Saturday, 9 November 2019

1981 Château Lafleur-Gazin


1981 Château Lafleur-Gazin
I have a soft spot for the vintage 1981. The two first really great bottles of Bordeaux I drunk was 1981 Latour and Mouton-Rothschild in 1988 (when 1st Growths could be bought without selling a kidney).
The Lafleur-Gazin is, a least it was in the 80´s, 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc. The nose is perfectly mature and refined with notes of chewing tobacco, violets, dried plums, undergrowth and some dog fur for complexity. Very fine.
The taste is handsome and balanced with fruit, acidity and tannins melted in to one. Fine notes of sun warm rocks, damsons, tobacco and pencil shavings. Medium long finish with a fine grip and velvety touch.
91p   (tasted 2019/11)

Friday, 8 November 2019

2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Spottswoode


I have had the good fortune to have tasted thirteen vintages of the Estate Cabernet from Spottswoode (see links to tasting notes below) but I venture - although still young (& number fourteen)- that the 2013 is the best one yet.

2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Spottswoode
A truly wonderful, complex, intense nose with notes of perfect ripe black currants, warm sand, graphite, Lily of the Valley, bonfire smoke and expensive tobacco. Oooh soo deep and utterly gorgeous.
The taste is structured and concentrated yet light on its feet and complex with notes of minerals, ripe blueberries, dried dark flowers, cigarette ash and iron. The finish goes on for minutes. Ends perfectly harmonious. Just needs 8+ years in the cellar to become a perfect specimen.
98p   (tasted 2019/11)

Tasting of vintages 1991, 1996, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011 & 2012

Tasting the 2014

Tasting of vintages 1988, 1992, 2006, 2010 & 2016

Thursday, 7 November 2019

1995 Barbaresco, Produttori Del Barbaresco


1995 Barbaresco, Produttori Del Barbaresco
After one hour in a decanter this 24 year old Barbaresco offers up fine notes of autumn leaves, dried black cherries, damsons, violets and iron. Very taut, mature and lovely. Has a firm backbone.
The backbone follows through on the palate with a firm structure, sandy tannins and notes of fir wood, violets, lingonberries and old licorice. A long, dry finish with character and a burly finesse. Very, very good. Rivals the 1996.
92p   (tasted 2019/11)

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Three Great Glasses Of Wine - Piedrasassi, Gonon & Mayer

After work with an old work friend at Combo winebar. There are lots of goodies on the wine list and I opted for these three glasses.

2017 Santa Barbara Syrah PS, Piedrasassi
Tasted a couple of months ago, and it behaved more or less identical. Very, very good.
88p   (tasted 2019/11)



2017 Saint-Joseph, Gonon
Very classic - pepper, meat, violets and mineral. Strict, aristocratic, racy and really fine.
92p   (tasted 2019/11)




2017 Yarra Valley Cabernet, Tim Mayer
A bit idiosyncratic with a cool, fine black currants fruit but with a special minty, old school Aussie feel to it. Juicy and fine.
90p   (tasted 2019/11)

Friday, 1 November 2019

Five Fine Bottles Tonight

We had family and friends over and I opened these bottles.

A lovely crisp, cap gun smoke-filled nose with peach and lemon cream (92p)

High strunged, grassy and fresh with a good acidity and length (89p)


Cold butter, dry biscuits, minerals and oranges. Stunning (93p)

Warm, soft and dry with black cherries, dried rosemary and sweet violets (89p)

Perfect maturity, a poster child for "tar & roses" with balance and still some tannic backbone (91p)


Thursday, 31 October 2019

1978 Barolo, Aldo Olivero


1978 Barolo, Aldo Olivero
Needs an hour in the decanter to blow of the 41 year bottle funk. The nose is fine and deep with round notes of red beets, Christmas spices, undergrowth, old licorice and lavender. A fine dried up sweetness. Very, very good.
The taste is mature, with a fine warmth and notes of dried up cherry jam, asphalt, iron and spices. Medium long. A fine, low keyed maturity. I love that the label has the phone number to the estate on it!
88p   (tasted 2019/10)

Saturday, 26 October 2019

1998 Dolcetto d´Alba Vigneto Basarin, Cantina Del Parroco Di Neive


1998 Dolcetto d´Alba Vigneto Basarin, Cantina Del Parroco Di Neive
Who said that Dolcetto can´t age? This bottle opens with a shy nose that needs 30 minutes in the glass to open up and reveals fine notes of dried blueberries, violets, warm gravel and dried flowers. A very fine warmth amd very much alive.
The taste is medium bodied with some dry components but also fine notes of cranberries, violets, a dried up blueberry pie and road dust. A salty touch. Very, very good. Another fine example of a mature Dolcetto here (also from 1998).
88p   (tasted 2019/10)

Thursday, 24 October 2019

A Couple Of Days in Piedmont - Visits To Roccheviberti & Monchiero


Notes from my last two visits for this Piedmont trip. Longing for the next one!

Roccheviberti
The Viberti family make their fabolous wines from 4,5 ha in Castiglione Falletto, since 2002. A truly great visit.

2018 Dolcetto d´Alba Vigna Melera
Earthy and structured, this is a broad shouldered Dolcetto. And no wonder, the grapes comes from 80 year old vines in Bricco Boschis. Lots of dark fruit, licorice, violets and gravel. Very deep.
The taste is dense and rich with notes of ripe blueberries, band aid, coffee and asphalt. Very long and very fine.
91p   (tasted 2019/08)



2017 Barbera d´Alba Superiore Vigna Lunga
Also from Bricco Boschis and almost as old vines, 75 years, this Barbera sports an open, direct nose with a mix of raspberrries and blueberries with additional notes of sun warm earth, tiles and fresh herbs. Very, very good.
The taste is concentrated and rich with notes of sweet minerals, juicy raspberries and salt licorice. A very fine acidity. Very long.
91p   (tasted 2019/08)

2017 Langhe Nebbiolo
A delicate nose with notes of ripening cherries, rosehips, earth and herbs. A very fine underlying sweetness to the fruit. Focused.
The taste is earthy and refined with notes of red cherries, dry licorice, rosehips and paint. Crisp tannins. Graceful. Very fine.
92p   (tasted 2019/08)

2014 Barolo Rocche di Castiglione
The Baroli from Roccheviberti are real gems. The 14 Rocche di Castiglione, from 2 ha, jumps from the glass with a high, precious nose with notes of roses, red currants, dry tobacco and paint. Sleek and very, very fine.
The taste is low keyed and refined with notes of red currants, gravel, muhsrooms and furniture polish. The finish is balanced, elegant and just wonderful. 4+ years.
94p   (tasted 2019/08)


2014 Barolo Bricco Boschis
From 1 ha in the vineyard made famous by the Cavallotto family, this stunner displays a tight, complex nose with notes of dark cherries, asphalt, violets and moist forest floor. High and refined.
The taste unfolds on the palate with power, grace and elegance. Gorgeous notes of hard cherry candy, violets, balsa wood and undergrowth. Very, very long. 6+ years. These two 14´s are among the best wines from this vintage I have tasted.
94p   (tasted 2019/08)

2015 Barolo Rocche di Castiglione
The 15´s is even better than the 14´s, with the Rocche di Castiglione sporting a gorgeous, deep, cool nose with ripe strawberries, ceps, violets and very fine tobacco. Very deep and beautiful.
The taste is an epitome of future perfection with all components - fruit, acidity, tannins - in balance. So young and so, so fine. 8+ years.
96p   (tasted 2019/08)

2015 Barolo Bricco Boschis
What to say about the Bricco Boschis other than this is a spine tingling wine. As with the 14´s this is a bit darker and more structured than the Castiglione. Everything in place for the future. A truly great wine. 10+ years.
97p   (tasted 2019/08)



Monchiero
The Monchiero family have been on their wine journey since the 50`s. They first sold their grapes but eventually started to bottle their own wines. Vittorio Monchiero is the current owner and his and his wife Daniela´s son Luca welcomed me and poured these fine wines.


2018 Roero Arneis
A nice, upfront nose with notes of lemon ice cream, grass and spices. Light and fine.
The taste is fresh and forward with notes of pears, lemons, grass and gravel. A good acidity.
87p   (tasted 2019/08)


2018 Vino Rosato Vignola
100% Nebbiolo. A fine, fruity nose with notes of strawberries, earth and violets. Very good.
The taste is light and refreshing with a nice structure and dryness. Notes of wild strawberries, herbs and earth.
87p   (tasted 2019/08)

2017 Barbera d´Alba Superiore
An open, broad nose with notes of Finnish licorice, ripe raspberries and bonfire smoke. Very, very good.
The taste is big ans steady with ripe raspberry fruit, a fine acidity and a long finish with grip and warmth.
89p   (tasted 2019/08)


2017 Langhe Nebbiolo
A deep, fine nose with notes of red beets, flowers, warm tiles and rosehips. A fine fruity character.
The taste is sandy and structured with polished tannins and sweet red fruit. Long and fine.
89p   (tasted 2019/08)



2016 Nebbiolo d´Alba
A cool refined nose with notes of forest floor, red cherries, violets and licorice. Classy and fine.
The taste is tight yet silky and balanced with notes of violets, cherry licorice and sun warm earth. Very long. Really fine.
92p   (tasted 2019/08)

2015 Barolo Rocche di Castiglione
The 15 Rocche shows a deep, dark nose with a meaty character and notes of candle grease, ripe black cherries and charcoal. Deep and intense.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of tobacco, ripe cherries, violets and earth. Fine, taut tannins. Very, very good.
93p   (tasted 2019/08)

2014 Barolo Roere di Santa Maria
A very elegant, poised nose with notes of spices, dried cherries and strawberries and forest floor. Delicate.
The taste is refined and silky with soft tannins and a lovely strawberry fruit intermingled with spices and rosehips. Very, very good.
93p   (tasted 2019/08)



2013 Barolo Riserva Montanello
The Montanello is a stunner. A deep, old school nose with tar, dried red fruits, elegant flowery aromas and furniture polish. Deep and complex. Lovely.
The taste is pure, intense and focused with all components for something really great in place, just wait 8+ years. Great wine!
96p   (tasted 2019/08)



Arrivederci Piedmont, see you soon!

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Gosset Champagne - Ten Wines Tasted

The other day I had the good fortune too taste ten bottles from Gosset. Some wines were the same as in the tasting I attended in January, but I´m not complaining!


Cellar master Odilon de Varine presented the wine with flair, wit and charm.


NV Grand Rosé Brut
50% each of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it displays a earthy, lingonberry laded nose with some additional spices. Very nice.
The taste is dry and earthy with notes of dry raspberries, mushrooms and spices. A fine acidity. I liked it more this time than in January.
89p   (tasted 2019/10)

NV Grande Réserve Brut
A fine, stony, flinty nose with notes of lemons, peach and cap gun smoke. Chardonnay on the nose although that is only 45% of the blend (the rest is 45% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier).
The taste is cool and crisp with notes of lemon cream, smoke and dry caramel. Long and fine with a salivating acidity.
91p   (tasted 2019/10)



NV Grand Blanc de Blancs
Restrained and classy on the nose, with notes of white peaches, wet asphalt and dry white raisins. Very fine.
The taste is high and energetic with notes of chalk, steel, lime and smoke. Very long. A racy acidity. Lovely.
93p   (tasted 2019/10)

2012 Grand Millésime
The nose is handsome and elegant with notes of dry fudge, smoke, lemon cream and red ski wax. Very deep, steely and fine.
The taste is luscious and creamy with notes of ripe peaches, smoke, chalk and caramel. Very finely balanced. Still young. Great wine in the making. 6+ years.
93p   (tasted 2019/10)



2006 Grand Millésime
This bottle was much better than the one tasted in January. This has a added depth and complexity on the nose with notes of grey pears, dried flowers, nutmeg and a fine salty scent. Fine mature notes.
The taste is racy and generous with notes of dried peach, sand, iodine och white currants. Very long and balanced. Very fine.
94p   (tasted 2019/10)

NV Grand Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut
The two following wines were also tasted in January and both behaved better today. The base (95%) is 2007, the same vintage as the two Celebris below. The Blanc de Noirs (100% Pinot Noir) has a beautiful, old viney nose with notes of red currants, salty salmiak, sun warm rocks and a hint of dark chocolate. Very deep and refined.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of ripe red currants, iron, red beets and sweet minerals. A long, seedy finish. Very fine.
93p   (tasted 2019/10)



NV Grand Blanc de Meunier Extra Brut
Bottled after 9 years on the lees, this stunner showcases a high, pure, intense nose with notes of dried figs, red apples, dark flowers and chrushed rocks. Very deep and refined. Just lovely.
The taste is vivid and complex with notes of red currants, smoke, clay and dried flowers. The acidity complements the fruit perfectly. Very, very long. 6+ years. Only 5.000 bottles made of this beauty. Glad I have some.
96p   (tasted 2019/10)

2007 Celebris Extra Brut
The both 2007 Celebris were also tasted in January and they behaved more or less identical. The nose is delicate and complex with notes of spices, lemon cream, yellow roses and chalk. A fine intensity and depth.
The taste is focused and tight with notes of almond paste, chalk, red currants and smoke. A crisp acidity. Long and vigorous. Really fine. 4+ years.
93p   (tasted 2019/10)



2007 Celebris Rosé Extra Brut
A very fine, open nose with notes of grapefruit, red currants, iron and Christmas spices. Very deep and fine.
The taste is racy and fine with notes of dried strawberries, red currants, iron and earth. A very fine acidity. Very, very long and distinct. Great wine.
94p   (tasted 2019/10)

1983 Grand Millésime
This 26 year old wine, direct from cellar of Gosset, sports a deep, multi layered nose with notes of autumn leaves, cold coffee, band aid and dried strawberries. Fresh and fine.
The taste is dry, complex and fine with notes of dry fudge, earth, orange peel and smoke. Round and very fine. Long.
91p   (tasted 2019/10)


Sunday, 20 October 2019

Four Bottles Of 1982 Barolo


The second flight of my tasting in our tasting group.

1982 Barolo, Severino Oberto
A deep, finely matured nose with notes of mushrooms, old paint, cranberries, game and a hint of VA. High, complex and fine.
The taste is dry and fine with notes of root vegetables, dried cherries, sand and mushrooms. A long finish with some still noticable tannins. One vote for best wine in this flight.
91p   (tasted 2019/10)

1982 Barolo Ponte Rocca, Cav. Francesco Pittatore
This 82 has a deep, compact nose with notes of bakelite, dried cherries, licorice and old wood. Very deep with a fine warmth.
The taste is mature, warm and mouth coating with notes of fir wood, rosehips, dry licorice and hard cherry candy. Long and fine. The taste is more vigorous than the nose. Very, very good.
89p   (tasted 2019/10)



1982 Barolo Riserva Rocche di Castiglione, Michele Chiarlo
A gorgeous, perfectly mature, ripe nose with notes of cool red cherries, rose petals, asphalt and licorice. Some tarry aromas after a while. Very deep and refined. Gorgeous.
The taste is taut and tight with notes of hard cherry candy, dried flowers, violets and gravel. Very long and balanced. Still quite perky tannins in the long, long finish. Great wine. 4+ years. Six votes for best wine.
94p   (tasted 2019/10)

1982 Barolo Riserva, Stroppiana
A deep, warm nose with notes of dried up strawberry jam, dried flowers, cold coffee and hint of VA. Very good.
The taste is big and brawny with notes of dry licorice, cherry jam, hot gravel and violets. Better on the palate than on the nose. Long and warm. One vote for best wine.
87p   (tasted 2019/10)

Saturday, 19 October 2019

2012 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna La Cataste, Quercia Al Poggio


2012 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna La Cataste, Quercia Al Poggio
Tasted in February, and loved it then, I thought it was time for a test drive on one of the bottles I bought. It needed an hour in the decanter to open up (note to self, wait with the remaining bottles 6+ years) and then it revealed notes of salt licorice, sun matured rosemary, sweet/sour cherries and a recently polished mahogany side board. Very, very fine.
The tasted is expressive, tight and focused with notes of graphite, gravel, sweet tobacco and plenty of ripe black cherries. A minute long finish with taut tannins. Wait.
93p   (tasted 2019/10)

Friday, 18 October 2019

2001 Brunello Di Montalcino Vigna Delle Raunate, Mocali


2001 Brunello Di Montalcino Vigna Delle Raunate, Mocali
Friday dinner, with some succulent lamp chops, this Brunello delivers the goods. The nose is deep, warm and comforting with notes of black cherries, candle grease, shoe polish, figs and sweet violets. A very fine, low keyd sweetnees to the fruit.
The taste is fine, warm and structured with notes of cherry licorice, cold coffee, iodine and dried rosemary. Long, with a fine warmth. Very, very good.
89p   (tasted 2019/10)

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Four Bottles Of 1985 Chianti

Yesterday it was my turn to host our monthly tasting. I opened eight bottles in two flights. The second flight will get a post of its own.

1985 Chianti Classico, Badia a Coltebuono
A soft, mature nose with notes of earth, old leather, moist smoke and dried cherries. A fine dried up warmth.
The taste is dry and expressive with notes of autumn leaves, red currants, smoke and dried rosemary. Medium long with soft, fine tannins. Very, very good. 3 votes for best wine in this flight.
88p   (tasted 2019/10)

1985 Chianti Classico Berardenga, Felsina
In a fine state of maturity, the Felsina displays a deep, elegant nose with notes of almond paste, dried cherries, Chistmas spices and gravel. Very fine.
The taste is tight and nicely structured with notes of sweet/sour cherries, gravel, herbs and licorice. Long and fine. Mature, but bottles like this will hold for 6+ years.
90p   (tasted 2019/10)
1985 Chianti Classico Riserva, Castello di Verrazzano
A big, open and a bit murky nose with notes of dried up cherry jam, autumn leaves and meat stock. A bit over the hill.
The taste is better with a fine warmth and notes of licorice, dry chocolate and dried cherries. Long. 1 vote for best wine.
86p   (tasted 2019/10)

1985 Chianti Classico Riserva, Castello di Volpaia
A delicate, sandy nose with notes of ripe red cherries, Tuscan gravel, rosemary and fine tobacco. Bay leaves. Complex and fine. Mature but not overly so.
The taste is gravelly and herbal with notes of cranberries, violets, tobacco and earth. Long and refined. Very, very good. I paid 8 euros for this three years ago... 4 votes for best wine.
91p   (tasted 2019/10)