Thursday 31 May 2012

1988 Mouton-Cadet & Mouton Rothschild

"Do not judge me by my Mouton Rothschild, judge me by my Mouton-Cadet"

That qoute was supposedly made by the late Baron Philippe de Rothschild. I know I read it in an articel some time back. I can´t find the articel now, but the qoute stuck in my head. And when I spotted a 88 Mouton-Cadet, I thought I would take him up on it.

Mouton-Cadet was created after three disastrous vintages - 1931, 1932 and 1933 - and was released 1934 as a blend, made from Mouton Rotshschild and sold under the appellation "Bordeaux". It used to be made of lesser wine of Mouton and of the the other wines - Mouton-Baronne-Philippe/d´Armailhac and Clerc-Milon. With the introduction of Le Petit Mouton in 1993, most likely the Mouton-Cadet nowadays doesn´t contain any Mouton at all, but I have not been able to find any information about that.

Recommended reading

1988 Mouton-Cadet
A mature, nice enough but rather light nose with notes of autumn leaves, dry red and black currants, dried up orange peel, road dust and old chocolate. A bit over the hill but still enjoyable.
The taste is mature, rounded and nicer than the nose with good red fruit and notes of bluberry bushes, dry leather, coffe and undergrowth. A medium long finish that ends nicely dry. Good with food. Still hanging in there but this is on its last leg.
82p   (tasted 2012/05)

1988 Château Mouton Rothschild
Now we have taken severel steps up the quality ladder! The nose is great, with lots of sweet black currants, Valrhona chocolate, pipe tobacco, leather and that unmistakable eukalyptus and freshly grounded coffee note that is Mouton. A lovely maturity. Sweet and fine.
The taste is medium big with a more restrained profile than the nose. Fine notes of red and black currants sugared coffee, autumn leaves and a dried up chocolate cake. The finish is long, dry and elegant. What Broadbent would call a lunchon claret....if I only could drink this with my luch every day I would be happy! Reminds me of the 1981. I like this a lot.
90p   (tasted 2012/05)

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Another Summer Rosé

2011 Minuty Rosé
This Côtes de Provence Rosé wine consist of 50% Grenache, 35% Cinsault and 15% Tibouren. The nose is fresh, light and appetizing with notes of red currants, elder berry, gooseberries, dusting sugar and a touch of bonfire. Not to sweet on the nose, as rosés can get, and not too bone dry either - very nicely in between.
The taste is fresh, elegant and perky with lots of summer red berries and notes of dry licorice, road dust, candied lemons and a hint of vanilla pods. Very good. The finish is medium long, fresh and with just the right level of dryness. Lovely with food - in this case a chicken sallad - but equally lovely on its own. This one will be popped more times this summer! But isn´t the bottle a bit tacky...? :-)
89p   (tasted 2012/05)

Tuesday 29 May 2012

The 10 Oldest Fortified Wines I Have Tasted

I´ll admit it - I´m a succer for making lists. And when I saw this example of a list a while back on a merchant site, I started to ponder - what are my oldest wines I have tasted? Some I vividly remember, but it took some going through my note books until I came up with this list.

I cheated somewhat though - the list contains 11 bottles, since I have been fortunate to have had 4 different 1900 wines, the youngest vintage to make the list. :-)
I hope to expand on this list soon...
The next one is the 10 oldest (not fortified) wines - stay tuned!

1795 Terrantez, Barbeito
Tasted with a bunch of assorted wines, among the the 1868 London Brown Sherry below.
A bottomless deep, fascinating, intense nose with notes of drying autumn leaves, banana peel, linoleum, dried apricots and a touch of varnish. Very, very fine.
The taste is fresh as a daisy with gorgeous notes of balsamic vinegar, dried fruit, nuts, tea, cocoa powder and a touch of detergent. Very complex. The finish goes on for ever. Some dry wood notes. Brilliant!
The only thing that concerns me in hindsight is that my bottle doesn´t say Barbeito but Barbeiro in hand texting, se pic below. Is it genuine? Or did the person who texted the bottles had a bad day? Bought at auction in Denmark some 15 years ago, and he auction catalog stated Barbeito as producer - but I think its to late to get back to them now...:-)
Anyone with an explanation, please get in touch! It was a great Madeira no matter what.
96p   (tasted 2003/10)

1815 Marsala Riserva, Woodhouse & Co
Tasted at the end of a tasting dinner along a 1958 Bual, Cossart & Gordon (96p), which blew this oldie away.
The nose is deep but rather light with notes of rosehips, tangerine peel, white peppar and chritsmas spicies. Cool and fine but not that complex. It has some sweetness left on the nose.
The taste has more power with a fiery note and notes of raisins, nuts, dried apricots and varnish. A long, semi dry finish. At the end it turns really dry. Good but I think it wa been better several decades ago...
85p   (tasted 2011/05)

1863 Boal, Luiz Gomes
Tasted at the end of a tasting dinner with 1991 Cabernet wines from California.
The nose just explodes up from the glass with remarkable intensity. There are deep, penetrating aromas of dried fruits, pan roasted nuts, old chocolate, dried flowers, tea, old leather and varnish. Just stunning! Very ethereal and high strunged.
The taste is as intense as the nose and fills the mouth with flavours of nuts, dry licorice, figs, nougat and old leather. the finish is counted in minutes. This is as good as it gets. Gorgeous concentration.
97p   (tasted 2002/09)

1868 London Brown Sherry, Wilson & Valdespino
The nose is warm, sweet and decadent good with notes of yellow raisins, fudge, orange peel, nuts and eggnog! Very intense and with a lovely sweetness. Dark and beautiful. This is stunningly good!
The taste is big, concentrated and yummy with notes of nut- and fruitcake, licorice, fudge, sweet tobacco and old leather. The finish is over two minutes long and ends semi sweet. There is lots of power and intensity in this. Great wine!
97p   (tasted 2003/10)

1870 Malmsey Reserve, Vinhos da Madeira LdaTasted just a few weeks ago and my note is here -
98p   (tasted 2012/05)

1872 Ferreira Port
This was tasted just recently at the end of a tasting dinner of Bric dël Fiasc from Scavino, see
94p   (tasted 2012/02)

1880 Malmsey, Companhia Vinicola da Madeira Lda
A depth deeper tham the Marianer grave, this stunning Maderia offers scents of muscovado sugar, wet earth, dried fruit, assorted nuts, chocolate, orange peels, sugared coffee and old leather, to name a few scents. It has layers upon layers of fruit. Very, very impressive.
The taste is very concentrated, intense and sears through the mouth. The acidity is turned to 11, not 10... The fruit is medium sweet and massive with notes of dried apricots, nuts, chcocolate, orange peel, tea and a touch of varnish. The finish goes on for over two minutes. A breathtaking wine!
98p   (taasted 2002/03)

1900 Colheita, Constantino´s
The nose is warm, comples and just lovely with notes of raisins, figs, nuts and dark chocolate. This is very fresh and lively. Very deep. Some alcoholic warmth also. Lovely!
The taste is is warm and spirity with notes of chocolate, assorted nuts, dried figs and old barrels. The taste has surely been more powerful in the past and is more of a viril old gentleman now. A long, warm finish that cracks ut a bit at the end. But I could spend hours sniffing this - it´s gorgeous!
94p   (tasted 2002/08)

1900 Moscatel de Setubal, J M da Fonseca
This perfect wine has been described here -
100p   (tasted 2000/03)

1900 Old Boal, H. M. Borges
Tasted at the end of a Burgundy dinner with all Corton wines. The nose is wonderfully sweet with notes of pickled ginger, orange peel, tea, old chocolate, sugared coffee and some detergent. Very, very deep and intense. Lovely!
The taste is concentrated, intense and fabolous with all the dried fruit you could imagine alongside some tea, chocolate, nuts and band aid. The finish never ends. The acidity cuts through everything else and makes it fresh as a daisy. Sooo beautiful!
97p   (tasted 2002/26)

1900 da Silva Vintage Port
Tasted at my Old Pommard Dinner -
90p   (tasted 2009/01)

Sunday 27 May 2012

Vertical Tasting of Château Soutard 1950-1989

"The aim is to make long-keeping, classic wines, and the result is rather uncompromising, and needs patience from the consumer"  (David Peppercorn: Bordeaux)

"The wine is solid, dense and uncompromising. But is undeniably rich and concentrated when mature" (Clive Coates: Grands Vins)

"This is one of St-Emilions best-kept secrets. For consumers looking for wines capable of lasting 20 or more years, Soutard should be seriously considered" ( Robert Parker: Bordeaux)

I remember tasting the 1989 Château Soutard in 1992 or 1993 and it was hard as nails. But reading things like the qoutes above made me purchase  a couple of the 1989`s. And now it was time to check up on Soutard and its long-lasting wines.
I arranged this tasting last week for one of my tastings groups.
All bottles decanted 1,5 hour before the first pour.

Flight I - which was enjoyed with a wild mushroom paté
1989 Château Soutard
The vintage that started it all for me. It has now became a mature, great drinking Bordeaux. The nose is mature, open for business and just great, with notes of old leather, barnyard, christmas spices, rosehips and cold coffe. A lovely maturity. The fruit is so sweet and fine.
The taste is round, fresh for its age and medium bodied with notes of red currants, plums, road dust and a touch of dry licorice. The finish is long, graceful and pure, Very, very fine.
92p   (tasted 2012/05)

1985 Château Soutard
A classic 85 Bordeaux nose - lots of sweet fruit and charm but not that much stuffing. Lots of black plums, sugared coffee, pipe tobaccoo and some bonfire notes. A lovely nose!
The taste is mature, round and sweet with fine notes of red currants, rosehips, dried fruits and coffe flavours. The finish is on the dry side but there is no arguing about the charm of this perfectly mature wine.
89p   (tasted 2012/05)

1982 Château Soutard
There is a noticable difference in this one, compared to the 85 and the 89. The fruit is warmer and sweeter, but I would not say better. The nose rises from the glass with notes of ripe plums, red currants, dark chocolate, warm leather and some notes of sweet oak. Deep and good. But I like the 89 and 85 more on the nose.
The taste is warm, big and sweet with lots of dark fruit, sugared coffe, moist earth, bonfire and chocolate. Very, very good on the palate.  A long, warm, fine finish. A very fine wine, although the 89 eclipse it on this night.
90p   (tasted 2012/05)

Flight II - which was enjoyed with roulades, mashed potatoes and a madeira sauce
1950 Château Soutard
This was a real revelation! Not one over-the-hill sign presence. Just fine fruit, a lovely maturity and a great drinkability! The nose is deep, fine and mature (!) with lovely notes of dark plums, rosehips, dried herbs and some coffe notes. Very fine.
The taste is tight, mature but very fresh with lots of red currants, dried plums, chocolate and warm earth. A long, fine finish. A great example of the longevity of Soutard. The other, who tasted double blind, guessed it to be from the 70´s...
91p   (tasted 2012/05)

1959 Château Soutard
This bottle split the crowd - the ones that hold it as the best wine and the ones that thought it nice but not more. I was in the second party. It is the nose that ruins it for me - there is fine, sweet fruit there, and a great structure, but there is also a strong note of band aid, that doesn´t air of. Too bad.
The taste is better, the band aid note doesn´t come through as much in the taste. It is long, big and sturdy with a lot of sweet, black fruit, coffe and warm earth. The finish ends with a dry twist. I imagine that perfect bottles could be fantastic, but this one isn´t that.
86p   (tasted 2012/05)

1964 Château Soutard
When you combine a great year (both vintage wise and that of yours truly...) with a long lasting wine - what do you get? The best wine of the evening, of course! :-)
I tried hard not to be influenced by the vintage on the bottle, but this is truly a great bottle of wine, regardless of the year. The nose is wide open with lots of sweet, decadent fruit - plums, red currants, rasberries - and notes of moist earth, christmas spices, and a touch of volatility that makes it even more complex. Just lovely.
The taste is warm, fresh and soft with notes of red currants, plums, dark chocolate, road dust and a touch of dry licorice. A long, fresh, dry finish ends it all. A lovely warmth of the mature fruit. A great wine.
94p   (tasted 2012/05)

1970 Château Soutard
A deep, warm, somewhat withdrawn nose with notes of dark plums, sugared coffee, leather and undergrowth. A fine depth and weight. Very fine. Still on the young side.
The taste is bigger, tighter and warmer than the nose with lots of sweet black fruit - blueberries, black cherries and black currants - with notes of tobacco, earth and leather, This still needs time. And it is a bit ungainly at times. Could turn out great, just wait and see...
87p   (tasted 2012/05)

1975 Château Soutard
This is not for consuming. Not corked, just bad, really bad. The nose reeks of band aid, fish intestines, rust and rotten wood. Would you like to drink that? No? But I just had to do that for scientific purposes...
Well, the taste is actually better (couldn´t get any worse) with very dried up fruit, earth, dry tobacco and old chocolate. The bottle looked alright and the corked was fine, but alas..
54p   (tasted 2012/05)

Saturday 26 May 2012

Finally Some Wine - 2003 Domaine Cros!

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"... I have felt like Jack Torrance all week - if there had been an axe somewhere close I probably would have screamed "Heeere´s Johnny" and ignored the consequences...
But, the weekend is here and I needed something big and brawny. The 2001 Domaine Cros was really impressive and I remembered that I had some 2003 left. Pull the cork!

2003 Les Aspres Syrah, Domaine Cros
Aaaaaaaah, this is just what I needed. A big, tight, dark, sweet nose with notes of black cherries, blackberries, sweet licorice, raw meat, tar and some moist undergrowth. Very deep and powerful, and just right! Very, very fine.
The taste just flows over my palate with impressive sweet fruit, force and length. Notes of sweet blueberries, black cherries, violets, licorice and dark chocolate. A long, lingering finish with a great warmth. Not as complex as the 2001 but utterly yummy! Still could use some time in the cellar.
92p (tasted 2012/05)

Saturday 19 May 2012

Last Couple of Rose Wines This Weekend

It was time for the odd couple out - a Rhone rose vs a New Zeeland variant. And it was fun compare the two alongisde a home made pizza with (I made two for myself...) fennel sausage and the other with truffle salami.

2011 Domaine de la Mordoree La Dame Rousse
This fine rose is made of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Clairette. The nose is fresh, young and lightly spicy with notes of just mature rasberries, dry licorice, earth and lots of wild strawberries. Very nice. With air some black currants leafes emerge.
The taste is fine, focused and pure with notes of sweet lingonberries, rosehips and wild strawberries. A long, warm finish. Very good. But the 14,5% makes a prescence in the finish. Other than that, a very good rose wine.
89p (tasted 2012/05)

2011 Neudorf Pinot Rose
A much bigger, sweeter and in-your-face nose that then Tavel wine, but a very good up front wine at that. Fine notes of sweet blood oranges, crushed rasberries, sweet licorice and tangerines. Deep and fine. Very good when its rather cold, it looses momentum when in gets warm in the glass.
The taste is big, warm and fruity with lots of sweet lingonberry fruit, red currants and rasberries. A bit cooler in the mouth when it is cold. Long, fresh and fine. Again, with warmth it gets a bit candylike and unfocused. But cold enough, it is a fine rose wine.
87p (tasted 2012/05)

Friday 18 May 2012

The Rose Quest Continues!

Tonight we explore two Marsannay Pinot Rose wines. Pretty much equal in structure, character and mouth feel, although the Clair-Dau was a tad better on this evening. They both went very well with grilled salmon with a basil sauce and sauteed mushrooms.

2010 Bruno Clair Marsannay Rose
A cool, somewhat restrained nose with notes of wild strawberries, almost ripe rasberries, earth and a touch of licorice. A nice laid back sweetness . Good. Very fresh.
The taste is fresh, medium bodied and cool with notes of rasberries, blood oranges, dry earth and milk chocolate. A medium long, fresh finish. Nice but a tad anonymous. The lengt is fine though, with a good dry twist.
85p (tasted 2012/05)

2011 Domaine Clair-Dau Rose de Marsannay
A Domaine Clair-Dau wine although it was vinified and bottled by Jadot. The nose is a little tight but with nice notes of wild strawberries, freshly washed clothes drying in the air, thyme and a touch of bonfire smoke. Very good.
The taste is fine, cool and elegant with notes of lingonberries, rasberries, blood oranges, warm herbs and a dusty summer road. A fine, fresh finish that ends dry. A fine balance.
88p (tasted 2012/05)

Thursday 17 May 2012

Two More Rose Wines Tasted

Well, the rose weekend continues, this evening with a Bordeaux and a Tuscany rose. Both were nice enough drinking but no one reach the level of great or "I really want to drink more of this". But both went well with a pasta dish with a sauce made of Italian sausage with fennel and black peppar.

2011 Rosato, Castello di Ama
This one has a lovely nose with notes of red currants, pomegranate, cherry pips, a dusty summer tuscan road and the fat of prosciutto. Very nice. Hard cherry candy and dried resin after a while. Very fine.
But the taste, the taste is for the pure masochist, with a clean taste of blood orange peel, red immature currants, unripe rasberries and some dusty elements. The acidity is high and tight. Not much pleasure here... With a creamy pasat sauce it behaves better but on its own it is too tight and uncompromising.
82p (tasted 2012/05)

2011 Clarence Dillon Clarendelle Rose
On the other hand - this had a funky nose but a fine taste... The nose is big, fruity and rather spineless with notes of rasberry candy, wet earth, licorice and beets. A touch artificial. A touch of sea shell sweetness. But there is a funky note that does not blow away.
But the taste, the taste is great - with lovely sweet red fruits - rasberries, wild strawberries and lingonberries. There is also notes of dry coffee, earth and milk chocolate fudge. A long, warm, structured finish. Very, very good.
84p (tasted 2012/05)

I tried to mix the two in the vain hope that I would get the Rosato nose with the Clarendell taste, but no, no, no...

The Two First Rose Wines Tasted

First out this rose weekend is two wines from the south of France. They were both fresh and tasty, although the Bandol had a added depth. They both did well with some truffle salami, jamon de Trevelez, fennochio and a wild boar pate alongside some fresh bread and olives.

2011 Chateau Sainte Marguerite Cuvee Grande Reserve Rose
A long name on this nice, fresh rose. I have not been able to get hold of the cepage. The state monopoly does notlist it and it is not to be find on their webiste either.
The nose is light, fresh and elegant with notes of lingonberries, wild strawberries, cool hebs and a touch of licorice. A nice smoky note. Blood oranges after a while. A nice nose without much depth.
The taste is fresh, fruity and medium long with notes of rasberries, wild strawberries, licorice, almonds and herbs. Some notes of dried meat. Finish light and fresh. A easy going, easy drinking Provence rose.
85p (tasted 2012/05)

2011 Domaine de la Tour du Bon
This Bandol rose is another creature all together. Bigger, deeper and more poised, with lots of fresh herbs, red currants, a dusty summer road and orange peels. With a bit of air enormous amounts of black currants leafes oozes up from the glass. Deep and fine. A lovely spicy feeling in this one. Very, very good.
The taste is full bodied for a rose but there is a balance and elegance which makes it easy to gulp down glass after glass... Notes of sweet minerals, blood oranges, red currants and candied lime peels. Lots of fresh herbs. A long, warm finish. This I will be drinking more of. The cepage is 35% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 25% Mourvedre and 10% Clairette.
91p (tasted 2012/05)

P.S. Apostrophes and other essentials in spelling is a no-no on this iPad, that is why they are missing...D.S

The Start of Summer!

Meaning - its time for rosé! I can´t help it - I love drinking rosé wines during the summer. Except for the biggest steaks on the grill, they usually go great with a versatile range of summer food.

This weekend I´m gonna taste through a selection of newly released wines and vintages from the state monopoly, namely the following:

2010 Bruno Clair Marsannay Rosé Pinot Noir
2010 Clarence Dillon Clarendelle Rosé
2011 Clair-Dau Marsannay Rosé
2011 Castello di Ama Rosato
2011 Domaine de la Mordorée Tavel La Dame Rousse
2011 Château Sainte Marguerite Cru Classé Rosé
2011 Domaine de la Tour du Bon Rosé
2011 Neudorf Pinot Rosé

Stay tuned! :-)

Monday 14 May 2012

Tasting Dinner With a 142 Year Old Madeira

This was one of the biannual tasting dinners we arrange in one of my tastings groups. As always - great food, wine and company! All wines tasted double blind (except, of course, for the ones you brought...).

We started with an amazing plate of goodies - smoked salmon, duck liver paté, scallops and shrimp sallad. While we munched on them we drank two bottles of Champagne.

NV Initial, Jacques Selosse
This bottle was degorged 2010-05-05. The nose is fresh, intense and lovely with notes of crushed oyster shells, cap gun powder, ripe green apples, scallop juice and some fudge. Very deep and fine. With some air a gorgeous perfumed note emerge from the glass. Great stuff!
The taste is pure and focused with a stunning lenght and notes of sea shells, lime, freshly washed clothes and a hint of toasted bread. Impressive structure. A pure joy to drink.
96p   (tasted 2012/05)

2002 Fleur de Passion, Diebolt-Vallois
This beauty made my 10 most memorable wines of 2011, but this bottle was more closed. The nose is cool, young and fresh with notes of grape, chalk, dry biscuits, lily of the valley and a touch of petrol. Very deep but a bit elusive today.
The taste is young, creamy and intense with notes of lemon cream, sweet minerals, rhubarb and some steely notes. Very long and refreshing. A little restrained. It seems to have closed down a bit since last year. Still a very fine bottle of Champagne.
92p   (tasted 2012/05)

For first course we were served seared tuna with asparagus and a lovely spinach- and nettle cream. Two wines were served and sorry to say, we were lost guessing there origin. I taste Grüner Veltliner far to seldom...

2009 Wösendorfer Hochrain Grüner Veltliner Smaragd, Rudi Pichler
A young, fresh, flowery nose with notes of mango, lemon peel, smoke and the same white peppar note as in a Syrah! Which lead me to Rhone and Rousanne, Marsanne and Viognier...
The taste is big, warm and up front fruity with notes of assorted tropical fruits, smoke, blood orange juice and some candy notes. Rather warm. And the acidity is a bit too low for my liking, which also lead me too the Rhone valley... But there is a good structure here. The fruit is sweet and fine. And it worked great with the tuna.
88p   (tasted 2012/05)

2009 Lamm Erste Lage Grüner Veltliner, Weingut Bründlmayer
A big, all over the place kind of nose, with notes of mustard seeds, dried flowers, licorice and lots of lyche fruit. Semi dry. Too unfocused.
The taste is as big as the nose and the fruit is too warm. To make things worse, there is only hints of acidity, leaving a flabby impression. Lots of sweet flowers, herbs and limoncello on the palate. Not my cup of tea.
74p   (tasted 2012/05)

With a superb entrecote we were served three equally superb glasses of wine.

1996 Château Lynch-Bages
A deep, elegant and gracefully mature nose with notes of the essence of black currants, old leather, sugared coffee and fresh stables. A hint of vanilla and black peppar adds to the complexity. Very deep. In a perfect state of maturity. Just lovely!
The taste is tighter than the nose with lots of fresh black currant fruit and notes of dark chocolate, pipe tobacco, autumn leaves and a dusty road in the summer. Long and structured. On the palate this still needs time. Great sweetness to the fruit. Very, very fine.
94p   (tasted 2012/05)

1996 Château d´Armailhac
A deep, dark, intense nose with lots of sweet blackberries, black currants and rasberries. Then some dark chocolate, tobacco and the scent of old books makes its way through the fruit. A lovely sweetness. This is also almost fully mature on the nose. A touch warmer than the Lynch-Bages.
The taste is deep, creamy and finely balanced with notes of red and black currants, autumn leaves, bay leaves, pipe tobacco and cocoa. A long, fine finish that ends with a dry twist. This is fully mature and drinking great.
91p   (tasted 2012/05)

1996 Château Pichon-Baron
Aaaaaah - this is great! Gorgeous scents of sweet red and black currants, plums, expensive leather, dried flowers and strawberries in a balsamic vinegar reduction. Great depth and a precious framework. Stunning nose!
The taste is tight, concentrated and aristocratic with lovely notes of red and black currants, balsa wood, cigarett ashes, sugared coffee and warm autumn leaves. A long, elegant finish. This, as the Lynch-Bages, have some maturing to do, but you can´t resist this beauty tonight.
95p   (tasted 2012/05)

I had prepared a simple dessert - a chocolate mousse with some rasberry chocolate truffles. My experience said that it would suit the Madeira bottle I had brought perfectly - and so it did.

1870 Malmsey Reserve, Vinhos da Madeira Lda
We were in the presence of history here - this year the worlds first football match between two countries was played (England vs Scotland - 1-1), Lenin was born, Charles Dickens died and the people of Rome voted on the question of entering Italy (and yes, they did...).
A rich, deep, deep nose with utterly gorgeous notes of almond paste, dark caramel, dried plums, nuts, wet tea leaves and some band aid. Bottomless deep and just captivating. Very, very complex. There is something special that comes with 142 years of maturing...
The taste is glorious, with extra of everything - concentration, intensity, sweetness and a laserlike acidity that cuts through the sweetness like a blade. Notes of rosehips, tangerines, mature yellow apples, honey, plum cake, nuts and nougat sears from the glass. The finish is counted in minutes. A absolutely stunning wine!
98p   (tasted 2012/05)

Friday 11 May 2012

Another 1975 Chianti

Finally - friday evening - and with some pasta, serrano and a mustard-garlic-cream-sauce - I opened another 1975 Chianti. The cork crumbled and fell to pieces. And at first it smelled down right ugly.
I filtered the wine through a tea strainer (that have never been used to anything by wine) and let it sit for an hour. And as a ugly duckling transformes, this 37 year old Chianti became just beautiful...:-)

1975 Chianti Classico, Castello di Monterinaldi
At first, as mentioned above, rather restrained, but with air lovely notes of dark cherry jam, mature red apples, muscovado sugar, pipe tobacco and wet earth emerge. Very deep and, still, powerful. A greath depth.
The taste is tight, fresh for its age and warm with notes of red and black cherries, dark chocolate, warm earth and some dried mushrooms. Long, warm and very fine. There is a lovely warmth in this wine. Mature, yes, but in a lovely drinking window. A lovely sweetness. Great wine.
92p   (tasted 2012/05)

Wednesday 9 May 2012

The Perfect Ones - Part 14

Tasting all 1999 La-La Côte-Rôtie´s from Guigal some years ago was a incrediable experience, but there was one that was head and shoulders above the others, and that was the La Mouline. No surprise for me, the (few) times I have tasted them side by side I have almost every time prefered the Mouline.
The other wines at the tasting are listed below. Tasted single blind.

1999 Côte-Rôtie La Mouline, Guigal
The nose explodes from the glass with stunning aromas of smoke, dark cherries, freshly pounded meat, violets, expensive leather and a warm gravelly road. Just brilliant! Very, very deep. A touch of soap/detergent adds to the complexity. The nose of a perfect autumn walk. Breathtakingly beautiful.
The taste is big, steady, warm and utterly gorgeous with the sweetest fruit imaginable - blueberries, dark cherries, rasberries, paired with notes of violets, new leather, hot gravel and dried flowers. The finish goes on and on and on. A perfect specimen!
100p (tasted 2004/03)

The other wines tasted:
2001 Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Auslese, Dönnhoff (93p)
2000 Côtes-du-Rhone Cuvée du Cros, Domaine Cros (94p)
1999 Côte-Rôtie La Turque, Guigal (97p)
1999 Côte-Rôtie, Saint Cosme (93p)
1999 Côte-Rôtie La Landonne, Guigal (94p)

Tuesday 8 May 2012

A Magic Night With Faiveley Wines

I was invited to a tasting of 2009 Faiveley wines with Bernard Hervet, the chief winemaker, present and I of course jumped on the opportunity.
It was a very interesting tasting with lots of stunning wines and upfront comments from Bernard Hervet about a range of topics.

He took over the wine making in 2005 and have since changed almost everything. The barrels have been replaced, when the harvest begins, the upbringing etc. You could sense that he wasn´t that impressed with the earlier Faiveley wines, although he didn´t say that outright (so that have to be my interpretation...)

He compared 2009 to 1959 and said it was "very generous in terms of balance and sweetness" and continued with a tip - if you can feel a moccha note in a young Burgundy vintage, it is normally a really great vintage that can age well.

Well, on to the moccha hunt...

2009 Nuits St. Georges Les Damodes, Faiveley
A young, very fresh, lightish nose with notes of lingonberries, blueberries, pine nuts, dried herbs and a cool oak note. Cool and fine. Very fresh.
The taste is a bit tense at first but soon opens up with a lovely rasberry fruit and notes of forest floor, lingon bushes and expensive leather. Very refined. Light on its feet but lots of character. Very fine.
91p (tasted 2012/05)

2009 Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuées, Domaine Faiveley
A stunning wine from start to finish! The nose is sooo gorgeous with notes of lingonberry jam, christmas spices, summer flowers, expensive leather and a lovely perfumed note. I could sit and sniff on this for hours.
The taste is cool, elegant and poised with notes of lingonberries, rasberries, assorted spices and the feeling of a cool autumn walk in the forest. And it has a good punch, albeit the elegance. According to Bernard Hervet this plot is just next to Bonnes Mares. And this was, in his book, for sipping on its own. He sad "to serve this to a Boeuf Bourguignon would be criminal" :-)
95p (tasted 2012/05)

2009 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers, Domaine Faiveley
A bigger, meatier nose with a lovely moist earth scent alongside notes of ripe rasberries, dark chocolate, almond paste, and wait, isn´t it? Oh, yes it is, a distinct note of moccha coffe! Very deep and fine. A big structured wine.
The taste is pure, fresh and sweet with notes of rasberry coulis, chocolate, moccha coffe again and new leather. The finish is very long, tight and ends with a foursquare note. I have no reservations that this will turn out to be a great wine in due course, but the finish wasn´t as great as the others.
Bernard Hervet thought that Les Cazetiers is generally better than the Clos St Jacques spot and should be elevated to a Grand Cru.
92p (tasted 2012/05)

2009 Chambertin Clos de Bèze V.V., Domaine Faiveley
Somewhat mixed emotions about this wine. On one hand - extremely glad to have tasted it - one of the best wines so far this year. On the other hand - a little frustrating that I can´t get hold of it.
If a win the lottery then? Nope. These bottle came from the family reserve - one barrel - only 300 bottles made. The Clos de Bèze for sale, that is sold out by the way..., is not a VV.
How was the wine then you ask? The nose is so concentrated, so tight, so deep that words can´t do it justice. It offers up the sweetest rasberries, the richest scented summer flowers, heeps of freshly grounded coffe and a big bonfire in a distance. This nose is to kill and die for.
The taste is more muted, it has the same concentration, the same sweetness and intensity, but even with the most vigorous swirling in the mouth, you can´t really get it out. The finish does go on for over a minute. A perfect wine in the making, too bad I never will get to taste it down the road.
98p (tasted 2012/05)

2009 Corton Clos des Corton, Domaine Faively
I have tasted this monopole several times, last time it was the 1990 the other year, and that was still hard as nails. The 2009 opens up with a tight, young, impressive nose with notes of wild rasberries, dark chocolate, warm herbs, iron and the same bonfire note as in the Clos de Bèze. Very, very deep. A lovely perfumed note appears with air. Very intense.
The taste is tight, focused and just great with a great dollop of young, sandy, sweet tannins. The fruit is concentrated, sweet and yummy. The finish is very long and ends with a marvelous purity. Great stuff!
96p (tasted 2012/05)

As the Burgundy tradition calls for, the whites was served after the reds. And what a lineup!

2009 Chablis Les Clos, Domaine Faiveley
If I understand it completely, this is made from bought in grapes. None the less, a stellar wine. The nose is young, fresh and delicate with notes of grey pears, oyster shells, lime peel and sugared water. Very salivating.
The taste is pure as a mountain river with an intense lemon note, there are lemons in all kind of shapes - peel, juice and lemon cream. Very long and focused. Really lovely.
93p (tasted 2012/05)

2009 Bâtard-Montrachet, Domaine Faiveley
This almost perfect creature was served out of a magnum - the object of my wet dreams now...
What can you say - the nose is bottomless deep and hauntingly beautiful with everything that makes world class Chardonnay - white peaches, cold butter, summer flowers, dusting sugar, sweet minerals, ripe pears and a hint of banana peel. This is as good as it gets. Although very young of course.
The taste is brilliant, pure, intense and hedonistic at the same time and goes on forever. Notes of lemon cream, cap gun powder, grey pears, white peaches and sweet minerals fills the mouth. This is, also, perfection in the making. Give this baby another 5+ years and it will knock your socks off! :-)
As good as the 2008 Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet from Faiveley that made my Top 10 list last year -
98p (tasted 2012/08)

2009 Corton-Charlemagne, Domaine Faiveley
In my view, a mistake to put the Corton Charlie after the Bâtard, but what do I know... But nevertheless, this is a gorgeous wine, with a nose that offers up lovely notes of grey pears, cookie dough, summer flowers, rose water and blood oranges. A bit restrained but it has a great intensity.
The taste is very young, very fresh and cook with notes of flint, wet rocks, grey pears, dry licorice and cookie dough. A long, intense finish. Very, very young. This baby needs at least another 3-5 years to open up some. Great wine. This comes from the same plot as the Clos des Corton, just a little higher up.
94p (tasted 2012/05)

The tasting part of the evening was offer and we were greated with some food and more Faiveley wines to match!
First out was a aspagarus soup with a bottle of

2007 Chablis Les Clos, Domaine Faiveley
It was interesting to compare the 07 and 09 versions of the same wine. The 07 had opened up much more and went perfectly with the soup. Interesting enough it was by far the best match, the 09 whites didn´t go that well with the soup.
The nose is deep, fruity and fine with notes of ripe pears, minerals, hard candy and crushed sea shells. Very good. A touch of metal after a while but not in a negative way.
The taste is pure, fresh and medium intense with a creamy minerality and notes of grey pears, lemon cream and a fresh after-the-rain note. A medium long finish. Very good but the 09 has more intensity and stuffing.
89p (tasted 2012/05)

Then we were served a yummy Boeuf Bourguignong and two more red Faiveleys. While Bernard Hervet wasn´t looking I tried the Chambolle-Musigny with the Boeuf and he was right - not a great match although maybe not a crime...:-)

2008 Nuits St Georges Aux Chaignots, Domaine Faiveley
A deep, sweet, lovely nose with notes of lingonberries, smoke, christmas spices and a fresh forest floor. Very deep and fine. A touch of meat after a while.
The taste is still young, intense and tight with notes of red currants, lingonberries, chocolate, green peppars and a fine iron note. Long and fresh. Went great with the Boeuf!
91p (tasted 2012/05)

2007 Echezeaux, Domaine Faiveley
At first we was not impressed, the nose was fine but the taste was flat and rather dull. Another bottle was opened and that was much more like it! The nose is deep, meaty and fine with notes of blueberries, rasberries, sweet flowers, herbs and new leather. Very fine sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is tight, sweet and creamy with lots of lingonberries, rasberries, dry licorice, chocolate and a nice earthy note. The finish is long, sweet and intense. Drinking great now but this could be kept for lots of years. Very, very good.
92p (tasted 2012/05)

2007 Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Domaine Faiveley
Another magnum hits the table! Give me some! The nose just explodes from the glass with notes of chocolate covered rasberries, licorice, sweet forest floor, a touch of meat and a lovely smoky note. This has matured somewhat and is sweet and lovely, although it is far from being mature. Great depth.
The taste is more tight that the nose and the fruit is lip smacking good with sweet blue- and lingonberries, dark chocolate, hard cherry candy, smoke and some cigarr tobacco. A fine freshness in the finish. Not as heavy as one might think a Chambertin in this stage would be, this is in a great drinking window. Yummy!
94p (tasted 2012/05)

I walked home with a smile on my lips, pondering over some of Bernard Hervets opions - "in all 2007 and 1979´s there is a touch of sweet orange peel"; if a wine have a high acidity level, like 86, then decant, otherwise never"; "I´m a spoiled guy"...I felt like one too....:-)

Saturday 5 May 2012

With Dinner - 2004 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand

It was two years ago I opened a bottle of this wine, in a vertical tasting of the Clos des Epeneaux monopole -
I thought it would suit the food this evening, a Swedish version of saltimbocca, with Swedish smoked ham and Swedish pig meat - very good! And this lovely Burgundy really worked its way together with the food.

2004 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand
After one hour in the decanter a deep, fine, still rather young nose emerge with notes of sweet lingonberries, dark cherries, moist earth, warm christmas spicies and scents from a bonfire. Very, very good. Not a green hint in sight. Still a little restrained in a aristocratic way.
The taste is tight and big with a great core of sweet red fruits and notes of moist earth, smoke, new leather and lingonberry jam. Long, fresh and warm. This still has some maturing to do, but I still believe that this always will be restrained in its character. But I like it!
92p (tasted 2012/05)

Just Opened - 2007 Felsentürmchen Riesling Spätlese, Dönnhoff

I was really in the mood for some nice Riesling this afternoon, and this bottle seemed tempting. Needed somthing like this for the upcoming cooking session.

2007 Felsentürmchen Riesling Spätlese, Dönnhoff
A lovely pure aroma greats you when you put your nose in the glass. There are notes of mature yellow apples, cap gun smoke, lemon cream, oilcloth and lots of sweet minerals. Rather weighty for a Spätlese, given blind my first guess would have been a Auslese. Very charming.
The taste is like having the yummiest lemon and vanilla icecream poured over your tongue, and then the laser like acidity sweeps in and cleans up. Candied lemon peels, grey pears, smoke and a touch of lime adds to the complexity. Long and fine. Very, very good, although still on the young side.
93p   (tasted 2012/05)

Soon I will open the dinner wine - 2004 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux from Comte Armand - stay tuned!

Friday 4 May 2012

Tasting 1975 Chianti

A couple of days ago it was my turn to host a tasting in our Senza Nome tasting group. I tried to confuse them with a lineup of mature Chianti´s, but most of the guesses leaned towards Italy and Tuscany - great job!
All bottles popped and poured.

1975 Chianti Classico, Castello di Meleto
This one has a deep, dark, fine nose with notes of old leather, ripe red cherries, balsamic vinegar, autumn leaves and stables at a distance. Mature and intereresting on the nose.
The taste is cool, mature and a touch liniar with notes of dried fruits, dry tobacco, moist earth and some balsamic notes. Nice but that liniar feeling goes all through the taste.
84p   (tasted 2012/05)

1975 Chianti Classico, Villa Calcinaia
The nose is rather muted at first but with air it opens up with notes of sweet lingonberries, cold cofee, dried strawberries and forest floor. Very nice.
The taste is tight, focused and mature with a fresh acidity and notes of lingonberries, rowanberries, dry chocolate and earth. A medium long finish with a nice dry twist.
86p   (tasted 2012/05)

1975 Vino Chianti, Fattoria di Piazzano
This gorgeously mature Chianti won the flight. Aromas of lingonberries, rasberries, dried orange peel, sugared coffe and christmas spicies oozes up from the glass. Very, very good.
The taste is mature, rounded and fresh with notes of strawberries marinated in balsamic vinegar, dry chocolate, old leather and orange peels. A nice taste of burning autumn leaves. Long and fine. Very fresh for its age.
90p   (tasted 2012/05)

1975 Chianti Classico Riserva, Castello di Uzzano
A fine, cool, laid back nose with notes of lingonberries, autumn leaves, dry tobacco, rosehips and dried flowers. An elegant nose. This has depth. Very, very good.
The taste is big, mature and dry with lots of dried fruits, licorice, old leather and dried mushrooms. Still got plenty of life. A long finish. A bit of a brute, the glass before was more coherent, but a really good drink none the less.
89p   (tasted 2012/05)

1975 Chianti Classico Riserva, Giulio Straccali
A big, warm, mature nose with notes of sweet red cherries, dry licorice, a dried out vanilla pod and sweet coffe notes. So long everythings fine. But then a note of band aid appears, and that note keeps intefering with all the good stuff. And it doesn´t air off. Too bad.
The taste is big, tight and almost fiery with notes of cherries in brandy, dark chocolate, leather and moist earth. A very long, warm finish that turns very dry in the end. Somewhat unbalanced. And that band aid note doesn´t help.
74p   (tasted 2012/05)

1975 Chianti Dei Colli Fiorentini Riserva, Castello di Poppiano
A bit murky at start and we were hoping it would blow away, but soon the ugly cork monster raised its head ¤%#"&%=¤#!!

All in all a great showing for wines that I guess were intended to be drunk within a couple of years - not to be consumed with pleasure in Stockholm 37 years later...:-)

We finished the evening off with some assorted chocolate and a bottle of
1975 Red Muscadel, KWV
To keep up with the vintage theme, I opened this sweetie. The nose is big, deep and sweet with notes of white raisins, milk chocolate, pine resin, nuts and muscovado sugar. Very yummy but not that complex.
The taste is bigger than the nose and very sweet with notes of sugar fried nuts, chocolate mousee, raisins and figs. Long and powerful, but it is too low in the acidity compartment to be really fine. But again, very yummy!
85p   (tasted 2012/05)