I was invited to Divine´s trade tasting earlier this week and got to taste an array of fine wines. You get a little jaded after 30+ wines, so I didn´t taste their whole range. But the notes below are of the ones that I really liked, and a few others...
I give an approximate score, since I only spent one or two minutes with each wine.
It was a good start - the entire line up of Champagnes from Gosset! The NV Brut Excellence is pure and silky with a fine mousse and some bread and apple notes, very good (~87p). The NV Grande Réserve Brut is deeper, with more stony aromas and a fine lemon cream taste (~89p). I am usually most found of Blanc de Blancs Champagnes, and this time was no different, the NV Blanc de Blancs is gorgeous with notes of chalk, yellow apples and fudge with a long, lingering, racy taste (~92p).
Gosset have produced a great 2002 in the 2002 Celebris Extra Brut, with its elegant smoky aromas and tight, young, potent taste (~93p) . Needs at least 5+ years. I have very found memories if the 1990 Celebris. Continuing the vintage wines, the 2002 Grand Millesime is poured. It is more evolved and fatter in its structure with lots of ripe red apples and crushed rocks, very good (~90p).
The NV Grand Rosé Brut finishes the Gosset range. It has an elegant, cool wild strawberry and red currants nose with a fresh, salivating finish, lovely (~90p).
Magda then poured me an interesting white from Campania, the 2011 Fiano di Avellino, Donnachiara, which has a crispy, fresh, grassy nose paired with a chalky, long, pure finish (~88p). I really liked the 2010 Lynmar Chardonnay last time I tasted it, and it showed as well this time (~91p). The JT, M. Gassier from Roussanne and Grenache Blanc is a multi dimensional wine with lots of ripe peach fruit and a broad but pure and crisp taste with great acidity (~91p).
At the next table I met the very nice and friendly Hannah Gordon, all the way from New Zeeland, representing Craggy Range. She first poures their 2011 Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc which shows fine gooseberry and grassy aromas and a fine, slim, salivating taste (~88p). The following 2010 Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay has a low keyed nose with some nuts, fugde and yellow apples. The taste have some structure but also a bit low keyed (~84p). The next Chardonnay, on the other hand, is the real thing - 2007 Les Beaux Cailloux. I have tasted it before and today it behaves even better - a gorgeous bottle of stunning Chardonnay (~94p).
The 2010 Te Muna Pinot Noir offers up some warm, spicy Pinot fruit paired with a medium bodied taste with raspberries and christmas spices (~88p). The 2011 Aroha (meaning love and I´m loving it!) is made out of the best parcels of Pinot from the Te Muna vineyard. It has a deep, complex, thrilling nose with raspberries, smoke, licorice and spices. The taste is like velvet until the end when the acidity creeps up and cleans the mouth. This is a great Pinot (~93p)!
The 2011 Gimblett Gravels Te Kahu is a blend of predominantly Merlot with some C.S., C.F., Malbec tossed in. It is fruit forward and keeps things together but I find it somewhat bland (~84p). The big brother, in every sense of the word, the 2011 Sophia is lovely with its sweet black currant fruit and a dense, deep and concentrated taste, lovely stuff (~92p).
Finishing off is the two Syrah wines from Craggy - the 2010 Gimblett Gravels Syrah has 3% Viognier in the blend and has a warm, medium deep nose with notes of blueberries, crushed white peppers and a touch of pine. The taste is open for business with rich Syrah fruit and a fine, medium long finish (~88p). The 2011 Le Sol is a stunning hedonistic bottle of wine, with peppered raw meat, licorice, balsa wood and gorgeous earthy notes. Still young of course but even now it appeals to your cave man senses (~92p).
A new acquaintance is the 2010 Samsara Turner Pinot Noir, and what a wine! It combines the seductiveness of fully ripe Pinot with a gorgeously refined framework and structure for keeping. This is a beauty! Impossible to spit...(~96p). Ojai has in its 2010 Fe Ciega Pinot Noir created an elegant, cool Pinot with long lasting taste and great balance (~92p).
The 2012 Shed 6, Quartz Reef is too warm and too alcoholic for my taste. Lots of rich sweet fruit but the balance isn´t there (~80p).
Even more porty, denser and jammy is the 2010 Renaissance, Domaine de Cristia. Granted, there is a tight structure and you can feel that there have been much work put in to it, but maybe to much? The tannins are dry in the end of the finish. Time will tell...(~81p).
The two Cabernets from Round Pond is, besides beautiful labels, two really fine wines. The 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon display gorgeous black currant fruit and a spicy, earthy character that is truly enjoyable (~90p). But the 2010 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon takes things to another level - complex notes of black currants, pencil shavings, grapthite and expensive leather oozes up from the glass, and the taste is concentrated, dense and magnificent (~94p).
What can I say about the 2010 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon other than - give me some! This is a world class Cabernet, albeit young of course, that radiated class, focus and hedonism. Every bolt and nut is in the exact place and this will become a truly magnificent wine 10-15 years along the line (~96p).
the 1985 Vigna gli Angeli & the 1990 plus the 1997 Vigna gli Angeli.
First up was the 2011 Rosso di Montalcino with its gorgeous, upfront nose full of sweet/sour cherries, licorice, violets and a touch of smoke. The taste is juicy, lively and just fun drinking, but shows a firm backbone in the finish. This is a must buy when it is released 1 October! (~90p). I really, really loved the 2007 Brunello, but I wan´t be able to feel the same for the new vintage. The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino shows a hot, barnyardy nose with lots of sweet cherry fruit but without the grip of the previous vintage. The taste is big and brawny with high alcohols, burly tannins and a long, warm finish that ends somewhat dry (~86p).
Thanks to Divine for the invite!