Thursday, 17 August 2017

A Bargain Bordeaux

9 Euro. Could you get a Bordeaux for 9 Euro? That you actually could drink?

I had read good things about this one so I ordered a couple of bottles.

2015 Château Haut-Landon
The cepage is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, but my first impressions of the nose is that of Cabernet Franc - lots of varm grass, some bell pepper and warm tiles. With air scents of red currants, dried plums and fir wood arises from the glass. A bit on the light side but there is a fine balance here.
The taste is medium bodied with a fine structure and notes of red currants, tiles, dry tobacco and some grassy notes. A fine acidity and rounded tannins. A very fine mouth feel. A tad short maybe. True to its origin and a very nice "luncheon claret" to quote Michael Broadbent.
88p   (tasted 2017/08)


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

A Bottle Of Bubbly - 2008 Brut, Thiénot


2008 Brut, Thiénot
Yet another 08 Champagne, the best vintage since 1988 IMHO (up to now better than 1996, although I haven´t tasted the big guns yet).
The nose is high, pure and very likeable with notes of white currants, elderberries, chalk amd almond paste. Deep and salivating. Right up my alley. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and racy with notes of lemon licorice, dry fudge, grass and minerals. Long and lingering with a fine, pure acidity. I could use a couple of bottles of this to go into my 08 stash.
92p   (tasted 2017/08)

Monday, 14 August 2017

2014 Brolettino & Ronchedone, Cà Dei Frati

The Brolettino was bought from the state monopoly after some glowing reviews on social media and the Ronchedone was drunk during the beginning of our holiday when we stayed a couple of days in Sirmione at Lake Garda, just a stone throw or two from where these wines are produced.
Info here.

2014 Brolettino, Cà dei Frati
Made out of 100% Turbiana this reminds me of a restrained Chardonnay with notes of peach, candied lemons, cap gun smoke and elderberries. A salivating, fresh and cool nose. Very likeable.
The taste is cool and handsome with notes of grilled lemons, peach and chrushed rock, with a high, fine acidity. Fresh and fine. Really good.
90p   (tasted 2017/07)



2014 Ronchedone, Cà dei Frati
This is a blend of Mazzemino, Sangiovese and about 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is deep and rich with ripe black cherries, graphite, rosemary and pipe tobacco. Broad and beautiful. Some new wood. Really good.
The taste is young, tight and refined, more so than on the nose. Fine notes of black currants, pencil shavings, leather (those 10% Cabernet shows :-) and dusty earth. Polished tannins. Long and fine. Should mature nicely for the coming 6+ years.
92p   (tasted 2017/08)

Friday, 11 August 2017

Two Baroli

We spent the last two days of our vacation in Italy in Langhe (more on that later), and when I come home, what do I crave....more Baroli!

2005 Barolo, Kiola
Both bottles decanted for an hour. The first sniff of the 05 is all about forest floor and mushrooms. With more air scents of rosehips, leather, spices and chocolate wafers emerge. Very good. Actually even better on the nose on day two.
The taste has got some age with notes of old leather, mushrooms, coffee grounds and a touch of angostura. A fine dryness in the finish. Become more dry on day two but still holds it grounds.
87p   (tasted 2017/08)


2012 Barolo, Franco Soliano
I must find more from this producer (a Terredavino make of some sort) for this is good! The nose i high, cool and pure with notes of ripe lingonberries, paint, violets and some sage aromas. Very fine. Holds fine until the next day.
The taste is tight and energetic with notes of cool strawberries, roses and asphalt. A long, lingering finish with sandy tannins with a fine bite to them. Really good.
91p   (tasted 2017/08)

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Amarone - Why Oh Why?

I have been hesitating for almost a year over writing this post.

I am fortunate to taste and drink a lot of good and great wines. Not just quality wise but also the kind of wines I personally like.
Occasionally there are wines that I don´t fancy, those that aren´t my cup of tea, but that doesn´t happen too often.

Then there were this tasting - 26 wines poured. 7 of them I could (but woulnd´t) taste and drink again. 19 were in various degrees of mediocary down to real awfulness.

Prunes. I don´t like prunes. And here it were prunes in almost every wine, in some soo much I started to think that the wines were actually made out of prunes instead of grapes.

If you are a fan of Amarone, you should stop reading now. This is not going to be pretty.
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Famiglie dell´Amarone d´Arte is organisation of thirteen family owned wineries that combined stands for 20% of the total production of Amarone each year.
Each producer presented two wines, one recent vintage and one of various age.

I give the wine a approximate score since I spent just a couple of minutes with each wine.

Allegrini
2012 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
A big, meaty, burned nose with cherry jam, sweet licorice and some VA.
The taste is big and fiery with notes of dark cherries, asphalt and lots of wood smoke. Grain alcohol in the finish.
~82p   (tasted 2016/10)

2006 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
An old, dried up nose with burnt earth, prunes, dark licorice and VA.
The taste is very dry with notes of figs, dried cherries and dusty earth. The finish is all dried up and like licking on a blotting paper.
~76p   (tasted 2016/10)

Begali
2011 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Monte Ca´Bianca
A young, upfront, sweet nose with notes of sun dried tomatoes, wood smoke and yes, prunes. Big.
The taste is forceful with lots of jammy fruit, smoke and cooked tomatoes. Very dry tannins in the long finish.
~81p   (tasted 2016/10)


2005 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Monte Ca´Bianca
A mature, foursquare nose with notes of cherry jam, warm herbs, VA and some dog fur, but that mix is rather likeable.
The taste is dry and fiery with notes of dried cherries, licorice and dusty earth, but manages to package all into a nice experience.
~87p   (tasted 2016/10)

Brigaldara
2011 Amarone della Valpolicella Case Vecie
This one is actually really good with a deep, more red fruited nose with notes of ripe strawberries, spices, smoke and some animal scents.
The taste is big and steady but keeps it all together with notes of red cherries, forest floor, beet roots and ripe flowers. Very, very good.
~89p   (tasted 2016/10)


2012 Amarone della Valpolicella 
The ordinary 12 isn´t that good. Here were are again with a nose filled with with cooked fruit, prunes, VA and burnt earth.
The taste is young and fiery with foursquare fruit, lots of heat and dusty earth. The finish is rather good though.
~80p   (tasted 2016/10)

Guerrieri Rizzardi
2009 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Calcarole
An interesting mix of overripe black cherries, soap, chocolate and VA...
The taste is big and compact with notes of cooked cherries, prunes, dry licorice and scorched earth. Very long and very warm with bitter tannins. Supposedly a No 1 wine in Gambero Rosso in 2014...
~78p   (tasted 2016/10)

2006 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Calcarole Century Edition
Lo and behold, this three year older version is much, much better, with a deep, warm, somewhat mature nose with notes of ripe cherries, cigarr smoke, forest floor and violets.
The taste is big and concentrated but keeps everything in balance and the finish is very long and luscious. Very, very good.
~90p   (tasted 2016/10)

Masi
2011 Amarone Classico Costasera
Oh dear. An overly sweet, cloying nose with prunes, nougat, Muscovado sugar and wet saw dust...
The taste is dryer than the nose promises with overripe cherries, band aid and dark chocolate. A lot of alcohol in the long finish. And people drink this?
~74p   (tasted 2016/10)


1998 Amarone Classico Costasera
This nose is all over the place with no balance and structure, just a mess of dried fruit, wood and sour tobacco.
The taste is very, very dry and fiery with old cherries marinated in grain alcohol and saw dust. Almost undrinkable.
~66p   (tasted 2016/10)

Musella
2009 Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva
Finally! A producer whose both wines were excellent. The 09 has a large scaled, intense nose with notes of dried flowers, ripe cherries and herbs. A fine depth.
The taste is steady and concentrated with notes of ripe cherries, undergrowth, toasted almonds and herbs. Warm but balanced. Really good.
~90p   (tasted 2016/10)


2006 Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva
The 06 is bigger and meatier than the 09 but manage to keep evrything in check, with notes of licorice, warm herbs and some barnyardy aromas.
The taste is big and brawny with some maturity and notes of sour/sweet cherries, asphalt and dark licorice. Very long and warm. I might drink an Amarone from Musella...
~88p   (tasted 2016/10)

Speri
2012 Amarone Classico della Valpolicella Vigneto Monte Sant´Urbano
Two producers in a row with good wines! The 12 Speri has a deep, rich nose with notes of ripe strawberries, dusty earth, herbs and fir wood. Very deep and fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of dried strawberries, Finnish licorice, herbs and some balsamic notes. Very fine. Long and lingering. Not a prune in sight!
~91p   (tasted 2016/10)


1997 Amarone Classico della Valpolicella Vigneto Monte Sant´Urbano
The older version has a deep, mature, dried up nose with notes of raspberries, earth, asphalt and some tobacco. Deep and fine.
The taste is round, velvety and warm with notes of dried red fruits, gravel, herbs and dried up balsamic vinegar. Very, very good.
~88p   (tasted 2016/10)

Tedeschi
2010 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva Capitel Monte Olmi
Ok, we are back to the prune swamp again... A big, bloated nose with over sweet fruit, fried herbs and VA.
The taste is a tad better but almost port like in its extraction and sweetness. Some bitter tannins in the finish.
~72p   (tasted 2016/10)

2005 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Capitel Monte Olmi
The 5 year older version is a smidgen better but we are splitting hairs here, same MO but with some age. Definitely not up my alley.
~74p   (tasted 2016/10)

Tenuta Sant´Antonio
2011 Amarone della Valpolicella Campo dei Gigli
This is weird but actually really good. Smells of red, dried up botrytis! Has a fine warmth and nice cherry aromas.
The taste is young and potent with notes of ripe cherries, warm undergrowth and tobacco leaves. A long, warm finish. Good.
~86p   (tasted 2016/10)

2007 Amarone della Valpolicella Campo dei Gigli
From a magnum. Even better with a few years of age and from a magnum! The nose is deep, mature and rounded with notes of licorice covered cherries, herbs, asphalt and tobacco.
The taste is big and bold but keeps things together with a lovely ripe cherry fruit and additional notes of tobacco, wood smoke and licorice. Really good.
~90p   (tasted 2016/10)

Tommasi
2012 Amarone Classico
A big, brawny, all over the place nose with notes of prunes, licorice, mud and old tobacco.
The taste is big and concentrated with notes of cherry jam, wet tobacco and road dust. A long, hot finish.
~80p   (tasted 2016/10)


2008 Amarone Classico Riserva Ca´Florian
The 08 Riserva has a deep, war, spicy nose with notes of cooked cherries, prunes, VA and moist forest floor. Very warm but in a rather nice way.
The taste is heavy handed with lots of cherry and raspberry jam with additional notes of licorice, rotting flowers and VA. Very, very long and fiery.
~77p   (tasted 2016/10)

Torre d´Orti
2013 Amarone della Valpolicella
A young, fruity, open nose with notes of raspberries, clay, prunes and a hint of cognac. Good.
The taste is dark and dense with notes of Finnish licorice, moist earth and cherry jam. A long, warm finish. A tad top heavy but resonable good.
~84p   (tasted 2016/10)


2011 Amarone della Valpolicella
The two year older version is really good, with a deep, fine nose with notes of cherry liquor, forest floor, damsons and a hint of chocolate.
The taste is big and fruity but have structure and a broad shouldered finesse with dark fruit and fine earthy aromas. Really good.
~88p   (tasted 2016/10)

Venturini
2010 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Campomasua
A large scaled nose with notes of overripe cherries, prunes, scorched earth and dark chocolate. Very sweet.
The taste is big, big and big with a portwine touch and lots of cooked cherries, figs and dusty earth. A fiery finish.
~78p   (tasted 2016/10)


2005 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva
A heavy, mature nose with dried cherries marinated in liquor, dark earth, VA and ink. Unbalanced.
The taste is very concentrated and fiery with overly sweet fruit combined with notes of melted asphalt, dry licorice and rotting flowers.
~76p   (tasted 2016/10)

Zenato
2012 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
A big, bloated nose with notes of cherry jam, prunes, sour tobacco and fried herbs. Rather foursquare.
The taste is very dry and fiery with dried fruits, dusty earth and a long, hot finish that ends with angular tannins.
~75p   (tasted 2016/10)


2006 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
Why not save the worst for last? There are some rotten elements in this nose, but it is the fruit, the earth och has the liquor that it is made of gone bad, who knows (and who wanna know)?
The taste is horrid, with cooked underripe fruit which have compensated with liquor, granulated sugar and saw dust in a lovely mix... The finish is fiery and very unbalanced. Why oh why?
~63p   (tasted 2016/10)

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

2010 La Ricolma, San Giusto A Rentennano


Taking a break from the Rossese drinking here in Liguria (a full report over all tasted bottles will follow) I opened this bottle, found in a Enoteca in San Remo.

2010 La Ricolma, San Giusto A Rentennano
Over last years vacation I tasted the 06 La Ricolma and was blown away, so when I spotted this bottle on this years vacation I instantly grabbed it.
This is fours years younger and it shows. It needs age. The nose is large scaled and tight with notes of ripe plums, dark flowers, star anise, new leather and a fine perfumed aroma. Very deep and fine. Very ripe fruit.
The taste is steady and firm with sandy, intense, polished tannins that will take at least 5 years to fully integrate. Fine notes of dark cherries, warm tiles and dry licorice. Very long. Ever so slightly four squared in the finish at this moment (even with 4 hours decanting time) but I´m sure that this will turn into something great in 5+ years time.
93p   (tasted 2017/08)