A couple of weeks ago I was invited to Miran "The Helicopter" Kegl for some assessment of various bottles of fermented grapejuice. Visiting Miran you need a large spittoon or the next day will be heavy...
We got started with an array of white wines - soon there were decanters all over the table! By the way - all wines tasted double blind - and the guesses were widespread and in a few instances accurate...
2005 Hochrain Riesling, Franz Hirtzberger
A nice, semi mature nose with notes of bakelite, dried yellow fruit, cinnamon and some burned bread. Medium deep. It smells of Riesling, but not overly typical.
The taste is rather big, dry and stony with lots of autumn apples, warm gravel and the same bakelite note as on the nose. Semi mature and nice.
86p (tasted 2011/10)
2007 Dhron Hofberg, A.J. Adam
What! Haven´t heard of the this producer before - but he/she (?) fashions a beautiful Riesling.
A cool, elegant nose with notes of lemons, wet stones, grey pears and a gorgeous minerality. A little on the shy side, but when you look close, this is a beauty.
The taste is fresh, pure and austere (in a good way), with lots of precious fruits - yellow apples, melon and lemons. The finish is long, pure and consists of wave upon wave of sweet minerals. Intense and pure, but not for the hedonist.
92p (tasted 2011/10)
2007 Diatom, Huber
Well, almost the opposite of the above. The sugar and alcohol hunters dream...
A deep, sweet, almost dirty nose with sugared lemons, cookie dough and overripe apples. Very big. It has a dirty note that don´t air of. And with higher temperature it becomes even sweeter. Not for me.
The taste is big and steady with lots and lots of sweet yellow fruit, a doolop of grain alcohol (16%!) and a long, and actually impressive finish. When it gets warm it looses its structure, but if you drink it in the first 10 minutes from the refrigerator it´s not that bad...
73p (tasted 2011/10)
2008 Booker White
This beauty consists of 60% Rousanne and 40% Viognier. Interesting, since I normally can´t stand viognier...
A big, fruity, somewhat sweet nose with lots of ripe peaches, sweet lime, eraser and a touch of lavender. Broad but with a good structure. Deep. Lots of summer flowers. Very, very good.
The taste is more tight than the nose and with more stone and minerals notes, even though the ripe peaches and limes are there. There is a warmth at the end (14,9%) but not in a disturbing way. And it doesn´t fall apart when it gets warm. This I like!
91p (tasted 2011/10)
A very nice set of white wines had made us ready for som red heavy hitters, and Miran began producing decanter after decanter...
1994 Lauren Glen Cabernet Sauvignon
Aaah - a blast from the past! Bought a couple of those 8-10 years ago, but they are all long gone. But what a pleasant reunion.
A deep, creamy, perfectly mature nose with lots of decadent black currants, sandel wood, atumn leaves and tobacco. What a gorgeous ripe fruit there is here. Can´t be anything else than a almost mature Cabernet Sauvignon.
The taste is rounded, but firm in the right places, with waves of sweet black fruit, both black currants, cherries and a touch of black olives. You can feel the tannins right at the end, indicating that this baby can hold for many more years, but it is a treat to drink right now.
94p (tasted 2011/10)
Aaaaaaah - what a beauty! This perennial favourite of mine (although I couldn´t pin it...) continues to impresse. A stunning, broad, deep, powerful nose with masses of rich, sweet cherry fruit, both red and black. And the spectrum continues with autumn leaves, forest smoke, dried flowers and a touch of vanilla oak - very complex and intense!
The taste follow up with a stunning structure, were the tannins, fruit, acidity is in (almost) perfect alignment. Lovely sandel wood, dried roses and sweet pipe tobacco flavours flows over the tongue. Haven´t still, in my mind, hit its plateau of maturity, and when it does, behold!
96p (tasted 2011/10)
2003 La Ricolma
Didn´t see that coming - a 100% Merlot from Tuscany - haven´t tasted any vintage earlier.
A deep, tight and creamy nose with lots of black fruits, mostly blackberries and cherries, with a hint of oak vanilla. Warm road dust and a whiff of sour milk. Very deep and attractive.
The taste is big and steady with lovely sweet fruit and a boatload of still young tannins. A long, warm, creamy finish that tell that it need some more time in the cellar. Impressive though.
93p (tasted 2011/10)
2007 Pride Merlot Vintner Select Cuvée
A big, sweet, over-the-top nose with notes of raisins, black cherries, boysen berries and a hefty dose of vanilla oak. It has its qualities but a tad to sweet for my liking.
The taste is tighter than the nose, with bold tannins and notes of blackberries, sweet rosehips and vanilla oak. The initial taste is very good, but the finish is all about alcohol warmth and a somewhat disjointed structure.
85p (tasted 2011/10)
Miran thought we had done well...so he produces a second flight with two wines. And I contributed with a bottle.
2003 Barolo Pie Rupestris, Cappellano
A very deep, elegant, fine tuned nose with cool red fruit in form of red currants, cherries and rasberries. A very fine gravelly note. Dry licorice and rosehips ads to the complexity. Very far from the previous blockbuster, this wine is right up my alley. Lovely.
The taste is cool, restrained and with a seedy character. Lots of sweet red fruit, relatively soft tannins and a elegant finish. Very, very good.
Wonderful to drink another gem from Teobaldo. I will never forget the three times I have met with the "gentle giant" of Barolo. And keeping with his wishes, I will not post a score of this wine.
2001 Barolo Le Vigne, Sandrone
And it gets even better! This stunning wine explodes from the glass with the purest expression of red cherries imaginable, mixed with rosehips, dried flowers, and a touch vanilla. A lovely creamy structure. Very deep. Just gorgeous!
The taste is concentrated, full of red fruit extract, finely polished tannins and a finish to die for. Utterly captivating and, really, in a very good drinking window. Beautiful!
But the Cannubi Boschis from the same year is even better - 100p the last time I tasted it!
97p (tasted 2011/10)
1969 Barolo, Pio Cesare
I brought this older gentleman as I contrast to what I thought would be an array of young wines...:-)
The nose is soft, gentle, but with plenty of life, and nice notes of root vegetables, rosehips, tea and autumn apples. A lot of wet earth after a while. Very good on the nose.
The taste is fully mature with soft, precious red fruit, although it has become a little on the dry side. A medium long, dry, nice finish. Went very well with the food.
86p (tasted 2011/10)
And we were not finished yet - Miran thought that we needed something to warm us with on this late autumn evening.
1985 Graham´s Vintage Port
A tight, fine, compact nose with lovely sweet black fruit and notes of pan roasted nuts, raisins and semi sweet chocolate. Very deep. A wonderful sweetness.
The taste is big and bold, with a tight structure, waves of sweet tannins intermingled with black cherries, chocolate covered orange peels and dark fudge. Just yummy, but this baby needs another 5-10 years.
93p (tasted 2011/10)
1985 Taylor´s Vintage Port
This is tighter, sweeter and more broad shouldered than the Graham. And what sweet, magic fruit it has! Rasberries, strawberried and boatloads of red and black cherries. This is just great! Very, very deep. Still has much primary fruit.
The taste is compact, intense and lovely with masses of rich, sweet, decadent black fruit combined with layers upon layers of big, strapping tannins. A minute long finish with a lovely warm mouth feel. Stunning! Needs another 10-15 years.
95p (tasted 2011/10)
Thanks Miran for a great evening with lots of wine, laughter, and - thankfully! - no helicopter! :-)