries, mushroom cream and undergrowth. Very good. With air a touch of roses appear.
The taste is compact, big, round and sweet with notes of dried raspberries, old leather, herbs and paint. A long, fine finish. Fully mature but bottles like this would keep for another 5+ years.
88p   (tasted 2018/04)

Flight 2
1993 Brunello di Montalcino, Caparzo
A mature Brunello is hard to beat and coming from the underrated vintage of 1993 it is a sure win-win in the shape of a great wine with a modest price tag. This one has a nose filled with ripe red cherries, sandelwood, rosemary and leather. Very, very good. A very fine sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is warm, comforting and fine with notes of ripe red currants, cherries, herbs, gravel and tobacco. A long, dry, warm, intense finish. Drinking perfect now.
91p   (tasted 2018/04)


1993 Cortaccio, Villa Cafaggio
This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon usually delivers the gods, but this bottle doesn´t reach the heights of other Cortaccio´s. The nose shows a fine wartmth with notes of dried up black currant jam, leather. soya sauce and coffee powder. Fine fruit but a bit compact.
The taste is big, warm and meaty with notes of seared ham, dark violets, leather and moist forest floor. Big, open wide, highly drinkable but a bit all over the place.
84p   (tasted 2018/04)

Flight 3
2010 Bel Villa Syrah, Goedhart Family
A light meaty nose with notes of undergrowth, tar, diesel oil and blueberries. A fine, low keyed sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is medium bodied and peppery with notes of cooked red beets, aspahlt and paint. A fine acidity and polished tannins. For drinking now and the coming 6+ years.
90p   (tasted 2018/04)

2012 Syrah, Stefano Amerighi
A restrained, focused nose with notes of dried flowers, violets, warm gravel and a mix of raspberries and blueberries. Very, very good.
The taste is seedy and cool peppery with notes of red flowers, violets, bakelite and chrushed rocks. Cool tannins. Very fine. Still young. 4+ years.
90p   (tasted 2018/04)


2013 Côte-Roôtie Ampodium, Domaine Rostaing
A deep, exotic nose with notes of cardamom, white pepper, handpounded veal meat, roses and a hint of curry! Intense and really fine.
The taste is balanced and peppery with notes of Lily of the Valley, ripe red currants, blueberries, red peppers and a hint of mosquito repelent. This is goood! Give this 5+ years. A really fine bottle of wine.
93p   (tasted 2018/04)

2014 Syrah Viognier, Clonakilla
Tasted two times last year this is a stunner that I am glad I bougth plenty of. World class wine!
95p   (tasted 2018/04)

Flight 4
1955 Château Rieussec
A great surprise. From a leaking bottle, this 63 year old Sauternes shows a deep, laid back, fantastic nose with notes of dark fudge, burning tires, ripe banana peel and old hand cream. Complex amd fine.
The taste is concentrated and big with notes of candied orange peel, dark almond paste, clay and hot rubber. A very long, viscous finish. I am guessing that a perfect bottle would have made us see stars, but this is no slouch.
91p   (tasted 2018/04)


Friday, 11 May 2018

Drinking Tonight - 2010 Casalferro, Barone Ricasoli

2010 Casalferro, Barone Ricasoli
It has been two years ago, since I last tasted the 10 Casalferro. I should drink this more often, because it is a beauty. The nose is deep and gorgeous with notes of ligthly peppered plums, violets, dark coffee, hot Tuscan gravel and some leathery scents. Multi layered and just lovely.
The taste is standing like a rock with notes of ripe dark plums, cigarr ashes, violets, dark chocolate mousse and a hint of asphalt . A very fine minerality in the long, dry finish. Great two years ago and equally great tonight, glad I have more!
94p   (tasted 2018/05)


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Two 1999 Tuscan Wines From Quercia Al Poggio & Rocca Delle Macie

1999 La Cataste, Quercia al Poggio
A mature, dark, rugged nose with notes of bonfire, undergrowth, bay leaves and sweet coffee. Hearthy, rich and very good. A fine, mature complexity.
The taste is warm, spicy and rewarding with notes of dried cherries, violets, bonfire and dark chocolate. A long, warm finish with a fine dryness at the end. Fully mature and drinking fine. From 2012 this single vineyard 100% Sangioves is a Gran Selezione, more info here.
90p   (tasted 2018/05)


1999 Chianti Classico Riserva, Rocca Delle Macie
This shows of slimmer and younger than the Cataste above, with a perky, herbal nose with sweet and sour cherries, rosemary, Tuscan gravel and a hint of tar. Very, very good.
The taste is still rather tight and seedy with notes of forest floor, red cherries, rosemary and some chocolate biscuit notes. A fine, linear finish with a high acidity. A fine refreshing mouthfeel. For drinking now and the coming 6+ years. Info here.
91p   (tasted 2018/05)

Monday, 7 May 2018

Ferrari - The Bubbles (Not The Car)...

...although I would be happy driving a Ferrari and drinking Ferrari - but not at the same time of course! :-)

I was invited by VinUnic to a tasting lunch with Alessandro Lunelli, a grandson of Bruno Lunelli, who inherited the company from the founder Giulio Ferrari, who started the firm in 1902.
Alessandro spoke of the family wines and their work in a energetic, down to earth and charming way.
These were the wines we tasted. Info here.



NV Brut
Ferrari makes about 4,5 million bottles annualy and this NV Brut makes up a large part of the production. The nose is nice, light and easy going with notes of oranges, gravel and dry passion fruit.
The taste is light and fresh with some steely notes and a good acidity. 2 years on the less, 5-6 gr of sugar and costs 16 Euro, this is a perfect every day bubble. 100% Chardonnay.
87p   (tasted 2018/05)

NV Organic
The Organic is a more serious wine, all the grapes are owned (the majority of the grapes for the NV Brut are bought, but with very high standards regarding quality), and it stays 3 years on the lees. Again 100% Chardonnay. The nose is tight, stony and fresh with notes of lemon peel, chrushed rocks, dry melon, grass and a hint of cap gun smoke. Very, very good.
The taste is seedy, tight and fine with notes of lime juice, sun warm rocks, dry hay and basil. Long and very fine.
90p   (tasted 2018/05)

NV Rosé
I love Rosé bubbles and this was no exception, with a cool, fine tuned nose with notes of ripening raspberries, almond paste, sweet carrots and warm rocks. Very fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of raspberry licorice, warm sand, oatmeal cookies and assorted herbs. Drinking great now and the coming 6+ years. Made since 1972!
90p   (tasted 2018/05)

2010 Perlé
The Perlé was first produced in 1971 (it happened a lot in the beginning of the 70´s!). 100% Chardonnay, at least 5 years on the lees with 5-6 gr of sugar. This is the real calling card for Ferrari according to Alessandro.
The nose is handsome and refined with notes of yellow apples, freshly baked bread, hay, white pepper and summer flowers. Very fine.
The taste is fine and structured with notes of dried up honey, candied lemons, toasted bread and dry passion fruit. Long and finely tuned. This is gooood! For 20 Euro, a real bargain!
92p   (tasted 2018/05)




2008 Reserva Lunelli
The Reserve Lunelli sees wood, big Stockinger casks with some age, for the first fermention. And it shows on the nose with deep, tight notes of ripe yellow apples, dry caramel, hay and wood smoke. A very fine depth. The oak adds to the complexity when compared to the Perlé.
The taste is multi layered and refined with notes of pan fried bread, red and yellow apples, ripe flowers and a dry crème caramel. A long, fine finish with a cleasing acidity. A lovely wine. 5+ years.
93p   (tasted 2018/05)

2005 Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore
The crème de la crème of the Ferrari lineup, made since 1972, is this single vineyard Chardonnay that stays about 10 years on its lees and gets 2-3 gr of sugar when bottled. The nose is very deep and concentrated, and yet light and refined, with notes of hard lemon candy, violet perfume, ripe yellow apples, sun warm rocks and hay. Expressive and really fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of lemon cream, chrushed rocks, dark cookie dough, earth and ripe grass. The finish is counted in minutes. Just stunning.
95p   (tasted 2018/05)


Tenuta Castelbuono
The Lunelli family also makes wine in Umbria, and Alesssandro in the managing director of this operation. Info here.

2015 Ziggurat
This 60% (the website says 70 but I trust Alessandro...:-)) Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, shows of a upfront, herbal nose with notes of plums, dark earth and some balsamic scents. Very good.
The taste is seedy, warm and round with notes of plums, dry chocolate, rosemary and scorched earth. A medium long, fine finish. Would go great with a grilled piece of meat.
87p   (tasted 2018/05)


2014 Lampante
This Montelfalco Rosso Riserva has the same blend as the Ziggurat but comes from two vineyards in Bevagna. The first vintage was 2008. The nose has a deep, earthy, spicy note to it with additional scents of some barnyard animals in a distance, dark licorice, wood and leather. A tad rustic but in a highly likeable way.
The taste is fruit forward and direct with notes of dark cherries, old balsamic vinegar, a clean stable and coffee powder. I really like this, it has some rustic notes but they are very charming. For the asking price of 17 Euro, I would have bought a lot, too bad it is (yet...) not available.
91p   (tasted 2018/05)



2014 Carapace
The Carapace is a 100% Sagrantino, a special selection of the estate´s finest vines. The first vintage was 2003. From a difficult vintage, this shows of a great nose with aromas of thyme, meat, dark cherries, tar and chrushed minerals. Very deep and fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of ripe black plums, fried herbs, tar and a moist forest floor. Very long and distinct. Needs time. Velvety tannins as the initial impression but there is a firm grip at the end. 8+ years. If the indicated price would be right (not available...) - 23 Euro - I would buy plenty.
92p   (tasted 2018/05)

Sunday, 6 May 2018

2016 Vermentino Etichetta Nera, Lunae + Vermentino´s From Summer Of 2017

Early summer is here, at least today, and I get those Liguria feelings going. Here is a bottle of Vermentino and long over due tasting notes of the Vermentino´s of the summer of 2017.

2016 Vermentino Etichetta Nera, Lunae
A fresh, clean nose with notes of grapefruit, white pepper, summer flowers and fine soap. Lively. Very good.
The taste is dry and mouth watering with notes of tangerines, gravel, white pepper and dried up passion fruit. A tingly feeling on the tongue. Fresh and fine.
87p   (tasted 2018/5)



The Vermentino´s of summer 2017 - tasted in Liguria

2016 Vermentino, Laura Aschero
I first tasted the Laura Aschero´s Vermentino - vintage 2012 - in 2013 and found it to be a great bottle of wine. Now time to try the 2016. The nose is charming with notes of ripe lemons, hay, white pepper, fennel and tangerines. A very fine depth.
The taste is finely tuned with notes of tangerines, grass, white currants, gravel and a hint of licorice. A very fine acidity. Long and fine.
90p   (tasted 2017/07)


2016 Vermentino, Terre Bianche
A young, ripe, interestimg nose with notes of yellow plums, grass, herbs and rubber. Nice.
The taste is cool and nice with notes of candied lemons, grass, herbs and warm rocks. Medium long. Very good.
86p   (tasted 2017/08)


2015 Vermentino, Terre Rosse
A fresh, perky nose with notes of grapefruit, dry passion fruit, green herbs, bakelite and chrushed rocks. Very fine.
The taste is dry and fine with notes of sweet lime, passion fruit, white pepper and minerals. A long dry finish with a fine acidity.
89p   (tasted 2017/08)

2016 Vermentino, La Ginestraia
A herbal, vigorous nose with notes of basil, sage, warm rocks and white pepper. Pure and fine. Very, very good.
The taste is dry, fresh and tight with notes of ripe herbs, grass, white currants and sweet lime. Long and fine.
88p   (tasted 2017/08)




2016 Vermention, Enrico D Ario
Young, fresh and fine with notes of grass, white currants, lemon and minerals. Very good.
Light, gulpable and good with notes of dry passion fruit, lemon, gravel and herbs. Very good in a direct, light kind of way.
85p   (tasted 2017/08)

Friday, 4 May 2018

2015 Chianti Classico Casanuova Di Nittardi Vigna Doghessa, Nittardi


2015 Chianti Classico Casanuova d Nittardi Vigna Doghessa, Nittardi
Since 2012 the former Casanuova di Nittardi has been a single vineyard wine and consisiting of 100% Sangiovese. It is aged 14 months in tonneaux.
The nose is a bit rugged on opening and it needs some time in the decanter before notes of sweet red currants, raspberry licorice, wheat bread, clean farmyard animals and fir wood appears. Lively and complex. With even more time in the glass, that fine scent of a warm Tuscan gravel road comes forward. Still, of course, very young.
The taste is fresh, tight and graceful with notes of red cherries, gravel, bakelite, dry violets and rosemary. Finely balanced. Has a promising life ahead of itself, and will only become better. Give it 3+ years to start with. I will.
90p   (tasted 2018/05)

Monday, 30 April 2018

Dinner With Doug Shafer



A couple of weeks ago I was invited by Vingruppen to a tasting dinner with Doug Shafer. I can´t remember ever having so fun at a tasting. Doug is a story teller by birth and the stories he told us during dinner was high spirited, charming and really, really funny.
And the wines weren´t that bad either...:-)

2009 Rosé, Louis Roederer
To get us going this nice Rosé were poured from a magnum, as it should be! The nose is finely tuned and deep with notes of blood oranges, rosé peppers, chrushed rocks and a fine perfumed scent. Very, very good.
The taste is young, tight and fine with notes of dried raspberries, blood oranges, fried bread and minerals. A very fine acidity. Long.
91p   (tasted 2018/03)


2015 Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay
I have always loved the Red Shoulder Ranch and the 2015 is no exception. A tad warmer and more broad shouldered than the 2014, but is has lots of charm and finesse all the same. The nose is big and open for business with notes of strawberries, grilled nuts, flower water and warm tiles. Deep and fine.
The taste is large scaled although structured and fine with notes of lemon candy, butter biscuits, smoke and warm rocks. Long and mouth filling. Lovely. Would love to gulp down this with a piece of grilled salmon.
92p   (tasted 2018/03)

2015 TD-9
This new wine is named after an old tractor. Apparently every name they came up during the naming process was taken before they thought of that old tractor. Shafer have been making a Merlot since 1983, but, alas, no more, this is the "new" Merlot, the blend is 56% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Malbec.
The nose is deep, dark and plummy with notes of chocolate, black cherries, tobacco and some peppery aromas. Very fine. Really excellent fruit here.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of tobacco, plums, asphalt and licorice. A lovely structure. Great lenght. This is fine! 6+ years.
94p   (tasted 2018/03)


2014 One Point Five
This Cabernet Sauvignon dominated wine shows of a tight, inky nose with notes of blackberries, very ripe raspberries, dark chocolate and forest floor. Rich and rewarding. Very, very deep.
The taste is multi layered and fine with notes of iron, red beets, blueberries and dark chocolate. A long, lingering finish with a touch of lavender. Great wine.
93p   (tasted 2018/03)

2013 Relentless
I tasted the 13 Relentless two years ago and it has picked up pace since then, for this is the real thing. 89% Shiraz, 11% Petite Sirah, 100% Pleasure. The nose is deep, meaty and tarry with notes of ripe blueberries, chrushed black pepper, violet soap and root vegetables. Very deep and complex.
The taste is black, tight and concentrated with notes of ripe rasp- and blackberries, soya sauce, tar and moist black earth. The finish goes on forever with ripe tannins and a great acidity. A great, great wine.
95p   (tasted 2018/03)


2010 Relentless
The 2010 shows a tad maturity on the nose in the shape of chrushed blackberries, soft earth, dried flowers and white peppers. Highly likeable. Deep and fine.
The taste is darker than the nose leads you to believe with notes of overripe raspberries, asphalt, thyme, ink and meat stock. Very, very long. Really fine.
92p   (tasted 2018/03)

2007 Relentless
This 11 year old Relentless doesn´t show more age than the 2010 but it has more forest, wood burning, pepper and tar notes than fruit aromas. Very fine. Scorched earth, tar and dried dark flowers comes along after a while.
The taste is structured, more linear than the 10 but with the same intensity and fine notes of wood smoke, ink, dark licorice, dried blueberries and dark chocolate. Long, long, long. Could be drunk now but I would be confident saving this 8+ more years. Really fine.
93p   (tasted 2018/03)

2013 Hillside Select
Oooh dear, what to say about this wine? Other than I would love to drink this morning, noon and night every day of the week. The nose is pure, tight and laser focused with notes of menthol spiked black currants, warm sand, Valrhona chocolate (64%!), a touch of asphalt and dark forest floor. Very, very complex.
The taste is just brilliant with fruit, tannins, acidity working their magic, a seamless creature with every knot and bolt in the right place. A beauty, now and I am sure, during the next 20+ years. A privilege to taste and drink.
98p   (tasted 2018/03)


Dog Shafer and one happy camper!