Tuesday 17 July 2012

Eating Chicken & Drinking Barolo!

Tonight I owen roasted two chickens filled with lemons, butter, herbs and truffle salami. With the birds I opened a young Barolo that went perfectly with the moist chicken.

We visited Abbona a few years back in Dogliani and that was a truly memorable visit! This bottle was a gift, among others...:-)

2004 Barolo Terlo Ravera, Marziano Abbona
A big, forward, sweet and wonderful nose with lovely notes of crushed red cherries, licorice, mushrooms, sugared coffee, herbs and a room full of fresh roses. With air the cherries turn to the sweet/sour kind. Just a yummy nose.
The taste is - as often - more restrained than the nose with a healthy dose of sweet tannins, and a fresh red cherry fruit mixed with notes of rosehips, fresh herbs, forest floor, milk chocolate and rose petals. The finish is medium long with a nice structure. This has some more evolving to do but this bottle went empty in no time!
91p   (tasted 2012/07)

Monday 16 July 2012

Drinking Tonight - 2008 Château Cantenac Brown

With whole pan-fried fillets of pork wrapped in pancetta and rosemary, I thought that a nice young Bordeaux would do the trick. I also fried some potatoes and pulled out a red wine sauce from the freezer. And the flavours worked really well together.

2008 Château Cantenac Brown
The nose is big, upfront and sweet, much like the Canon-la-Gaffeliére tasted recently. There are more black currants here, but also the vanilla oak, new leather, coffee notes. With air it becomes more focused and a lovely sweet flower scent emerge. Very, very good. Deep and complex. A nice purity.
The taste is young, tight and more restrained than the nose with very fine black currant fruit intermingled with violets, coffee, forest floor and a touch of sage. The tannins are big but nicely put in place by the sweet fruit. The finish is medium long and ends dry. This is very, very good and I suspect that it will be even better with some time in the cellar to get rid of that puppy fat.
91p   (tasted 2012/07)

Saturday 14 July 2012

The Best Way to Prepare Sage - And a Mature Barolo to go Along

Fried sage - aaaaaaah - the buttery, crisp texture with its deep flavours is to die for. And when added to a pasta sauce made of sage flavoured salsiccia and tagliatelle the table is set for a great dinner.
And of course we need something to drink. How about a mature Barolo? Ooooh yes! :-)

1991 Barolo Vigneto La Villa, Aldo e Ricardo Seghesio
A wide open, beautiful mature nose with gorgeous notes of dried cherries, autumn leaves, dried flowers, sweet beets, sugared coffe, pipe tobacco and lots and lots of dried mushrooms. A hedonist dream. Maybe not tons of complexity, but so, so yummy.
The taste is round, sweet and full of lovely mature Nebbiolo fruit. Notes of dried cherries, licorice, coffe powder, autumn leaves and dried mushrooms flows over the palate. A medium long finish, and to be honest, the finish is a bit evanescent. But this is a joy to drink over the evening. Another example of that the proof is in the bottle, not in vintage charts.
1988 was the first vintage from this cru from Seghesio.
88p   (tasted 2012/07)

The Vigorello Hunt - Part III

Bottles of Vigorello keeps turning up! This time it is the 1980 and 1981. Perhaps not the most celebrated vintages in Tuscan history but I have been surprised so many times before by wines from so called lesser vintages. And when you can get them for a song - why not? :-)

And then there are seven...

The previous chapters are here and here.

Friday 13 July 2012

Just Popped - 2005 Henriot

Finally!! Last work day!! Now its time for four weeks vacation - and to celebrate I just popped a bottle of Champagne. I was really impressed by 2002 Henriot a while back, and I noticed that the state monopoly had the 2005, so off with the foil and slowly ease out the cork...

2005 Henriot
A fine, elegant, cool, lovely nose with notes of freshly baked bread, nuts, lemon fudge, vanilla cookies and the fresh scent of washed clothes that have dryed in the open air. A high, wonderful nose.
The taste is more restrained but also with a creamy feeling and notes of yellow apples, lemon peel, grass and lots of minerals. With air a smoky note appears. Very dry and fine. I´ll bet that this will get even better. Very, very good.
92p   (tasted 2012/07)

Thursday 12 July 2012

Some Chardonnay´s of Late

Chardonnay is a good compliment to the taste and texture of summer grilled fish, chicken and light meat. These bottles were tasted and drunk over the last week.

2000 Chablis Monteé de Tonnerre, Verget
A deep, mature, tempting nose with notes of sweet peaches, white flowers, lemon cream and a touch of vanilla oak. A fine maturity. With air some cap gun smoke and earth comes forward. Very fine.
The taste is big, creamy and mature with lots of mature yellow apples, cookie dough, lemon cream and dried flowers. A fine acidity to balance the creamy fruit. Fully mature. Very, very good.
89p   (tasted 2012/07)

2011 Thomas Hyland Chardonnay, Penfolds
A young, fresh, upfront nose with notes of red apples, mature pears, quince, nettles and cold butter. Holds well even with it gets warm in the glass. Very good.
The taste is more liniar than the nose with notes of not yet ripe apples, lemon peel and some lemon cream. The finish is on the short side. Some smoky notes after a while. Good enough but the 2010 vintage was better.
81p   (tasted 2012/07)

2010 Hawkes Bar Chardonnay, Trinity Hill
This NW Chardonnay is fresh and lovely from the first pour to the last. Not heaps of complexity but just gorgeous sweet and juicy fruit.. The nose is full of notes of elder berry, lemon ice cream, hazel nuts, cold butter and some freshly cut grass. Very nice.
The taste is pure, fresh and satisfying with lemon, lime, butter fried nuts and sweet minerals flowing over the palate. The finish is medium long and ends with a dry twist. A fine drinking Chardonnay.
89p   (tasted 2012/07)

2010 Pouilly-Fuissé, Domaine Georges Burrier
A young, steely, fresh nose with notes of lemon peel, elder berry, ginger, dry fudge and wet stone. A delicate nose. With air a touch of oak emerge. Very, very good.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of lemon cream, elder berry, cookie dough, yellow apples and steely minerals. Needs some air to blossom in the glass. Very young. This is a really fine Pouilly-Fussé but the previous vintage was even better.
90p   (tasted 2012/07)

2008 Chassagne-Montrachet, Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard
A deep, withdrawn, tight and classy nose with notes of white peaches, red apples, clay, dusting sugar and a fine smoky note. With air sweet summer flowers flows up from the glass. Really fine. Very young though.
The taste is young, potent and precious with gorgeous notes of red apples, caramel, roses, model clay and a touch of a vanilla pod. This is a nice piece of work that need some years in the cellar. I just got to try the Chassagne-Montrachet premier cru´s from Fontaine-Gagnard!
92p   (tasted 2012/07)

Tuesday 10 July 2012

A Barolo Boys Debauchery - Part II

Part I here - a few red wines were to follow...
All wines tasted double blind, except for the last flight.
Thanks M for a great evening!

Before we went inside for dinner we were greated with this wine - obviously not a Barolo...

2002 Beaune 1er Cru Les Toussaints, Domaine Michel Gay
A medium big, somewhat mature, smoky nose with notes of cooked red fruits, licorice, rasberry candy, pipe tobacco and lots of fresh herbs. A fine velvety character. Very good.
The taste is more restrained that the nose with notes of rosehips, gravel, red currants and dry tobacco. A fresh acidity. A medium long finish that ends with a dry twist. Nice.
86p   (tasted 2012/07)

Then three decanters arrived, and yet again, no Barolo´s - by this time a yellow card was handed out to M...

1995 Great Wall Cabernet Sauvignon
A deep, mature, soft nose with notes of red and black currants, sweet tobacco, earth and some asphalt. A fine sweetness. Good.
The taste is tight, concentrated and fine with sweet red and black fruit and somewhat dry tannins. A little restrained. Very good though. A nice structure.
What a surprise, have only tasted this one many years ago and the years in the cellar have done it good.
85p   (tasted 2012/07)

1995 Clos de l´Obac, Costers del Siruana
A big, upfront, sweet and pure nose with notes of candied cherries, licorice, moist earth, dark chocolate and some oak aromas. Very, very good. A lovely sweetness to the fruit. Very deep.
The taste is tight, concentrated and big with lots of finely tuned tannins and notes of red and black cherries, meat broth, hard cherry candy and new leather. A long, fine finish. This is a nice piece of work.
92p   (tasted 2012/07)

1990 Clos de l´Obac, Costers del Siruana
A big, deep, fine nose with notes of red and black cherries, balsamic vinegar, beets and some oak. A fine mature nose. Deep and sweet. Very good.
The taste is intense, big and mature with notes of blueberries, red cherries, chocolate and warm earth. The tannins are a litte rough around the edges. A long, fine finish. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2012/07)

And now we were getting somewhat annoyed - not a Barolo in sight! :-) But our prayers/threats were heard when the next flight was presented...

2008 Barolo Marenca, Luigi Pira
A deep, warm, and a touch jammy nose with notes of freshly cooked cherries with a hint of vanilla, licorice, leather, forest floor and sun warm rocks. Young and upfront. Very good.
The taste is young, tight and fresh with notes of red and black currants, sweet licorice, forest floor and mushrooms. The tannins are young and very finely polished. Needs time. The cherry fruit flavour is really fine.
90p   (tasted 2012/07)

2008 Barolo Vigna Rionda, Luigi Pira
A really fine, intense, fresh nose with notes of sweet black cherries, rosehips, dark chocolate, licorice and lots of fresh mushrooms. Very deep and fine, and very young. This is going places. Great on the nose.
The taste is very tight, very young and very focused. Even with lots of air it doesn´t really opens up. But the underlying fruit is sweet, concentrated and fine. The tannins leaves a distinctive mark in the finish. Needs lots of time. This is a great wine in the making. Impressive.
93p   (tasted 2012/07)

2001 Barolo Margheria, Luigi Pira
A pure, fine, maturing nose with notes of sweet and sour cherries, licorice, dried mushrooms, rosehips and a touch of mint. Complex and satisfying. This has started to mature somewhat. A very fine sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is elegant, finely tuned and long with notes of red currants, rosehips, forest floor, old leather and hard cherry candy. A long, fine finish. After a while some dried strawberries come forward. Very, very fine. Drinking perfect now.
92p   (tasted 2012/07)

2001 Barolo Vigna Rionda, Luigi Pira
Aaaaaaaah - what a nose! Deep, stringent, powerful and yet elegant. Scents of sweet red and black cherries, rosehips, violets, dark chocolate and crushed rose petals oozes up from the glass. The sweetness of the fruit is amazing. Utterly gorgeous. Still young though, this has even more to offer...
The taste is very, very deep, hedonistic and energetic with notes of sweet rosehips, black cherries, warm earth, licorice, leather and a touch of oak. The tannins are still young and makes an impact but at the same time they complement the fruit perfectly. In 5+ years this will be candidate for perfection.
97p   (tasted 2012/07)

As an interlude before the next flight M presented a real treat. In my Tasting dinner with Bric dël Fiasc the 1989 was corked. I had high hopes for it and had never tasted that vintage - a dubbel bummer! So it was a real joy to see a bottle turning up on the table - thanks M!

1989 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
A stunningly deep, fresh, beautiful nose greats you when you put your nose deep in the glass. Notes of rosehips, black cherries, ceps, moist earth, dark chocolate and a touch of oak vanilla oozes up from the glass. And so fresh! Very, very deep. This is the real thing.
The taste is concentrated, dense and big with tightly wrapped sweet fruit and notes of black cherry jam, dried mushrooms, licorice, leather and forest floor. Still big, big tannins under the sweet fruit. Would have guessed a 1996 given this blind. This has more evolving to do, but it is irresistible today.
95p   (tasted 2012/07)

Well, what next, we are beginning to pick up some pace here!? What, four bottles of Clerico....ok then!

2001 Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra, Domenico Clerico
A profoundly deep, sweet and gorgeous nose with notes of red cherries, rosehips, balsa wood, forest floor, milk chocolate mousse and warm herbs. Very, very fine. The cherry fruit is of the amazing kind! :-)
The taste is still young and the grip in the mouth is of structure, structure and structure. The fruit is sweet and generous but the structure has the upper hand right now. The finish goes on for over a minute and screams for food. This is for keeping in the dark corners of the cellar for another 8+ years.
93p   (tasted 2012/07)

1998 Barolo Pajana, Domenico Clerico
A very handsome, upfront nose with notes of sweet and sour cherries, milk chocolate, moist forest floor and large amounts of sweet licorice. Very hedonistic and yummy but without the depth of the other Clerico wines.
The taste is fresh, focused and maturing with nice notes of sweet red cherries, dried mushrooms, licorice, rosehips and coffee powder. The finish is long and finely tuned. This has started to mature and drinks very well, but it lacks a bit in complexity compared to the others. But I would gladly drink this every day of the week!
90p   (tasted 2012/07)

2001 Barolo Pajana, Domenico Clerico
A deep, deep, gorgeous nose with sweet notes of red and black cherries, dark chocolate, dark cookie dough, leather and warm herbs. After a while in the glass a perfect scent of a autumn forest walk emerge. Stunning nose! Still very young.
The taste is fresh, intense and sweet with a stunning structure and a lovely purity. The fruit is amazing and notes of rosehips, ceps, licorice, sugared coffe, hard cherry candy and a touch of oak flows over the palate. An impressive length. This is still young but boy, is it drinkable!
96p   (tasted 2012/07)

1996 Barolo Pajana, Domenico Clerico
An intense, deep, concentrated nose with notes of black cherries, licorice, rosehips, beets, forest floor and cold coffee. Very young still. Elegant and fine. It hasn´t matured much since last time I tasted it. A sort of laid back sweetness of the fruit. Very, very fine.
The taste is brutal - there is no other word to describe it. The tannins crushes everything in their path. It is like drinking cherry ink...
When I tasted this in its youth I thought my teeth were gone when I has swallowed... Since then I thought it had softened a bit, although it has always packed a punch, but this bottle seems to have come out from a time warp and taste taste like when it was really young. There is great fruit in this wine, I´m sure about it, and sometimes you get a glimpse of it, but the lasting impression is of a wine which never gonna mature in a graceful manner. Will wait at least 8+ years before I open another bottle, and then with my fingers crossed.
92p?   (tasted 2012/07)

Sunday 8 July 2012

A Barolo Boys Debauchery - Part I

An earlier invitation from M about a Barolo Boy evening - on a ordinary weekday - why not some wine and food? Of course! We gathered at M at 17.00 hours.

7 hours and 23 wines later a cab takes me home. I was in top shape when I had a meeting at 9.00 the next day...

The notes below is just the white wines... Part II will be the reds.
All wines tasted double blind exept the first one.

2006 Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett, Dönnhoff
A fine, elegant, precise nose with notes of elder berry, white flowers, lime peel, tiger prawns and a touch of rubber. Very fine and interesting.
The taste is young, fresh and fairly complex with notes of seafood shells, lemon, grass and juniper berries. Cool and nice. The taste is a bit tighter than the nose leads on. Still young. Very good.
88p   (tasted 2012/07)

1985 Saarburger Rausch Riesling Kabinett, Ziliken

1989 Piesporter Goldtröpchen Riesling Kabinett, Reinhold Haart
A deep, mature, fine nose with notes of dried pine apple, wet stones, earth, some rubber and moist earth. Some dry licorice after a while. Fully mature.
The taste is round, semi dry and nice with notes of dry lemoncello, dried apricots, yellow apples and some rubber notes. Fresh for a 23 year old Kabinett.
85p   (tasted 2012/07)

1992 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett, Dr. Loosen
A deep, creamy, fine nose with notes of semi sweet summer flowers, caster sugar, dry licorice and some petrol notes. A lot of minerals. Very, very good. Fine semi sweet yellow fruit.
The taste is almost fully mature with lots of sweet yellow fruit, dried herbs, minerals and a touch of rubber. A long, fresh finish with a fine sweetness. Has a really fine structure.
90p   (tasted 2012/07)

2002 Schlossböckelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Spätlese, Dönnhoff
A pure, gracious, lovely nose with notes of sugared peaches, candied lemon peels, moist earth, fresh spices, licorice and a touch of detergent (in a positive way). Very deep. Lots of stuffing in this one.
The taste is tighter and more elegant than the nose with notes of grey pears, white peaches, green tea and green apples. A very long, intense finish. Ends semi dry. Very balanced. A gorgeous wine!
93p   (tasted 2012/07)

2011 Abts e Riesling Spätlese, Keller
This wine comes from Abtserde. A very young, fresh, intense nose with notes of pear ice cream, elder berry, grass, white peach and summer flowers. Very young and lively. From time to time it reminds me of a Moscato.
The taste is young, fresh and light on its feet, with notes of elder berry, grass, pears and dusting sugar. Fresh acidity. Needs to come together, a little sprawling right now. But there is lots of quality here.
87p   (tasted 2012/07)

2004 Buisson Renard Blanc Fumé de Poilly, Didier Dagenau
A high, peppy, deep nose with notes of white currants, orange peel, warm gravel, grass, nettles and dry licorice. Very fresh and fine. Lots of character. Deep.
The taste is focused and fine with notes of white currants, pears, grass and elder berry. A fine, slender finish. A touch of sulphur. Still young. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2012/07)

2007 Weissburgunder -S-, Dönnhoff
A deep, tight, somewhat mature nose with notes of red currants, blood oranges, dry honey and a touch of coconut. A fine sweetness to the fruit. Warm. Very good.
The taste is tighter than the nose with notes of pears, red currants, earth and a fine note of glue. A oily, long finish. The acidity is fine. An almost red wine feeling in this one.
88p   (tasted 2012/07)

2009 Spring Ridge Vineyard Amphitheater Block Chardonnay, Varner
A big, powerful, deep and concentrated nose with gorgeous notes of oranges, summer flowers, nuts, cap gun smoke, cold butter and a touch of oak. Very deep and fine. The fruit is just great, and the oak coating is perfect balanced. Beautiful.
The taste is about purity, charm and breed with notes of red currants, oranges, star fruit, smoke and lots of sweet minerals. The finish goes on for over a minute. Lots of depth and finesse. Great wine!
94p   (tasted 2012/07)

2006 Winningen Uhlen R, Heymann-Löwenstein
A deep, elegant, fine nose with notes of apricots, pears, lime peel, wet rocks and white currants. A touch of dry resin with air. Very fine. Still very young. Elegant and steely.
The taste is tight, focused and pure with notes of white currants, not yet ripe pears, lemon peel and minerals. Not as elegant as on the nose. A long, fine, dry finish. Still needs some years in the cellar. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2012/07)

Saturday 7 July 2012

Drunk Last Night - 1993 Chianti Classico, Castello Dei Rampolla

Last night I was longing for a mature Sangiovese. This bottle really surpassed my expectations - nice when that happens!

1993 Chianti Classico, Castello Dei Rampolla
A mature, fine, soft nose with notes of dried sour/sweet cherries, atumn leaves, dried mushrooms, balsamic vinegar and some barnyardy notes. Put on some weight with air. Great maturity. Very, very good.
The taste is like sweet cherry lemonade but with additional power, structure and complexity. Notes of dried cherries, dry tobacco, leather and some warm gravel. A long, sandy finish. This is a perfect drinking Sangiovese - just what I needed this night!
92p (tasted 2012/07)

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Just Bought - And Drunk!

Received these two Antinori wines (among others) the other day and opened the 1988 with a nice spagetti Carbonara - a great combination.
The 1964 goes into the 64 stash!

1988 Santa Catarina VdT, Antinori
A tad shy, warm, mature nose with notes of sweet red cherries, old leather, pipe tobacco, atumn leaves, a touch of meat broth and that lovely scent of a warm Tuscan gravel road. Fine.
The taste is soft, mature and warm with notes of red cherries, dried mushrooms, dry tobacco and dried summer flowers. Medium long finish. A nice, ready for drinking wine without that much complexity.
83p   (tasted 2012/06)

Sunday 1 July 2012

Then & Now - Château Canon-la-Gaffelière

In 1985 Stephan Von Neipperg took over the wine making at Canon-La-Gaffelière. Since then lots of changes have taken place - the time for the harvest, a second wine, longer maceration, more use of new oak and so forth. Have the all those changes made Canon-La-Gaffelière a better wine? Lets find out in a small way by tasting the 1985 alongside the 2008.

Parker calls the 1985 "a good, supply, richly fruity...wine. It requires drinking.", and gives it 85p. And that note is from 1989...
The 2008 he describes as "this modern-styled St.-Emilion boasts...a beautiful bouquet of black olives, cherry jam, incense, spicy oak and black currants. Full-bodied, unctuously textured, lush, seductive and gloriously perfumed" and he gives it 93p.

Well, that should be a fun comparison! And it was. But I had a nagging feeling beforehand that I wouldn´t be so excited over the changes that Parker have been. And I was right...
Popped and poured, and enjoyed over the evening.

1985 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière
A deep, mature, round nose with lovely aromas of fresh stables, old leather, dried red and black currants, autumn leaves, cigarett ashes and warm hay. Very, very fine, this is what old traditionel Bordeaux is all about. Some notes of dog fur and cooked cheeries also - complex!
The taste is like drinking silk. A gorgeous maturity and with still fresh red fruit. Notes of red and black currants, mature red apples, pipe tobacco, old leather and some musky scents. Medium long, soft, fine finish. Almost no tannins left but there is no flabbiness over it, just a perfect drinking mature Bordeaux. Not the most complex wine, but it gets an A for drinkability. Should be drunk in 1989 - baaah!
90p   (tasted 2012/06)

2008 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière
The first whiff when freshly poured - aha, a big Aussie Cabernet! And all components were there - blackberries, rasberries, mint and lots of vanilla oak. It calmed down somewhat, but the lasting impression is of a wine with the gaspedal pressed to the floor. And in the same time there is not a molecule in the wrong place. Very intense, very focused and impressive. But a tad too much?
The taste is big, young, tight and very intense with sweet notes of black cherries, dark chocolate, dried figs, vanilla oak and new expensive leather. A highly impressive tannin structure. Long lasting finish. Surprisingly accessible. It is a very high quality wine, there is no argument there, but really enjoyable? I prefer the 1985 anyday, but it would be interesting to see how this behave when its 27 year old. Given this blind, I don´t know if I had placed it in Bordeaux.
92p   (tasted 2012/06)