Friday, 22 September 2017

Four Wine Bars In Gothenburg

I´m in Gothenburg for a couple of days and yesterday I checked up on these wine bars.

First up - Champagnebaren - a small, friendly place with a good vibe and great staff. I, of course, had a glass of bubbly.

NV Blanc de Blancs, Philippe Glavier
A fresh, lively nose with notes of lemon peel, wet stones, dry bread and steel. With air a touch of sea food shells. Very, very good.
The taste is light, finely tuned and crisp with a fine balance, a nice acidity and lots of lemons. Highly enjoyable.
90p   (tasted 2017/09)
I walked for a couple of minutes and entered Barsac, a classy bar/restaurant with a small focus on natural/eco wines. I opted for a glass of

2015 SP68, Occhipinti
An upfront, stingy nose with notes of sour cranberries, star anise, spices and that common chicken farm smell, that somewhat blew of but not completely. How that can be attractive I will never figure out.
The taste is dry and eartht with notes of assorted dried red fruits, gravel and Spices. A medium long, pure finish. A good entry and finish but the middle taste is a tad anemic.
82p   (tasted 2017/09)

Just a few steps up the street Björns Bar is located some steps down from the ground level. A very charming local and staff alike. I had some tasty duck rilette and a glass of
2011 Monguglielmo, Diego Conterno
This is a Barbera/Nebbiolo blend and shows of a large scaled, warm nose with notes of ripe cherries, moist earth, dried up strawberry jam and Bonfire smoke. Maybe a smidgeon too warm on the nose.
But the taste keeps it all together with seedy cherries, licorice, firm tannins and a uplifting acidity. Long, warm and fine.
87p   (tasted 2017/09)


I had now became quite peckish so I went to Somm for food & wine! First a glass of bubbly while deciding what to eat.
NV Grande Réserve Blanc de Blancs, Leclaire-Gaspard
A cool, low keyed, nice nose with notes of wet asphalt, yellow apples and cucumber water. Fine.
The taste is young and dry with notes of lime, grass and lots of chushed rocks. A fine acidity. Very good.
87p   (tasted 2017/09)

I decided on a beef dish that was really tasty and to go along a glass of
2010 Château Sociando-Mallet
This bottle was Coravine´d and first poured two weeks ago. You couldn´t tell. It behaved like a freshly opened bottle. The nose is deep, complex, ripe and gorgeous with notes of ripe black currants, pencil shavings, coffee grounds and a dark perfumed note. Very deep and refined.
The taste is both luscious and firm with notes of sweet black currants, graphite, expensive leather, dark flowers and a hint of cocoa. Very, very long. Needs 6+ years. Lovely wine. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc.
93p   (tasted 2017/09)



All the places above are highly recommended even if would give Somm that extra shining star.



Tuesday, 19 September 2017

A Tale Of An Empty Bottle Of DRC 1964 Richebourg - OR - How I Turned Into Rudy Kurniawan For One Day


If you haven´t already, and have a couple of days over, you just have to read the 167 pages long thread about Rudy Kurniawan on the Wineberserkers forum - Rudy Kurniawan & global wine auction fraud thread.

I have read every page and post since the start on the 4th of February 2012.

The whole affair with Rudy that ended (?) with his 10 year prison sentence has also been captured on film with the movie Sour Grapes (a must see!)

One detail that has fascinated me is - how did Rudy "make" these old Burgundies? There have been some "recipes" circulating on the net, but I thought I would give it a go myself...

The original 1964 Richebourg. Drunk at my 40 year bash and performed nicely although I thought it to be a tad warm but with rich, deep, hedonistic fruit. I scored it 92p then. My blend was better, see below...


The set up. I bought a bottle of 2014 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir from Brewer-Clifton. Why? See the pic below from Sour Grapes (evidence from the Rudy trial) - Richebourg and Brewer-Clifton standing side by side, Rudy had something going on there...
I first opened a generic Burgundy from 1964 from my stash but that one was clearly over the hill, so I grabbed a bottle of 1976 Vosne-Romanée Les Malconsort, Clos Frantin.


With the two bottles of Pinot I started out making a DRC 1964 Richebourg. I toyed with a couple of different blends before I came to the conclusion that approximately 80% Vosne-Romanée and 20% Brewer-Clifton was the ideal blend. It still tasted like a mature Burgundy but it had a firmer backbone and a lovely sweetness in the background.

The result. Halfway in our Barolo Boys dinner I presented an interlude between the flights. No other information was given. The unanimous verdict was that of a high quality Burgundy with some age, the guesses landed in the 80´s. I then presented the bottle...
A hint of disappointment - a 64 DRC Richebourg should have, or anticipated being, even greater, but there were not any disbelief that it was the real thing.
Then I presented me as Rudy Kurniawan. Shows over. We then tried the three wines side by side, the Clos Frantin, the Brewer-Clifton and my blend, and the result was again unanimous, the blend was the finest wine.

"1964 Richebourg, DRC" - Barolista style
A mature, deep, spicy nose with dried wild strawberries, moist forest floor, coffee grounds and a touch of mint. Deep, fine and a with a very fine sweetness.
The taste is mature, multi layered and warm with notes of sweet/sour raspberries, licorice, beet root and autumn leaves. Very long and finely structured. A fine mouthfeel. Really fine.
I can see a new career for myself...
93p   (tasted 2017/08)

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Two Days In Piedmont - A Visit To Marchesi Di Barolo



The second of my winery visits on our two days in Piedmonte this summer.
The story of Marchesi di Barolo begins in 1807 - read all about it here and here. I meet up with Giulia who showed me the cellars and the wine library (although she didn´t want to leave me alone in there with a corkscrew, which I suggested...) and then she poured the 13 Baroli. A great visit!



Marchesi di Barolo
2013 Barolo
A very young and a tad foursquare nose with notes of red cherries, smoke, earth and band aid. Nice enough.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of ripe cherries, dry licorice, asphalt and forest floor. A fine acidity. Long. The taste is better then the nose today. Give it 5+ years.
87p   (tasted 2017/08)

2013 Barolo Coste di Rosso
The Coste di Rosso shows of a floral, high nose with notes of cranberries, ripe red cherries, forest floor and mushrooms. On the light side of things but very persintent and fine.
The taste is taut and dry with notes of red currants, hyacint, gravel and violets. Long and fine with some structured tannins. 5+ years.
89p   (tasted 2017/08)


2013 Barolo Cannubi
A dense, deep nose with notes of ripe black cherries, coffee powder, rosehips and a hint of dark chocolate. All the cru´s get the same oak regime, 1/3 new barriques and 2/3 old slavonian botti.
The taste is focused and forceful with notes of ripe cherries, bakelite, chrushed rocks, dried flowers and a hint of rich tobacco. Very long and very good. I would wait 6 years for this one.
92p   (tasted 2017/08)

2013 Barolo Sarmassa
The Sarmassa displays a stony, rocky, flinty nose that needed time in the glass. Then aromas of black cherries, tar, undergrowth and fir flows up from the glass. Very deep. Refined. This will need serious time.
The taste is concentrated and structured with the feeling of biting of cherry pips alongside notes of asphalt, rosehips, forest floor and violets. Very, very long with taut tannins. Give this 8+ years.
92p   (tasted 2017/08)




Saturday, 16 September 2017

1993 Cabernet Merlot, Tim Knappstein


There is something about me and the 1993 vintage, where ever in the world the grapes have grown. I just seem to like the wines from this vintage.
Here is another bottle, opened with grilled steaks with a home made béarnaise sauce and oven fried root vegetables.

1993 Cabernet Merlot, Tim Knappstein
Made out of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 4% Malbec, this Clare Valley/Lenswood (the first vintage with grapes from Lenswood) has a nose that is mature, warm and round with notes of vanilla cooked raspberries and blueberries with additional notes of plums, smoke and a hint of toothpaste. Very likeable although a tad lacking in complexity.
The taste is mature, velvety and warm with notes of blueberries, bonfire smoke, asphalt and some incense. Very good in a direct, mature, smooth kind of way.
The back label says "may be cellared up to five years". I waited almost 25...
87p   (tasted 2017/09)

Friday, 15 September 2017

1978 Rioja Reserva, Bodegas Berberana

A quick chicken, onion, sun dried tomatoe and cream pasta sauce called out either for a young, upfront, acidic wine or a mature, round, multi layered wine. I opted for the latter.

1978 Rioja Reserva, Bodegas Berberana
I drink Rioja very seldom these days, even though it was these (mature) wines that got me hooked some 30 years ago. Ah well, taste changes, even though every time I open a mature bottle of Rioja I wonder why I don´t drink it more often.
The nose of this 39 year old Reserva is soft spoken with a very fine sweetness and aromas of sun warm asphalt, vanilla cooked red fruits, ripe strawberries and Christmas spices. Very, very good.
The taste is round, easy going but still has a good backbone and displays notes of raspberry licorice, dried strawberries, moist earth and a touch of mint. A fine acidity. Fully mature and maybe then some but a very nice drink on this Friday evening.
88p   (tasted 2017/09)


Thursday, 14 September 2017

A Great Paso Robles Syrah - 2011 Right Hand Man Barrel 27

A few grilled black pepper sausages and a spicy potatoe salad screamed for a Syrah.

2011 Right Hand Man Barrel 27 Syrah
97% Syrah and 3% Viognier. A deep, outgoing nose with depth and balance that shows of aromas of blackberries, asphalt, sweet violets and dried flowers. Very fine. There is a hint of toothpaste in the background.
The taste is steady and concentrated with notes of ripe blueberries, violet pastilles, rosehips and some bitter chocolate notes in the finish. Has grip and focus. Long and fine. Very, very good. Too bad it was my only bottle.
92p   (tasted 2017/09)


Tuesday, 12 September 2017

A Barolo Boys Dinner - Grasso, Altare, Azelia, Accomasso, Clerico & More!



The Barolo Boys meet up a couple of weeks ago with one hang around who watched in awe when the Boys displayed their encyclopedic knowledge of the King of grapes - Nebbiolo - Hallowed Be Thy Name

2008 Cuvée Antique, P. Heucq
This 50% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier has a perky, fresh nose with notes of oranges, summer flowers, smoke and dark peaches. Very, very good.
The taste is young and focused with notes of orange peels, chalk and dried flowers. A long, lingering finish with a fine acidity. Really good.
92p   (tasted 2017/08)


Flight I
1990 Barbaresco Montefico, La Ca´Növa
The first flight consisted of three bottles from La Ca´Növa. The first 1990 shows of a fine maturity with notes of canned mushrooms, spices, rosehips, paint and a hint of dog fur. A fine dried up sweetness. Kept very well until the next day.
The taste is dry and mature with notes of dry licorice, cranberries, forest floor and some tobacco flavours. Very long and fine. Perfect maturity.
92p   (tasted 2017/08)

1990 Barbaresco Bric Mentina, La Ca´Növa
The Bric Mentina is even better with a deep nose with notes of hot cherries, rose petals, asphalt and some tobacco. Very deep and fine. Actually even better on the nose on day two.
The taste is tight, mature and focused with notes of dried cherries, undergrowth, dry licorice and fir. Still some steady tannins. Very long. Really fine.
93p   (tasted 2017/08)


2011 Barbaresco Montefico Vigna Bric Mentina, La Ca´Növa
The youngster from La Ca´Növa has a high, pure nose with notes of ripeining strawberries, spices and dark flowers. A fine depth. Kept the same until day two.
The taste is sandy and fine with notes of hard cherry candy, violets and warm gravel. A fine finish with polished tannins. Will need 5+ years.
90p   (tasted 2017/08)

Flight II
1998 Barolo Gavarini Vigna Chiniera, Elio Grasso
The first 98 has a deep, gravelly nose with notes of Finnish licorice, raspberries and rosehips. A hint of paint with air. A fine balanced nose with some maturity.
The taste is more restrained than the nose leads you to believe with notes of iron, dried cherries, beet roots and undergrowth. A long, fine, distinct finish. Will still need 3+ years in the cellar. Behaved the same the next day.
92p   (tasted 2017/08)


1998 Barolo, Altare
Aaaah, what a nose, deep, intoxicating and light as a feather at the same time. Gorgeous notes of ripe red cherries, rose petals, smoke and ceps. A lovely sweetness to the fruit. Handsome.
The taste is beautifully structured with a hint of maturity and boatloads of sweet cherries, asphalt, smoke and mushrooms. A long finish with sandy tannins. Drinking splendidly now but will go on for 8+ years. Great wine!
94p   (tasted 2017/08)

1998 Barolo Bricco Fiasco, Azelia
The nose of the Bricco Fiasco is deep and compact with notes of dark cherries, almons paste, scorched earth and cold coffee. Very deep and refined. With air more undergrowth/mushroom forest and herbal scents come forward.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of ripe black cherries, asphalt, dark flowers and a hint of chocolate biscuits. A very long, taut, impressive finish. Will need another 4+ years.
93p   (tasted 2017/08)


Flight III
2008 Barolo Cerretta Vigna Bricco, Altare
A glorious wine from start to finish. Very young of course but I could drink this any day of the week. The nose is very deep with a great purity and complexity, in the shape of ripe red cherries, ripe lingonberries, paint, roses, smoke and flowers. Layers upon layers. High and energetic. Stunning.
The taste is concentrated, ripe and two minutes long with notes of hard cherry candy, dry licorice, ceps, violets and autumn leaves. The tannins have been polished with the finest cloth. Give this beauty 6+ years and you are flirting with perfection.
97p   (tasted 2017/08)



2008 Barolo Riserva Rocche, Accomasso
This I was looking forward to taste since I haven´t tasted anything from Accomasso. Judging from this bottle I don´t know if I will again, at least if I have to splurge out 100+ Euro for a bottle. For this was not fun.
The nose big and blowsy with notes of old red beets, paint remover, bakelite and not yet ripe lingonberries. But - there is a element of dirty barrels och dirty cellar here. Interesting enough it got a bit better with 24 hours of breathing, but it didn´t became good, just a tad less impure.
The taste is high strunged and linear with notes of earth, lingonberries, rust and cherry pips. A long, medium bodied finish that is a tad hollow in the middle. The taste also got a bit better after 24 hours.
The other Barolo Boys tasted all wines double blind and the verdict for this one was unanimous - a medium quality wine that has some problems from an unclean cellar/barrels. The score is from the day after, at the dinner I had it at 78p.
81p   (tasted 2017/09)

2008 Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra, Domenio Clerico
This is a brute in this stage of its life. The nose is tight and intense with notes of dark cherries, licorice, fir and lots of moist mushrooms. Very deep and a tad backward. Day two it has blossomed and shows a fine nose with spices, flowers and asphalt. Very, very deep.
The taste is broad shouldered and steady with notes of sweet/sour cherries, chrushed rocks, dark tobacco and a fine perfumed note. Very, very long and vital. Needs 6+ years. A great wine in the making.
93p   (tasted 2017/08)


1997 Coteaux du Layon Beaulieu, Château Pierre-Bise
We finished of the evening with a sweetie from Loire. The nose is deep and multi layered with notes of wet wool, old rubber, vanilla cooked peaches and glue (björnklister for all Swedish readers). A fine maturity.
The taste is big and sweet with notes of white raisins, oil cloth, candied orange peel and rubber. A very fine acidity to counteract the high sweetness. Very long.
90p   (tasted 2017/08)

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Bel Colle Barolo - 1996 & 2012


We made some pizza today - my favourite is with truffle salami, buffalo mozzarella and lots of reggiano!
Some wine to go along? You bet! I opened two Baroli from Bel Colle and both worked great with the yummy pizza´s.
Info here.

1996 Barolo, Bel Colle
Bottle nr 836 out of 1.200 made.
The nose is deep and mature with notes of dried cranberries, freeze dried coffee, rosehips, mushrooms and a hint of wet dog fur. Very, very good. A fine maturity. Moist undergrowth. Dark candle grease. Holds well over the evening.
The taste is mature, dry and fine with notes of dried red cherries, warm tiles, dry licorice and earth. A refined, long, dry finish. Really good. Glad I have more bottles. although I think they will be drunk within 4-8 years.
89p   (tasted 2017/09)



2012 Barolo Monvigliero, Bel Colle
This is a stunner, albeit a young one! The nose is high, pure and energetic with notes of ripe red apples, violets, sweet red earth and a hint of dark chocolate. A very fine sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is young, tight and forceful with notes of earth, wild strawberries, graphite and pomegranate. Long and lingering with a great acidity and structured tannins. Will need 5+ years in the cellar. A great wine in the making.
93p   (tasted 2017/09)

Friday, 8 September 2017

2003 Ihringer Winklerberg Mimus Spätburgunder, Weingut Dr Heger


A late Friday dinner with some cheese and Serrano ham. I needed something to go along and after a quick rummage through the bottles nearest to hand, this was popped and poured.

2003 Ihringer Winklerberg Mimus Spätburgunder, Weingut Dr Heger
A warm. deep, spicy nose with notes of forest floor, dried strawberries, some bonfire scents in the background and a ever so slight touch of assorted farm animals. Very, very good. A fine warmth and maturity.
The taste is medium bodied with a fine dried up sweetness of raspberries and wild strawberries alongside notes of violets, sun warm rocks, dried spices and stale coca-cola notes. A fine dryness at the end, fine acidity. Drinking perfectly at 14 years of age.
91p   (tasted 2017/09)

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

A Bottle Of Bubbly - 2008 Brut, Pol Roger


2008 Brut, Pol Roger
The latest vintage on the state monopoly of this perennial favourite of mine is of the great 08 vintage non the less! Just have to open a bottle. And glad I did, so I can buy more...
The nose is deep, tight yet light, high and complex with lovely notes of lemon cream, summer flowers, sweet minerals, fish stock and white peach. Multi dimensional and great.
The taste is young, tight and concentrated with notes of grilled lemons, honey pastilles, star fruit and sun warm gravel. A long, distinct finish with a fine acidity. Lip smacking good with a great potential. How many should I buy...?
94p   (tasted 2017/08)

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Two Days In Piedmont - A Visit To Giovanni Sordo

The last couple of days of our Italian vacation we spent in the hollow land of Nebbiolo. Me in the vineyards, enotecas and making two producer visits; my better half spent the time at the pool...

One of those days I made a visit to Giovanni Sordo; I had only tasted two older bottles from them before, the 1964 & the 1978 Riserva.

I meet up with Paolo Travo, which is Sordo´s marketing and export manager. He showed me the cellars and while we were there, Paola Sordo, the 4th generation showed up and said hello.
A great visit with a generous and friendly Paolo - thanks!
Info here.


Sordo
2016 Arneis
A fresh, steely nose with notes of lemon grass, elderberries and gravel. Very good.
The taste is juicy and stony and broadens in the glass with notes of lemon, grass and a touch of sage.
87p   (tasted 2017/08)



2013 Barolo Ravera
Sordo makes eight different cru´s and I got to taste five of them from the 2013 vintage. The Ravera is a tad withdrawn, fine nose with notes of corinthians, dark bread, warm tiles and cranberries. A fine depth. Needs time.
The taste is young and tight with notes of hard cherry candy, sun warm rocks and a touch of band aid. Long, dry and fine. Will need 5+ years.
90p   (tasted 2017/08)



Paolo

2013 Barolo Parusso
Rowanberries and red cherries makes up the nose alongside aromas of licorica, gravel and furniture oil. Deep. Very, very good.
The taste is broad and deep with notes of chrushed rocks, ripening cherries, rosehips and licorice. A long, tannin laded finish. Needs 6+ years.
90p   (tasted 2017/08)

2013 Barolo Rocche di Castiglione
Tasted just a month ago, and it behaved identical on this occasion.
92p   (tasted 2017/08)



2013 Barolo Villero
The Villero is a beauty with its deep, perfumed nose full of ripe red cherries, raspberry licorice, undergrowth and root vegetables. Very deep and fine. A lovely sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is tight and balanced with notes of hard cherry candy, forest floor, candle grease, gravel and a hint of fennel. Very long, very structured and very, very fine. Just lovely, with time in hand.
93p   (tasted 2017/08)

2013 Barolo Monprivato
The nose is high, pure and refined with notes of dark spices, black cherries, fir wood and licorice. Very deep and a tad restrained.
The taste is tight and complex with a very fine depth and notes of ripe red and black cherries, rose petals, chrushed rocks and dry licorice, Very long and pure. This is going places, just give it 8+ years.
93p   (tasted 2017/08)


The cellar...

The view from Sordo´s courtyard

Back home I opened the three remaining cru´s that I didn´t taste at the estate, just to get the whole Sordo picture :-)

2013 Barolo Gabutti
A young, deep, layered nose with notes of ripe lingonberies, mushrooms, dry licorice and a hint of cinnamon. Evolves nicely in the glass and fattens up. Really sweet, nice fruit.
The taste is cool, tight amd seedy with notes of rosehips, red cherries, undergrowth and a hint of tobacco. A very long, sandy finish with lovely polished tannins and a cleansing acidity. Has a long, healthy life in front of it.
92p   (tasted 2017/08)


2013 Barolo Monvigliero
This needed a lot of time. At first is was hard as nails with a rusty character and notes of lingonberries, bakelite and smoke. With air and, even more, on the second day it evolves with notes of dark perfume, leather and mushrooms. Very deep. Needs time.
The taste is tight, focused and leathery with notes of ripening cherries, rosehips, rust and mushrooms. On day two is shows more undergrowth, coffee powder and sweet licorice. Give this 7+ years and it will deliver lots of pleasure.
92p   (tasted 2017/08)

2013 Barolo Perno
The Perno (from the third largest MGA in Barolo with its 190,96 ha (although only 42% is under vine)) has a young, upfront, spicy and just gorgeous nose right of the bat, with noyes of fir wood, fennel, dark strawberries and a hint of smoke. Very deep.
The taste is young, multi layered and stringently with notes of ripe red cherries, rosehips, dry licorice and fir wood. A very long, balanced finish. This is a lovely wine which will get even more lovely in 5+ years time.
93p   (tasted 2017/08)



Friday, 1 September 2017

2006 Stielle, Rocca Di Castagnoli

The Swedish state monopoly isn´t exactly crowded with wines that have some age, even though some bottles pop up occasionally. One wine that over the years have shown itself on the shelfs is Stielle, a 80% Sangiovese and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Tuscany.
Now it was time for the 2006, lets have a go at one bottle.

2006 Stielle, Rocca di Castagnoli
The 06 displays a warm, somewhat mature, round nose with notes of dried cherries, rosemary filled bread dough, warm tiles and a hint of pepper. Very good in a warm, soft style.
The taste is warm and mature with notes of balsamico marinated cherries, gravel, bakelite and dark licorice. Still some tannins in the middle. A fine warmth. Long and fine. Very, very good.
89p   (tasted 2017/07)

Previous vintages tasted:
2000
2001
2004