Friday, 8 December 2017

Red Room Hedonism - White Burgundy, Brunello & Red Burgundy


Here again, sitting down in the Red Room at Magnusson Fine Wines, with two friends, some nice food and five bottles of grape juice.

1995 Meursault Les Pelles, Domaine Philippe Delagrange
A finely matured, round, intense nose with notes of dried apricots, oilcloth, dry fudge and a hint of saffron. A fine maturity, even some notes of red berries.
The taste is dry and refined with notes of dried lemons, hay, wet stones and some chalky notes. A fine acidity and a long finish. Drinking beautifully today but any additional bottles should be drunk within 5 years.
91p   (tasted 2017/12)


1985 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Castelgiocondo, Frescobaldi
This 32 year old Brunello is full of life and displays a deep, dark, spicy nose with notes of rosemary marinated black cherries, olives, dark gravel and a hint of cigarr. A wide, open, deep nose with a very fine maturity.
The taste is broad, dry, warm and spicy with notes of black currants, sweet tobacco, fried herbs and black olives. A long, structured finish with a warm and dense impression. Really good.
92p   (tasted 2017/12)


1995 Brunello di Montalcino Castelgiocondo, Frescobaldi
The 10 year younger Castelgiocondo shows a nose with lots of forest floor, dried rosemary, red cherries, Tuscan gravel and ginger bread. A tad lighter in body than the 85 but with more refinement and poise. Very fine.
The taste is complex, multi layered and lovely with notes of ripe red and black cherries, tobacco, Tuscan gravel, herbs and a touch of mint. The finish is long, velvety, rich and gorgeous. For drinking now and the coming 10 years. Great wine.
94p   (tasted 2017/12)

2005 Echezeaux, Earl David Bocquenet
Focus shift to Burgundy and the first Echezeaux has a charming, light headed nose with notes of ripe lingonberries, dry raspberries, forest floor and sage. Very, very good.
The taste is young, cool and rather firm with notes of lingonberries, dried strawberries, white pepper and rosehips. A high, fine acidity that will need 6+ years to really integrate. A very fine, still young bottle of Burgundy.
91p   (tasted 2017/12)



2005 Echezeaux, Lucien le Moine
Not much have happened over the four years since I last tasted this. Still young, still with ripe, sweet fruit, a very fine structure and intensity, with old vine fruit and a great craftmanship. A really fine balance. Just needs another 8+ years, will (try too...) save my last bottle at least that long.
95p   (tasted 2017/12)

Earlier:
Red Room Hedonism - Two Old Montrose & One Young Canon
Red Room Hedonism - Mosel, Barolo & Bordeaux
Red Room Hedonism - Riesling, Bordeaux & Brunello

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Lunches & Dinners In Piedmont - Part Two

You just don´t drink the greatest wines in this world when you are in Nebbiolo land, you eat the greatest too. My love for Carne Cruda, Tajarin, Plin, Coniglio etc is endless.

Thursday Lunch - Il Grecale   (http://www.ilgrecale.com/)
We had read somewhere that there was a fine sea food restaurant in Novello, so we booked a table for lunch and drove there.
And we will be back! One of the best visits of our trip. Thoughtfull, methodical, loving cooking with stunning flavours and intensity.

Pre lunch snacks
2016 Nas-Cëtta, Le Strette
Almost a three bottle lunch! The waitress brought the wrong bottle and opened it before we caught the mistake. But we got a taste of it and then they replaced it with the one we originally ordered - no fuss and great service.
A local variety in Langhe, the Nascetta grape (Nas-Cëtta as it is called in Novello) was almost extinct when Elvio Cogno started to tend to it in the mid 90´s. It is suggested that it has a genetic linc to Vermentino, and it must have, becasuse it smells an taste exactly like a Vermentino. A flowery, grassy nose with lots of chrushed rocks and dry passion fruit. Very good.
The taste is dry, cool and fine with notes of grass, white currants and minerals. A fine salty note in the finish.
87p   (tasted 2017/11)


An absolutelu stunning, fresh dish!
2014 Sauvignon, Matteo Corregio
The nose is open and inviting with notes of elderberries, freshly cut grass and spices. Salivating. Very, very good.
The taste is fresh and upfront with notes of lemon peel, grass and white flowers. A fine acidity. Long and fine.
89p   (tasted 2017/11)


Stunning scallops!

2014 Barbera d´Alba Prephylloxera, Elvio Cogno
When we saw this on the list, we just had to have it. I have never seen it in a shop. The prephylloxera Barbera from Cogno. Read all about it here.
The nose is a beauty with a mix of ripe raspberries, black stony fruits, wet clay, dry licorice and dried flowers. Intense and complex. Very deep.
The taste is dense and multi layered with notes of raspberry licorice, dark chocolate, sand and a touch of sea salt. Very long and creamy. Really fine. Wish I could get hold of some bottles.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)


The Chef - we will be back!

Thursday Dinner - Osteria Tre Case   (http://osteriatrecase.it/index.php/it/)
After tasting with Giacomo we went out to dinner with him, and Elisa Scavino meet up at the restaurant that Giacomo had choosed. A first for us, but we will be back.


We started with a bottle of NV Blanc de Blanc, Ruinart which was crisp and delicious (92p) and then a bottle of 2016 Barbera d´Alba, Massolino which was young, juicy and gulpable (90p).
The 2012 Barolo Pie Rupestris, Cappellano followed, which performed as excellent as it did when we had it in May.
The food at Tre Case was traditional and very fine, lots of flavour and texture.


Carne cruda with white truffle







Our dinner company - Elisa Scavino and Giacomo Conterno - a great evening!

The sky when leaving Tre Case

Friday Lunch - Repubblica di Perno   (http://www.repubblicadiperno.it/)
Lunch with Gianpaolo Pira before tasting at the estate.

2013 Barolo Acclivi, Burlotto
When we visited Fabio in May we were very impressed by the 2013 line up. I have bought some but we took this chance to test drive the Acclivi.
A refined, low keyed yet intense nose with notes of ripe lingonberries, paint, birch leaves and undergrowth. High and really fine.
The taste is ethereal and refreshing with a seemingly lightness. Lovely notes of hard cherry candy, forest floor and dried strawberries. Handsome. Great wine.
93p   (tasted 2017/11)


Duck terrine - yummy!
Coniglio! One of the best dishes of rabbit I have ever had

Two of The Barolo Boys with Gianpaolo and the staff at Repubblica
2015 Langhe Nebbiolo, Bartolo Mascarello
The nose shows of a great mix of strawberries and licorice with some additional notes of violets, rosemary and earth. A very fine depth. Some rose petals after a while.
The taste is earthy and refined with notes of balsamico marinated strawberries, road dust, dark violets and a hint of dry tobacco. Very long and fine.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

Friday Dinner - Osteria La Torre   (https://www.osterialatorre-cherasco.it/)
After tasting at Pira we headed to Cherasco for dinner with the Pira and Marengo family. A great night to be had!

We started with a bottle of 2007 Barbera d´Alba La Bogliona, Scarpa but which showed a tad too rustic and rough around the edges for my liking (83p).


A different presentation of Vitello Tonnato
2010 Barolo Villero, Brovia
The first Barolo displayed a fine spicy character and notes of ripe red cherries, tobacco, dried herbs and licorice. Deep. Some sugared cooffe aromas after a time in the glass. Very, very good.
The taste shows some signs of maturity and notes of autumn leaves, dried cherries, rosehips and dry tobacco. In the long, fine finish there is a touch of sweet cooffe, as on the nose. Drinking beautifully on this night.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)




2010 Barolo Monvigliero, Fratelli Alessandria
I had never tasted the Monvigliero from Alessandria so this was fun. And what a wine! The nose is deep and utterly gorgeous with notes of ripe red cherries, black minerals, dry tobacco, incense and dried strawberries. Very complex and fine.
The taste is refined and silky at first until the tannins creeps forward in the finish. Lovely notes of wild strawberries, dry tobacco, sweet minerals and violets. Very long and very fine. Glad I got hold of some in Alba the day after.
94p   (tasted 2017/11)

Monday, 4 December 2017

2003 Pecoranera, Tenuta Grillo - Liked It Four Years Ago - Now A Disaster

I really liked this one when I tasted it - twice! - four years ago -
First taste
Second try

Now, after four years I thought it was high time to open another bottle. Not corked, not cooked, no other obvious fault, a perfect cork and fill. Just a hidious bottle.

2003 Pecoranera, Tenuta Grillo
A dusty, backward, flat nose with notes of, yes, dust, saw dust, the kind of dust that gathers under your bed when you haven´t vacuumed for a while....and then some cooled of burned rubber scents. Where the f...k is the fruit?
The taste is very, very dry and linear with notes of dust, gravel and old wrinkled up herbs. Nothing wrong with this bottle except for a natural wine that has gone to meet its maker. From 92p four years ago to
53p   (tasted 2017/12)


Saturday, 2 December 2017

The Barolo Boys Visit Domenico Clerico, Mauro Veglio & Luigi Pira

Part three in my report from The Barolo Boys latest trip to Piedmont.

Domenico Clerico
My first visit to Clerico´s space ship like winery. I have only visited Clerico at the old winery where I met Domenico for the one and only time.
Oscar, the wine maker, meet up with us, showed us the cellar and poured the wines below. Oscar was very direct and upfront with his views, in a very honest and fun way.

2015 Barbera d´Alba Tre Vigne
Am open, inviting, creamy nose with notes of licorice, ripe cherries, raspberries and warm asphalt in a distance. Very, very good.
The taste is tighter than the nose leads you to believe with fine notes of black cherries, warm gravel, raspberry licorice and a kiss of new wood. Long and fine.
89p   (tasted 2017/11)


Oscar and a lovely view of barriques!
2013 Arte
A deep, fine, somewhat mature nose with notes of cherry chocolate, Finnish licorice and cigarr smoke. Very good.
The taste is tight and nicely concentrated with notes of dried cherries, tobacco, leather and gravel. A long finish with a dry ending. 90% Nebbiolo and 10% Barbera. Oscar noted that this kind of blends have been less popular over the years, but Clerico will continue with its Arte.
87p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo
A deep, spicy, energetic nose with notes of black cherries, smoke, rosehips, forest floor and some warm tiles. Very handsome.
The taste is seedy and fine with noticable silky tannins and notes of black cherries, licorice, dried flowers and mushrooms. Very long and distinct. A really fine Normale.
91p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 & 2014 Barolo
2014 Barolo
The 14 is mored laid back and shy compared to the 13 but there is fine cherry fruit here alongside notes of gravel, violets and fir.
The taste is fresh and tight with a feeling of chewing on cherry pips. High and fine. Long. Very, very good. Evolves nicely in the glass.
90p   (tasted 2017/11)

2012 Barolo Ciabot Mentin
The 12 Ciabot Mentin is a beauty. The nose soars up from the glass with notes of fresh mushrooms, ripe red cherruies, roses en masse and a lovely dark perfume aroma. Very deep and pure.
The taste is concentrated yet light on its feet with notes of hard cherry candy, dry licorice, juniper berries and undergrowth. Deceptively drinkable at its young age. Really, really fine.
94p   (tasted 2017/11)



2008 Barolo Percristina
One of my favourite Baroli, the Percristina always delivers the goods. The nose is deep and complex with notes of ripe cherries, wood smoke, violets and asphalt. Very balanced and fine. Lovely.
The taste is very young and tight, but there is boatloads of sweet cherry fruit and notes of tar, dried flowers, violets and tobacco. Very, very long, and in the end there are some broad shouldered tannins that comes forward. Wait at least 8 years.
94p   (tasted 2017/11)




Mauro Veglio
My first visit to the Veglio estate. I have meet Mauro and Daniela before, some five years ago in Stockholm.

2016 Dolcetto d´Alba
A sweet/sour lingonberry nose with additional notes of earth, soap and some blueberries tossed in. Very nice.
The taste is juicy and fresh with a mix of lingonberries and blueberries with some gravel and bakelite also. A medium long finish. Good.
85p   (tasted 2017/11)



2016 Barbera d´Alba
A warm, spicy, open nose with notes of sweet violets, raspberry chocolate, banana peel and warm earth. Very, very good.
The taste is mouthfilling and pure with notes of chrushed cherries, raspberry licorice, moist earth and some chocolate notes. Very long and fine.
90p   (tasted 2017/11)

2015 Barbera d´Alba Cascina Nuova
The Cascina Nuova has a round, sweet nose with notes of cherry yougurt, violets, vanilla licorice and earth. Very good.
The taste is warm and easy going with notes of cherry pips, warm tiles and violets. There is a hint of heat at the end. Very good but the 16 Barbera is better.
87p   (tasted 2017/11)

Daniela Veglio


























2016 Langhe Nebbiolo "Angelo"
If this is sample of the quality of the 16 Nebbiolo´s, we are in for a treat (most of the wine growers gets a twinkle in the eye when the 16 vintage comes up). The nose is rich yet defined with fine notes of ripe red cherries, wild strawberries, rosehips and warm earth. Very deep and fine.
The taste is full of sweet minerals, ripe cherries and sandy tannins. So young yet soo harmonious. Long and lingering. Really good.
91p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo
A spicy, warm nose with notes of strawberries, chocolate, herbs and veal stock. A round character. Very good.
The taste is tight and dry with notes of dried strawberries, earth, asphalt and herbs. Very good tannins in the end of the finish.
88p   (tasted 2017/11)


2013 Barolo Gattera
A large scaled, refined and perfumed nose with notes of black cherries, violets, forest floor and root vegetables. A fine depth.
The taste is finely concentrated with notes of ripe cherries, asphalt, black olives and moist earth. A very long, distinct finish. 6+ year.
91p   (tasted 2017/11)


2013 Barolo Arborina
A classic with a beautiful nose filled with ripe cherries, raspberry licorice, roses, smoke and spices. Very complex and refined.
The taste is focused and racy with notes of hard cherry candy, gravel, tobacco and dried wild strawberries. A very long finish with finely polished tannins. 6+ years.
94p   (tasted 2017/11)




2013 Barolo Castelletto
The Castellero is deeper and darker than the rest of the Veglio line up, since it has its origin in Monforte d´Alba. There is more balsamic notes and the cherries is the darkest kind. Some asphalt, dried herbs and hot gravel also. Very, very good.
The taste is laid back, broad shouldered  and dark with notes of ripe cherries, tar, dried dark flowers and some tobacco notes. The tannins show themselves at the end of the finish. 8+ years.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)




Luigi Pira
Here again. No visit to Piedmont without a visit to Pira, always a treat. And we got to have lunch with Gianpaolo and dinner with the Pira family.


Disclaimer - the importer of Marengo and Luigi Pira to Sweden (Origo Wines) are friends of mine and co founders of The illustrious Barolo Boys. I however, have no financial interests in these wines. I just call them as I see them.

2016 Dolcetto d´Alba
An open, warm yet fresh nose with notes of iron, blueberries, bakelite and gravel.
The taste is medium bodied and fruity with juicy tannins and ripe blueberry fruit. A fine finish with a nice warmth.
88p   (tasted 2017/11)

2016 Barbera d´Alba
A fine, spicy, sweet nose with notes of red licorice, matchbox, black cherries and some blackberries tossed in. A dark perfume scent after some time in the glass. Very, very good.
The taste is steady and ripe with notes of ripe black cherries, undergrowth, licorice and smoke. A fine, long, warm finish. Really good.
90p   (tasted 2017/11)


2016 Langhe Nebbiolo
Again, a pretaste of the 16 Nebbiolo´s and what will come. 2020 will be expensive... The nose is cool and refined with notes of red and black cherries, dark violets, black earth and a hint of tobacco. A fine intensity.
The taste is tight and concentrated with juicy tannins, a fine balance and a lovely mixture of cherries, strawberries, gravel and tobacco. Promising stuff!
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

2014 Barolo Serralunga
Gianpaolo did not take The Barolo Boys advice when we visited in May, that the indvidual cru´s hade the quality to be bottled separately. The only Barolo that will be released in 2018 is the Serralunga, in which all the cru´s are blended. Gianpaolo has done a great job, it is wonderful.
The nose is high pitched and focused with notes of wild strawberries, Juniper berries, chrushed rocks, dark orange peel and warm sand. Deep and fine.
The taste is silky and approchable even though some tight tannins lurks in the background. Lots of roses, dried strawberries and forest floor. Long and fine. Not for the long haul but there will be much enjoyment to had be had 10+ years from when it is released.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

We then got to taste 2013 Margheria, Marenca and Vigna Rionda and my notes were almost identical to when we tasted them in May.

2015 Barolo Serralunga
Then Gianpaolo fetched some samples from cask of the 2015 vintage. The Serralunga shows a cool, red fruity nose with some earthy and barnyardy notes. A fine depth.
The taste is seedy and fresh with notes of ripe lingonberries, mushrooms and some tar. Finely polished tannins.
~89p   (tasted 2017/11)

2015 Barolo Margheria
The Margheria is a beauty with a deep, handsome nose filled with ripe red cherries and additional notes of cold coffee, earth and asphalt. Very fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with juicy tannins, ripe red cherries, bakelite and damp earth. A very long, balanced finish. Will turn out great.
~94p   (tasted 2017/11)


2015 Barolo Marenca
A dark, laid back, intense nose with notes of red beets, sandelwood, Falu red paint, licorice and dark tobacco. Very intriguing.
The taste is a bit stubborn but all ingredients are there - sweet fruit, silky tannins, balance and a long, long finish. Will need time.
~92p   (tasted 2017/11)

2015 Barolo Vigna Rionda
This is what dreams are made of - a stunningly gorgeous nose with the ripest berries, the deepest depth, a perfect balance and a intensity that must be experienced. A piece of art.
The taste follows the nose with concentration, balance, structure and power. A future candidate for perfection. A must have.
~97p   (tasted 2017/11)

2009 Langhe Nebbiolo
Gianpaolo then went to the cellar and came back with a mystery bottle. The nose displays a fine, beginning maturity with notes of wild strawberries, mint sprinkled cherries, autumn leaves and mushrooms. A fine earthy note.
The taste is cool and mature with notes of dried cherries, autumn leaves, rosehips and dry earth. There is still some perky tannins at the end of the finish. We guessed a Barolo Normale from 99 or 01, but no, a ten year younger Langhe Nebbiolo, which was drinking really fine now.
89p   (tasted 2017/11)



1998 Dolcetto d´Alba
Another mystery bottle! This one has a tight, mature, balsamic nose with notes of canned mushrooms, veal stock, dried cherries and dried roses. Very deep and interesting.
The taste is mature and round with velvety tannins and notes of violets, dried cherries and dry licorice. A lot of dryness going on here, yet it is easy to drink and not at all dried out. Older than the previous bottle, we said, but then we hesitated. How old? Mid 90´s?
Say what! A 98 Dolcetto? Ah, well, you live and learn... A very good drink, perfectly mature and complex. Who said that you can´t age Dolcetto?
90p   (tasted 2017/11)


Part One - The Barolo Boys Visits Bartolo Mascarello, Giacomo Conterno & Ceretto
Part Two - The Barolo Boys Visits Parusso, Vietti & Aldo Conterno