Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Tasting A Bunch Of Stunners - Racines, Crystallum, Faiveley, Shafer, Vasse Felix, Pingus & More!



Vingruppen invited to taste some fall releseas. A very fine tasting indeed. I tasted 52 wines. 

These were my highlights. Release date in parentheses. 

The Whites

2019 Clay Shales Chardonnay, Crystallum
A fine flowery, lightly buttered nose with smoke, clay and white peach. Delicate.
The taste is cool and smoky with notes of mango, oranges and sweet minerals. A fine acidity. Very, very good. (6/10)
92p   (tasted 2020/10)

2017 Sta Rita Hills Chardonnay, Racines Wines
A racy and spicy nose with gorgeous notes of assorted nuts, apricots, sand and warm grass. Very deep and fine.
The taste is concentrated and multi layered with notes of orange blossom water, orange zest, sand and smoke. A very fine intensity. Lovely. (Already relesead, there are a few left after my order...)
94p   (tasted 2020/10)




2017 Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay, Sandhi Wines
A stony, fresh nose with notes of chives, lemon cream and minerals. Very deep and fine.
The taste is tight and refined with a crisp acidity and very fine lemon scented fruit. (10/12)
92p   (tasted 2020/10)

2017 La Source Chardonnay, Evening Land Vineyards
A high, pure nose with notes of freshly washed linen, spring flowers and nuts. Vety fine.
The taste is stony and concentrated with notes of candied lemons, nuts and chrushed minerals. Long and very fine. (12/11)
93p   (tasted 2020/10)

2017 Summum Chardonnay, Evening Land Vineyards
A very deep, focused nose with notes of candle grease, almond paste, wet cement and creamy lemons. Very fine.
The taste is sumptuous and lush with notes of lemon cream, oranges, sand and a salty touch. A striking acidity. Great wine and worth its heady tariff. (12/11)
94p   (tasted 2020/10)

2018 Mercurey Clos Rochette, Domaine Faiveley
This Monopole shows of a low keyed, handsome nose with notes of lemon zest, grass, dry caramel and a fine perfumed scent.
The taste is finely tuned and classic with a fine acidity, lovely fruit and  a long balanced finish. 6+ years. (27/10)
92p   (tasted 2020/10)

2018 Heytesbury Chardonnay, Vasse Felix
As usual, drop dead gorgeous. The nose is luscious and upfront but with a stunning depth and focus. Stunning.
The taste is aristocratic and multi layerered with notes of lavender, grilled lemons, grey pears and sweet minerals. Long, long, long. 5+ years. (17/11)
94p   (tasted 2020/10)


The Reds

2015 Auma, Koyle Family Vineyards
A high, interesting nose with barnyard aromas, lots of dried red berries and scorched earth. Very deep and fine.
The taste is mouthfilling and intense with notes of cranberry jelly, fir wood, warm sand and dog fur. Very long. Warm. Very, very good in its own particular style. (Already released)
93p   (tasted 2020/10)

2018 Sangiovese, Dal Zotto
A perky, fresh nose with notes of ripening strawberries and red cherries with some additional dry licorice. Lively and very good.
The taste is light and vivacious with notes of sweet lingonberries, red cherries and earth. A high spirited Sangiovese from Aussie land. A bargain for 18 Euro. (6/10)
91p   (tasted 2020/10)



2019 Malabel Pinot Noir, Crystallum
A lovely perfumed Pinot with notes of warm tiles, ripe raspberries, fresh herbs and forest floor. Very deep and fine.
The taste is balanced and sleek with notes of raspberries, rhubarb licorice and herbs. A very fine acidity. Very handsome. (6/10)
93p   (tasted 2020/10)

2017 Sta Rita Hills Pinot Noir, Racines Wines
As with the Chardonnay, Racines has put out a fantastic Pinot. It burst with ripe raspberries, rosehip, dark flowers and a moist forest floor. Feel old viney. Just great.
The taste has lots of character, intensity and focus. Lovely fruit, a brilliant acidity and a fine length. A must buy. (13/10)
95p   (tasted 2020/10)


2018 Nuits-St-Georges Les Pruliers, Domaine Faiveley
A balanced, old school Burgundy with notes of sandelwood, perfume, earth and a melange of red fruits. Very, very good.
The taste is silky and refined with notes of red currants, forest floor and dried flowers. Long and structured (7+ år).  (27/10)
93p   (tasted 2020/10)

2017 Samt & Seide, Dorli Muhr
Even better than a couple of months ago when tasted with Dorli. A bargain for 20 Euro. (24/11)
91p   (tasted 2020/10)

2017 Bloom´s Field Pinot Noir, Domaine de la Côte
A deep, somewhat meaty nose with notes of bonfire, dried up raspberry jam and heady perfume. But it also has balance and nerve.
The taste is rich and concentrated with notes of ripe raspberries, smoke, licorice and scorched earth. Very long and impressive. 5+ years. (11/12)
93p   (tasted 2020/10)


2017 Montefalco Rosso, Arnaldo Caprai
A young, lively blend of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino and 15% Merlot from Umbria, with juicy fruit and a fresh, spicy nose.
The taste is young and seedy with notes of red currants, herbs and gravel. Light and fine with frisky tannins. Very, very good for 15 Euro. (3/11)
89p   (tasted 2020/10)

2015 Brunello di Montalcino, Mastrojanni
A brilliant nose with depth, character and focus. Hard cherry candy, fresh rosemary and Tuscan gravel are just some of the scents that pour out of the glass. Stunning.
The taste is structured and old viney with notes of perfectly ripe cherries, chrushed rocks, tobacco and herbs. The finish is over a minute long. Great wine. 8+ years. (11/12)
95p   (tasted 2020/10)



2017 Shiraz Viognier, Clonakilla
As usual, a beauty. The 2017 version offers up a pure, concentrated nose with notes of blueberries, black pepper, a hint of mint and fresh flowers. Very fine.
The taste is perfumed and fine with a mix of blueberries and raspberries alongside notes of ginger bread, mint licorice and flower water. Very complex. Gorgeous. (11/12)
95p   (tasted 2020/10)

2016 Tom Cully, Vasse Felix
This 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot blend jumps out of the glass with a deep, meaty, peppery nose with notes of sandelwood, tobacco and very ripe black currants. Impressive.
The taste is rich and concentrated with notes of violets, fresh coffee, blackberries and some dark chocolate. Very long and structured. Wear its weight with ease. 8+ years. (19/11)
94p   (tasted 2020/10)

2017 Pingus, Dominio de Pingus
Ok, how many cases will I order? For 850 Euro a bottle not that many...
The nose is very deep, very tight and at the moment a tad withdrawn. When you coax the glass you get some notes of fir wood, ripe cherries, a hint of vanilla and ripe undergrowth. High and structured. Needs plenty of time.
In the mouth the structure is even more obvious. Every not and bolt is in the right places but today the structure takes hold of the enjoyment. But there is lots of good things going on here, just wait 10+ years. I will not though. (?)
93p   (tasted 2020/10)



2016 Relentless, Shafer
A deep, meaty, upfront nose with notes of dark earth, ripe  plums, blackberries and chrushed black pepper. Firm and focused. Very fine.
The taste is rich and concentrated with notes of blackberries, bluberry pie, violets and scorched earth. Very long and intense. 6+ years. 90% Syrah, 10% Petite Sirah. (10/11)
95p   (tasted 2020/10)

2017 One Point Five, Shafer
A stifled nose that needs coaxing to get tight notes of ripe black currants, asphalt, Christmas spices and dark chocolate out of the glass. Ripe. Needs time. Very fine.
The taste is structured and balanced with notes of ripe blueberries and black currants with a hint of mint, fir wood and moist earth. Very long and intense. 8+ years. (11/12)
94p   (tasted 2020/10)

2015 Hillside Select, Shafer
Just perfect. Ah, well, it needs 10 years in the cellar before the three point score will be rewarded, but it will get there. Today it is a hedonist dream, velvety, massive fruit, intensity, balance and energy. The old Broadbent quote "an iron fist in a velvet glove" couldn´t be more fitting. Absolutely magnificent. Worth every cent. (10/12)
99p   (tasted 2020/10)



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