Monday 2 January 2012

The Ten Most Memorable Wines of 2011

Another year has passed, and wine wise it has been a great year - a lot of interesting tastings and bottles. It is always hard to narrow it down to ten bottles that have made the most deep impression on my tasting buds every year. But with a glass of 2008 Corton Charlemagne, Bonneau de Martray (leftovers from New Years eve) it becomes easier...:-)
Here they are, in vintage order.
And lets hope that 2012 will bring equally great wines - thanks all!

1968 Bual Reserva, d´Oliviera
I have tasted a couple of great Madeira´s this year - 1958 Bual, Cossart & Gordon (96p), 1969 Bual, Cossart & Gordon (96p), 1903 Bual, unknown producer (94p) - but this was it another leauge. It showcased everything that is great about Madeira, the intensity in the fruit, the laserlike acidity and the length that goes on for several minutes. And this is still very young!
98p   (tasted 2011/11)

1973 Dom Perignon
In our annual end-of-the-season-champagne-tasting, we had a bunch of Moet wines, but the highlights were three vintages of Dom Perignon - the 1993 (92p), the 1983 (94p) - and this gorgeous creature. It hade the most lovely scents of toffee, summer flowers and freshly grounded coffee, and the taste were like silk over my palate, but with a remarkable intensity. Pure nectar.
97p   (tasted 2011/06)

1982 Barolo Zonchera, Ceretto
Found this gem in a restaurant in Copenhagen for a very reasonable price. The mature autumn scents were captivating from start to the last drop of the bottle, and the taste was soft, round and with perfect sweet red fruit. Sooo drinkable. Perfectly mature and a great exempel of the 1982 vintage in Barolo.
94p   (tasted 2011/09)

1990 Barolo Cascina Francia, Giacomo Conterno
Actually, most of the bottles from my  1990 Barolo Tasting Dinner could have made this list, but the one that made the most lasting impression was the Cascina Francia. You couldn´t get closer to perfection than this beaty, and when it hits maturity in 5-10 years time, this will be the nectar of gods.
99p   (tasted 2011/01)

1996 Château Pontet-Canet
The last couple of years Bordeaux hasn´t been my first priority, as it was when I started tasting wine 20+ years ago. The insane pricing and the tendency to make many wine in the same mold, have made me turn to other places. But this year some bottles of Bordeaux have proved to me that they really are world class wines, that have a strong appeal on me. Some of them have been 1995 Trotanoy (92p), 1995 Cos (95p), 2000 Montrose (93p) and the ever perfect 1990 Montrose (100p), but the gold medal in the category making an impression was the 1996 Pontet Canet. The racy, semi mature notes of fresh stables, sweet black currants and tobacco are magnificent, and the taste is long, fresh, structured and just awesome. Stunning wine!
95p   (tasted 2011/04)

1998 Masseto
A very generous friend opened some great bottles early this year, and in the flight of Tuscan stunners, this was breathtaking. It had an elegant, cool red fruit with some meaty and lead pencil notes. The oak touch was of the sweet, expensive kind. The taste was very pure and concentrated with silky tannins and a minute long finish. I see that I even used profanity in my tasting notes too express the greatness of this wine...:-)
97p   (tasted 2011/01)

2001 Percarlo
At one of the tasting with our tasting group Senza Nome, we were presented to nine bottles of 2001 Tuscan wines. 2001 is a great vintage and almost every bottle was, at least, very good, but this one was head and shoulders above the rest. The intensily fresh nose with notes of rose hips, chocolate covered red cherries, new leather and wet earth, was amazing. The taste followed the nose with purity, freshness and a glorious structure. Still young, this pretty thing has 10+ year ahead of it.
97p   (tasted 2011/05)

2002 Fleur de Passion, Diebolt-Vallois
This had a great purity, with the most lovely scents of peaches, wet steel, earth and a perfect after-the-rain note. The taste was tight, cool and with an elegance that made me (almost) speechless. Still very young, this is as stunning as a young, high class Champgane can hope to aspire too.
95p   (tasted 2011/01)

2006 Romanée-St-Vivant Marey-Monge, DRC
This and the following bottle were tasted at one of the best BYOB tasting I have ever attended. Bottle after bottle with the most gorgeous fermented juice hit the table all evening long, but these two made an lasting impression.
The depth, concentration and purity of this DRC wine almost brought tears to my eyes. The perfect example of Pinot Noir, although very, very young. It has everything, but this day we got to see some of its potential. An easy 100p when it enters maturity. My last words in my tasting book is "gives me shivers down my spine"...
98p   (tasted 2011/05)

2008 Bienvenues Batard-Montrachet, Domaine Faiveley
This bottle also made me shiver - when Chardonnay reaches these heights, nothing can compare. The stony/mineral driven sweet fruit, paired with butter fried nuts, dusting sugar and expensive oak, maked for a hedonistic experience. The taste is like drinking licquified minerals coated with butter coated nuts and sweet summer flowers. The finish lasts for minutes. A revelation!
98p   (tasted 2011/05)

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