Monday 5 December 2011

Past Glory´s - 1990 Barolo Tasting Dinner

In this serie I will recollect some prevoius tasting dinners I have arranged over the years. I simply love planning, arranging and executing these kind of dinners, collecting the wines over, sometimes, severel years (rigth now I have about 5-6 dinners in the planning process...), choosing the right dishes with the separat flight of wines, and planning the order of the flights etc etc.

The first one out is a 1990 Barolo dinner from january this year. It had been a couple of years since the last checkup on these bottles, and I thought the time was ready. The 90 Arborina, Altare and the Sori Ginestra, Conterno-Fantino arrived just two days before the tasting, and had no chance to rest, but both showed spectaculary. The others I have had in the cellar for years.

We started things of with two semi dry Rieslings. To go with them I had made a cake of minced praws with asian spices, served with some balsamic dressing and a sweet chili sauce.

1990 Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Riesling Auslese Fuder 23, Karthäuserhof
A finely tuned, mature nose with notes of saffron, petrol. sweet slate, gravel and mineral. A very elegant sweetness. A fine, oily character. Deep and fine.
The taste is fine, mature, semi dry with notes of dried apricots, mature pears and lemons. Dances over the tongue. Lovely maturity. Very enjoyable right now.
93p   (tasted 2011/01)

1990 Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg Riesling Auslese, von Schubert
The nose on this one is more withdramn, but very elegant, with notes of dry lemoncello, wet rocks and a touch of ginger. Racy and fine.
The taste is tight, cool and elegant with some maturity and a tingly acidity. Notes of dry lemons, apricots and a asian spicy twist. Very, very good.
92p   (tasted 2011/01)

We continued with three dry, different wines. With these bottles we had a selection of dried hams - serrano, pata negra and procsiutto.
1990 Rüdesheim Berg Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese Trocken, Georg Breuer
A dry, mature, somewhat one dimensionell nose with notes of sea shells, lemon peel and slate. Nice enough but it doesn´t have weight or substance.
The taste is fresh, medium long and very dry with notes of lemons, gravel and balsa wood. It is a touch too dry for its own good.
83p   (tasted 2011/01)

1990 Cuvée Fréderick Émile, Trimbach
CFE is always a favourite of mine, and this one was a stunning examplel. The nose is very open for business with gorgeous aromas of yellow apples, late, grey pears and a cool earthy note. Deep and enticing. Perfectly mature. This is very, very good.
The tasts is elegant, focused and precise with gorgeous fruit flowing over my tongue. The acidity is perfectly cleansing and the finish is almost a minute long. This is lovely to drink now.
95p   (tasted 2011/01)

1990 R de Rieussec
The dry wine from Château Riesussec. The nose is big, browsy and a little over the top with sherry infused fruit, and notes of saffron, wet autumn leaves and soap. If the CFE was focused, this isn´t.
The taste is also big with lots of dried fruit, some burned butter and a warm feeling in the finish. Somewhat foursquare. A rather long finish. Its not bad, but it can´t get me going.
80p   (tasted 2011/01)

Well, now it was time for the first flight of the Barolo´s. All Barolo´s were decanted two hours before the first sip.
The first flight was two wines each from Bersano and Marchesi di Barolo. With this flight we had a terrine - pigs meat and sweetbreads mixed with herbs and cream, and then melted together for some time in the owen - pure heaven to these Barolo´s!

1990 Barolo Riserva, Bersano
A mature, rounded, smewhat foursquare nose with notes od dried figs, undergrowth, lingonberries and rosehips. Very traditionally, but on the dry side. Some dry wood. Beetrotsw after a while. Not bad though.
The taste is better with a tight, mature structure and good red fruit althrough the taste. The tannins are still there in the background. A long and dry finish. Not a fruitbomb by any means, but an good, old styled Barolo that is reaching maturity.
88p   (tasted 2011/01)

1990 Barolo Cascina Badarina, Bersano
Badarina is a vineyard in Serralunga, and this is a few notch up the qaulity ladder. The nose opens with a tight, still young nose with fresh, red fruit - a mix of lingonberries, cherries and not so ripe rasberries. An almost meaty character. Very good. Rosehips and licorice after some time in the glass. Very structured.
The taste is big and tight with still young tannins that coats the good red fruit in a fine way. Long and structured with a dry finish. The fruit is somewhat muddled today, but it is there, it just needs another 5-8 years to show itself properly.
90p   (2011/01)

1990 Barolo Coste di Rose, Marchesi di Barolo
A deep, sweet, open nose with notes of sweet lingonberries, dried flowers, rosehips and warm autumn leaves. Very, very good. A lovely sweet fruit. Perfectly mature on the nose. Deep and fine.
The taste is fresh, tight and almost creamy with lovely rosehips- and lingonberries fruit. Long, fine finish with balsamic notes. Lots of licorice in the finish. On its peak now, but will surely stay there for a number of years.
93p   (tasted 2011/01)

1990 Barolo Cannubi, Marchesi di Barolo
A deep, complex, fine nose with notes of pipe tobacco, sweet lingonberries, forest floor and cold coffe. A very fine oak note. The fruit is mature and sweet. Lovely maturity. Very, very good.
The taste is big, round and full of sweet fruit paired with still strappy tannins and more black then red fruit. Very long, structured finish. More outgoing than the previous ones but very, very good on its own merits.
90p   (tasted 2011/01)

With the next flight we had Barolo braised pig cheeks with mashed potatoes with enough cream an butter to cause a coronary...

This flight also consisted of two wines each from two producers - Domenico Clerico and Roberto Voerzio.
1990 Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra, Domenico Clerico
A lovely, deep, complex nose with notes of licorice, sweet red cherries, forest floor and dried summer flowers. Very intense. Just a gorgeous sweetness of the fruit. I would say that this is, on the nose, almost perfectly mature.
The taste is seamsless,, with sweet red fruit and notes of leather, sandel wood, licorice and some smoky notes. A long, long finish with fresh tannins and a dry ending. Just stunning! Still have many years to come.
96p   (tasted 2011/01)

1990 Barolo Pajana, Domenico Clerico
This in an almost perfect bottle of the debut vintage of Pajana. The nose is so pure, so intense, so sweet and so concentrated that it is almost hard to believe. Waves of the sweetest cherries just exploders from the glass, with notes of old balsamic vinegar, rosehips, licorice and saddle leather. Breathtakingly beautiful! Porcini after a while.
The taste is like pouring liqued velvet over the tongue, with perfect sweetness, acidity and melted tannins. A very long, fresh and captivating finish. This is heaven to drink, and perfectly mature right now. I think the CMG still has some evolving to do, this hasn´t.
98p   (tasted 2011/01)

1990 Barolo Brunate, Roberto Voerzio
Íf the Pajana was "almost perfect", belive it or not, but this one is even better! The nose is to die for with oceans of crushed rose petals, cherry heering infused licorice, muscovado sugar, new leather and a perfect autumn walk in a damp forest. I tried to push all of my nose into the glass...
The taste is equally stunning, with tight, explosive, sweet and massive fruit with perfect weight and balance. The finish is over one minute long. The fruit is more structured then the Pajana, and the tannins are younger, but the balance is just awesome in this one. This one still have places to go!
99p   (tasted 2011/01)

1990 Barolo Cerequio, Roberto Voerzio
A big, open, fruity nose with notes of sugared coffe, leather, wet forest and very sweet red currants. A little over the top on the nose, not so balanced as the others. Sandelwood and dried figs after a while. Sweet. Very yummy all the same.
The taste is big and broad with lots of sweet red fruit - red currants, cherries and rasberries, with notes of licorice, milk chocolate and leather. The tannins in the finish are somewhat rugged. A very good wine, but on this night it is outshined by the others in this flight. And I have had better, more coherent bottles.
89p   (tasted 2011/01)

For the last flight of Barolo´s we had an assortment of cheeses, can´t remember which ones now....:-)
1990 Barolo Vigneto Arborina, Elio Altare
The most hedonistic, erotic, sensual nose of the evening! Hard to describe the depth, purity and intensity of the fruit. The sweetest and finest red cherries imaginable, paired with rosehips, violets, licorice and a touch of vanilla oak. This is a nose to kill and die for...
The taste is almost as good as the nose, with multitudes of sweet red and black cherries, leather, sugared coffee and a touch of oak. The reason why this beauty doesn´t get a perfect score, is that the tannins still are on rowdy side, peeping up in the finish and making a touch coarse. But in 5-7 years time, this is going to be perfect, mark my words.
97p   (tasted 2011/01)

1990 Barolo Sori Ginestra, Conterno-Fantino
A deep, mature, sweet nose with notes of sugar coated red cherries, autumn leaves, fresh stables and matchbooks. Very fine, sweet, mature fruit. Round and appealing. Very, very good.
The taste is fine, elegant and mature with lots of creamy red fruit, soft tannins and a long, dry finish. Cool structure. Very long. This is drinking perfectly right now.
93p   (tasted 2011/01)

1990 Barolo, Bartolo Mascarello
This is so pure and fresh on the nose! Masses of roses, rosehips, dry licorice, autumn leaves and candied orange peels. Very, very elegant. Soooo fresh! A touch of barnyard after a while. Impressive!
The taste is tight, pure and racy, with notes of dry leather, red currants, licorice and blood oranges. A very, very long and tight finish. Still on the young side, this is not yet firing on all cylinders, needs another 3-5 years.
94p   (tasted 2011/01)

1990 Barolo Cascina Francia, Giacomo Conterno
Resistence is futile - just surrender to this extraordinary specimen! The nose is captivating in its purity, density and beaty. The fruit just oozes up from the glass - sweet red currants, rasberries and the most sexy red and black cherries that ever has been picked. Loads of truffels, porcini, undergrowth, leather and spice. Multidimensionell in every sense of the word.
The taste is breathtakingly beautiful, with stunning red and black fruit, still some racy tannins that feels young in the finish. Very, very fresh, you couldn´t sense that you´re drinking a 21 year old wine. Impressive notes of leather, roses, porcini amd fresh stables. Sooo close to perfection, but the tannins have to melt a little more before the three digit score is rewarded, but its gonna get there in 5-8 years time.
99p   (tasted 2011/01)

To end this extraordinay night we slowly chewed on some Cantuccini and sipped this nectar.
1990 Château Rieussec
A deep, mature, dense nose with notes of glue, dried apricots, pineapple juice, and a big dollop of botrytis. Big and sweet, but fresh at the same time. Very, very good.
The taste is mature, intense and very sweet, with great layers of apriocts, tangerines, blood oranges and pineapple. Very long and intense in the finish. Just about mature but surely with a long life ahead.
93p   (tasted 2011/01)

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