Monday, 23 May 2016

A 21 Bottle Sunday Dinner...

When M invites you over, there are always some surprises to be had. This time, unannounced, Johannes Haart from Weingut Reinhold Haart greats you at the door. He and his lovely wife Sarah stays for the whole dinner and holds an impromptu wine tasting to start with. A great experience!
All wines, except for the last four sweet wines, were tasted double blind.

While waiting for all guests we got to sip on this
2014 Fröhlich Trocken, Schaefer-Fröhlich
No one saw yhis Mûller-Thurgau coming - we were all sure it was a Riesling... The nose is young and cool with notes of nettles, grey pears and melon. Very good.
The taste is light and refreshing with a fine acidity and notes of pears, grass and gravel. Medium long.
86p   (tasted 2016/05)

Johannes then poured the following wine and explained his philosophy regarding winemaking and talked about the vintages. This is the best experience, tasting the wines and talking to the wine maker, having the chance to ask all those silly questions!
2008 Piesporter Goldtröpchen Riesling GG, Reinhold Haart
A still young, serious nose with notes of lemoncello, dry honey, chrushed rocks and some dried tropical fruits. A nice weight on the nose. Ripe and fine.
The taste is tight and refined with notes of lemon/vanilla ice cream, ripe pears and slate. A long, lingering finish. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2016/05)

2008 Piesporter Goldtröpchen Riesling Spätlese, Reinhold Haart
This is a beauty! The nose is deep and pure with notes of summer flowers, smoke, wet asphalt and white and red currants. Just lovely. A hint of petroleum.
The taste is a gorgeous combvination of purity and intensity, with notes of candied lemons, wet asphalt and lots of minerals. A long, long finish with a cleansing acidity. Great wine.
94p   (tasted 2016/05)

1991 Winstricher Ohligsberg Riesling Spätlese, Reinhold Haart
A 91! I guessed it to be from 97 or thereabout. It has a nose which is deep and lively, with notes of dried tropical fruits, ash, diesel oil and a hint of a moist cellar (in a positive sense).
The taste is tight and somewhat mature with notes of dried lemons, asphalt and dry grass. A long lasting finish with a fine acidity. I am guessing that this will not get better but there is no hurry to drink it either.
91p   (tasted 2016/05)

2010 Piesporter Goldtröpchen Riesling Kabinett, Reinhold Haart
A fresh, salivating nose with notes of lemons and limes together with smoke, crushed rocks and a hint of wild strawberries. Very fine.
The taste is still young and tight with notes of lemon peel, grey pears, slate and smoke. Very, very long and intense. Great acidity. Pure and refreshing. Lovely.
92p   (tasted 2016/05)

After this interesting tasting we got back to the regular program, with some whites with the starters.
2004 Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes, Jacques Prieur
Big and bold, two words to describe this bottle. So big and bold that I ventured that it was from California... Fine notes of ripe peaches, burned sugar, summer flowers and fried sweetbreads. Very nice in its opulent way.
The taste is big and concentrated with notes of lemon cream, butter cookies and dried flowers. The finish is long and warm. A lot of body on this, but it holds things together nicely. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2016/05)

2012 Nierstein -P- Riseling Kabinett, Keller
Tasted a year ago, it performed (almost) on the same level on this night. A fantastic wine.
94p   (tasted 2016/05)

2015 Nierstein -H- Riesling Kabinett, Keller
If the 12 Pettenthal was great, what can I say about the 15 Hipping? Marvellous? World Class? Yes, and then some. M kept going on about the wines energy, and I can see what he means. This wine oozes out of the glass with stunning notes of the freshest and ripest pears, fennel, rhubarb and lots and lots of slate. Clean as a mountain river. Just great.
It flows over your tongue with and intensity and nerve that has to be tasted to be believed. This has everything in place, except some maturity. Simply ripping!
97p   (tasted 2016/05)

2005 Piesporter Goldtröpchen Riesling Auslese, St. Urbans-Hof
Now for something more sweetish. It was meant to go along some hot shrimps, but it was a tad to sweet for that assignment (the next wine was far better). The nose is open and spicy with notes of matchbox, ripe lemons and candied yellow apples. A fine depth and some maturity.
The taste is semi sweet to begin with but ends semi dry when the acidity have done it job. Notes of dried apricots, minerals and a hint of saffron. A good length. Very good.
88p   (tasted 2016/05)

2007 Piesporter Domherr Riesling Spätlese, Reinhold Haart
This shows a ligth, airy nose with fine notes of spicy lemons, wet asphalt and a hint of gun powder. Very refined. A slight hint of maturity, but this has a long way to go. Very, very fine.
The taste is elegant and intense with notes of candied lemons, crushed rocks and warm grass. A long finish with a lovely, cleansing acidity with a hint of sweetness. Some spicy elements. This is fine.
92p   (tasted 2016/05)

Then we changed pace and went on to the red wines.
1970 Barolo, Paolo Scavino
This aged beauty displays a soft, mature, warm nose with notes of dried ceps, old leather, dried cranberries and soya. A very fine warmth.
The taste is round, mature and a bit dry in the end, but gives away fine notes of dried cherries, forest floor and some balsamic notes. A long, dry finish with a fine tightness. With food, a great wine, on its own, a tad dry.
88p   (tasted 2016/05)

1990 Barolo Cannubi, Paolo Scavino
The 90 Cannubi performed great on this evening, the best Cannubi from Scavino I have ever had. The nose is deep, somewhat mature, sweet and fantastic, with notes of rosehips, sweet red cherries, a whole mushroom forest and dry liquorice. This is in a great state of maturity now. Just lovely.
The taste is more tight and focused than the nose and shows fine notes of ripe red and black cherries, dried mushrooms, rose petals and dusty earth. The finish goes on and on and displays some sturdy tannins yet. A great mouthfeel. A great wine that will go on being great for another 10+ years. Wish I had some...
95p   (tasted 2016/05)

1990 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
Last time I tasted the 90 Bric dël Fiasc was three years ago, and I then pegged it as "semi mature" but requiring 5+ more years (and scoring it almost perfect). Ok then, things should have happened in three years time, right? What has happened is that it has went backwards in time...
This bottle must have been in some sort of time warp. The nose is upfront, spicy and deep with lots of ripe black cherries and notes of fresh mushrooms, rosehips and sugared coffee. Powerful and young (!). Very, very good.
The taste is broadshouldered and concentrated with notes of ripening black cherries, raspberry liquorice, mushrooms and asphalt. The finish goes on for over a minute. Still backward and young, this bottle would need 10+ years to reach maturity. This is one of the many fun aspects of wine, no two bottles of the same wine - at least with age - behaves the same way.
93p   (tasted 2016/05)

2005 Gravel Hill Syrah, Hartenberg
We were told that the next three bottles would be different - no s...t! The nose explodes from the glass with big, ripe notes of blueberry suryp, rubber tires, iodine and dark chocolate. There is much going on here. Some salty liquorice. Very deep. Smoky scents after a while. Impressive.
The taste is massive and intense with notes of ripe blueberries, smoke, bakelite and dark chocolate. A one minute finish with some bracing tannins showing themselves. Even at eleven years this will need 5+ years more to come around. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2016/05)

1999 Côte-Rôtie Château D´Ampuis, Guigal
This beauty displays a deep, focused nose with stunning notes of peppered meat, cranberries, sweet violets and, of course, iron and blood. We were pretty close guessing this correctly. Great wine. Kept on evolving all night, more forest and undergrowth notes after some time. A tad mature but has a long way to go still.
The taste is polished and structured with notes of ripening blueberries, fir, violets and some rubbery notes. The finish is long, long and with a great texture. I would give this 7+ more years to reach full maturity but I would drink this any day of the week.
94p   (tasted 2016/05)

2002 G3, Burge Family
This 52% Grenache, 42% Shiraz and 6% Mourvedre blend comes of as big, blowsy and sweet, with notes of blueberry- and raspberry jam, tapenade and melted asphalt. Very grapey. Too big for my taste.
The taste is more harmonious than the nose, with notes of ripe blackberries, scorched earth and some mint. The finish is long, warm and a bit on the hot side. Well, cleanly made but not up my alley.
84p   (tasted 2016/05)

NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs, Ulysse Collin
Someone thought we needed some refreshment before the sweeties (we did...). The nose is very elegant and finely tuned, with notes of white currants, slate, nettles and smoke. Cool and fresh. Very young.
The taste is very pure, high and refined with notes of tangerines, lemon peel and gravel. Almost ascetic. Very tight and precise. Needs time. A great palate cleanser at this time of the evening.
92p   (tasted 2016/05)

The notes on these four sweeties should be taken with a healthy grain of salt. Although spitting frequently all evening, the wines starts to get to my head, surprisngly...
All from half bottles.
1998 Gewûrztraminer Sonnenglanz SGN, Bott-Geyl
This is what I don´t like about Gewürz - oily, over the top with decaying sweet flowers and honey, with not much freshness to be had.
The taste is the same, with added botrytis and alcohol. This is not my cup of tea.
73p   (tasted 2016/05)

1997 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Beerenauslese, Dr. Loosen
Things got better! This has a high, pure, semi sweet nose with notes of apricots, ripe yellow pears, warm grass and flint. Very good.
The taste is tight and complex with notes of sweet yellow fruit and a high, cleansing acidity. Long and finely balanced. This is really good.
91p   (tasted 2016/05)

1997 Quarts de Chaume, Pierre Bise
This is a perfect example of what Chenin Blanc can achieve when sweet. The nose is marvellous in its intensity and purity, with notes of oil cloth, white peaches, candied nuts and a hint of hay. Gorgeous!
The taste is a stunning combination between sweetness and acidity, with notes of dried yellow fruit, hay, gun powder and rubber. Really intriguing and charming, just a lovely wine.
94p   (tasted 2016/05)

1996 Vin de Paille, Chapoutier
We were not in consensus here, I thought that there were something of with this bottle. Granted, this kind of wine is a bit odd, but I have tasted this wine (not this vintage though) and it has not appeared like this. No judgement from me. But even more heartbreaking this eveningwas the horribly corked 1994 Grange...:-(
Other than that - a lovely evening with lots of great wines and a real treat to meet Johannes and Sarah Haart!


  1. TWENTYONE wines...on a SUNDAY!?? Isn't that a bit excessive??

    1. Sunday is as good day as any to drink large amounts of wine...:-)