Wednesday 31 October 2012

In Search of Brunello di Montalcino´s Soul - Chapter III

Time to pull the cork out of a bottle from one of the Big boys in Brunello. Poggio Sotto, Soldera, Biondi-Santi, Salvioni - not new names for me, but new flavors. Other than a really young bottle of Biondi-Santi (tasted many years ago and it was hard as nails) I haven´t tasted anything from these producers.

The Consorzio have awarded 4 stars to the 1993 vintage, a bit overrated if one is to believe several wine writers.

1993 Brunello di Montalcino Cerbaiola, Salvioni
What a lovely and complex nose! Right out of the bottle and all night through this is a stunner. Gorgeous aromas of dried cherries, sweet lingonberries, leather, violets and dried flowers flows up from the glass. An ethereal nose. Structure, depth and lightness. I would guess that this is fully mature, but since my experience is what it is in context of Brunello´s, I can only make an educated guess. Just beautiful.
The taste is like drinking velvet, the tannins are beautifully integrated in the sweet fruit and offers support and structure in the background. Lovely notes of sage, rosehips, dried cherries, chocolate biscuits and sun warm tiles. The finish goes on for over a minute. What a wine! Complexity and hedonism in a bottle. The most satisfying wine I have had in a while. More vintages of Salvioni is already on their way...
96p   (tasted 2012/10)

Previous chapters:

Monday 29 October 2012

A Bottle of Bubbly - 2002 Pol Roger Brut

Well, you can´t drink only Brunello...or could you? :-) Either way, I have heard good things about the new vintage of Pol Roger and since I usually like the vintage wines from Pol Roger, I just had to pop the cork.

2002 Pol Roger Brut
A young, fresh, pure nose with lovely notes of white currants, grilled lemons, sage, butter biscuits, yellow apples and lily of the Valley. A very fine sweetness. Creamy yellow fruit. With some air that fine note of freshly washed clothes drying in the wind emerges. This is really fine.
The taste is young, racy and elegant with notes of lemons, peach, star fruit, yellow apples and almond paste. Lots of crushed slate in the finish, which is long and dry. A piercing acidity than leaves me wanting another sip. This has a fine future, but there is no problem finishing the bottle today.
Consists of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay.
93p   (tasted 2012/10)

Sunday 28 October 2012

In Search of Brunello di Montalcino´s Soul - Chapter II

Next up in my search is four bottles of the 1998 vintage. The Brunello Consorzio has awarded it with 4 stars.
Based only on these four bottles I can concur with the Consorzios assessment of the vintage. And there seem to be no hurry drinking these. Good, since I have some more to taste...

1998 Brunello di Montalcino, Tenuta Caparzo
A fine, elegant, somewhat mature nose with notes of sweet red cherries, plums, rosemary, tobacco and warm tiles. Very, very fine. After a while lots of floral notes emerge.
The taste is as elegant as the nose with pure, fresh Sangiovese fruit and notes of forest floor, dried flowers, hard cherry candy, spice and licorice. This has a fine nerve and complexity. A long, fine, elegant finish. Has started its way to maturity. A really fine bottle of wine. More info here.
91p (tasted 2012/10)

1998 Brunello di Montalcino Alessandro III, Il Patrizio
A fully mature, open, warm nose greets you, with notes of cooked red cherries, pipe tobacco, warm floor tiles and balsamic vinegar. A fine warmth, but not that much depth.
The taste is big, steady and warm with lots of sweet cherry fruit, soft tannins and a long, warm finish. Notes of cherry jam with some vanilla, tobacco and undergrowth is noticable on the palate. This is for drinking sooner than later. Good but without real complexity.
85p   (tasted 2012/10)

1998 Brunello di Montalcino Prime Donne, Donatella Cinelli Colombini
The Prime Donne from Colombini is selected by a tasting panel composed of four female tasters. I don´t know if its the female touch, but this is a stunning wine. The nose is just wonderful with its depth, concentration and gorgeous fruit. Lovely aromas of sweet and sour cherries, violets, dried flowers, balsa wood, veal meat and a Tuscan dirt road. A cool warmth, if you get that... Red currants. There is a lot going on here, and all of it is good. This has started to mature but have a long way to go.
The taste is tight, focused and fresh as a daisy, with gorgeous cherry fruit and notes of licorice, violets, dried flowers, spice and forest floor. The tannins leaves a nice mark of themselves in the finish. A gorgeous wine. I could use more bottles of this! More info here.
94p   (tasted 2012/10)

1998 Brunello di Montalcino, Tenuta Valdicava
A stunning label on this bottle! The nose is big, warm and with beginning maturity. Notes of vinegar cooked cherries, licorice, moist undergrowth, meat stock and a scent of a bonfire in a distance. There is a lot of power in this one. After a while in the glass there is a strong perfumed note that emerges. Impressive in small doses, but need to come together.
The taste is big, tight and intense with sweet dark fruit, perky tannins and a long warm finish. Notes of warm herbs, tobacco, balsamic vinegar, leather and road dust. This still needs some time in the cellar to really get it together, but the material is there. More info here.
88p   (tasted 2012/10)

Friday 26 October 2012

In Search of Brunello di Montalcino´s Soul - Chapter I

This first chapter is focused on some bottles from (almost) the newest vintage on the block. I have seen a lot of 2007 out there, and bought some to, but these bottles were bought earlier this year when I was planning this project.
The Brunello Consortium have awarded 2006 with 5 stars, the highest rating. Some wine journalists have thought that 5 stars is overrated, due to a warm vintage with high tannins and alcohol.

Lets find out what I think with those five bottles below. More 2006 to follow.

2006 Brunello di Montalcino Val di Suga, Tenimenti Angelini
This opens with a deep, seedy, warm nose with fine notes of sweet red cherries, almond paste, new leather, hard cherry candy and some warm, earthy notes. Very good. With air more cherry liquer notes emerge, but not in a over the top kind of way.
The taste is young, big and steady with lots of fresh, juicy cherry fruit and notes of leather, forest floor, pomegranate and some oak flavors. Young, inbedded tannins. The finish is long, warm and fresh. Very good. Needs time though. Not especially warm. Give this 3-5 years.
More info here.
88p   (tasted 2012/10)

2006 Brunello di Montalcino, Col d´Orcia
A deep, dark, fruity nose with notes of sweet cherries, dark chocolate, coffee and a nicely perfumed notes. Very young and a bit angular at the moment. Gets better with a few hours in the decanter. Good. Needs time.
The taste is young, seedy and tight with young, fresh cherry fruit and notes of a warm tuscan dusty road, leather, rosehips and a touch of sawdust. The finish is medium long and ends a tad dry. Will maybe flesh out with age? It has a fine core of sweet fruit. Wait and see.
More info here.
84p   (tasted 2012/10)

2006 Brunello di Montalcino, Caprili
This is the real thing - a cool, elegant, ethereal nose with gorgeous notes of the sweetest cherries, fine tobacco, licorice, hard cherry candy and a touch of veal meat. Deep and really fine. Just lovely. Mixes hedonism with elegance. Great wine.
This wine flows effortless over the tongue with juicy cherry fruit and notes of warm spices, licorice, rosehips, violets and a touch of chocolate biscuits. A long, long finish. This is a beauty! Would love to follow this one over the years.
More info here.
93p   (tasted 2012/10)

The two following were tasted during the summer in Italy.

2006 Brunello di Montalcino, Poggiotondo
A warm, spicy, fine nose with notes of cherry fruit marinated in balsamic vinegar, leather, pomegranate and bonfire. A bit all over the place but there is a fine fruit here. Medium deep. Needs time.
The taste is big, warm and upfront with sweet cherry fruit and notes of licorice, rosehips and rosemary infused meat on an open grill. A bit rustic but very good. With a piece of grilled meat this really worked great.
86p   (tasted 2012/08)

2006 Brunello di Montalcino, Silvio Nardi
A really fine, thoughtful nose with lovely notes of sweet and sour cherries, dried herbs, licorice, hay, dried flowers and a touch of rubber - in a positive way. Opens up beautifully with air. Really fine.
The taste is tight, young and focused with notes of sweet cherry pie, lingonberry bushes, tuscan road dust and some new leather. A long, warm finish with a fine balance. Very good and very young. This should be stunning in 4-6 years time.
More info here.
91p   (tasted 2012/08)

What to say about the 2006 vintage based on these five bottles? Yes, there is a warmth there in all the wines, but for the most part that is not a problem. I think there is a fine future for all these bottles and would love to drink them again in the future. But a 5 star vintage - based in these five bottles - I don´t think so. But I have to do more tests! :-)

Thursday 25 October 2012

In Search of Brunello di Montalcino´s Soul - Prologue

Kind of a pretentious title, right? :-)

But in a sense that is precisely what I am going to search for.

I think I "get" Bordeaux - I have, luckily, tasted 1000+ bottles.
I think I also "get" Burgundy, Barolo/Barbaresco, American Cabernet, Australian Shiraz, Côte-Rôtie, Super Tuscans - even though I haven´t tasted as much bottles as Bordeaux, I have tasted my share, and maybe someone elses too...

How about Brunello then? My tasting notebooks goes back to september 1991. How many Brunello bottles during that time?

39 bottles!!
31 different ones if I take away multiple bottles of the same wine

I obviously don´t "get" Brunello. But I hope I will when this project have come to an end.
This serie is a exploration of what Brunello is today and what Brunello used to be in the past. So far I gathered vintaged between 1968 - 2007.

Now, what to open first...?

Some of the Brunello´s bought - so far...

Sunday 21 October 2012

A Mature Luncheon Chianti

I opened this Chianti, really expecting it do be dead and gone, maybe useful in a upcoming stew, but I was, again, surprised over these humble Chianti´s - they live far longer than most expect.

1990 Chianti Classico Il Rosennano, Montebenichi
A mature, round, medium sized nose with notes of cooked cherries, dry leather, burned potatoe peels, muscovado sugar and some stable notes. A touch to cooked? Strawberry jam and wet undergrowth. Still very much alive though.
The taste is tighter and more dry than the nose with notes of hard cherry candy, forest floor, dry licorice and some meat broth notes. A medium long finish that ends dry. Not a wine that will make it to the memory lane but perfect with a sunday lunch carbonara.
82p   (tasted 2012/10)

Friday 19 October 2012

Examining Two 1990 Barolo

1990 Barolo - The Great Vintage. Or is 1982, 1989 or 1996 better? Or 2001? 2004? For those two latter time will tell. As to the former I would put 1982 in top followed by 1990. But that is because I haven´t tasted that much of the 1989´s, a vintage many holds as better than 1990.
But I have been lucky to taste a waste range of 1990´s over the years - you can see some here and here.

And two more just the other day - life is good!

1990 Barolo Bussia, Prunotto
A round, mature, soft nose with lots of sweet and sour cherries, lingonberries, autumn leaves, tobacco, dried mushrooms and masses of rosehips. A lovely traditional feeling. Perfectly mature on the nose. A fine warmth to the fruit. Very good.
The taste is taut and uncompromising in its style of tight cherry fruit, masses of dried mushrooms and sturdy tannins. This needs food. A fine warmth though. A medium long, very dry finish. Its like a upright lieutenant where duty always overtakes the fun. Really fine with food but a touch to robust on its own.
89p   (tasted 2012/10)

1990 Barolo Vigna Big Riserva, Rocche Dei Manzoni
I have been lucky to drink this on several occasions, and it have (almost) always performed great. The nose is sweet and seductive with gorgeous notes of sweet dried cherries, an autumn walk in a damp forest, rosehips, old leather, chocolate biscuits and lingonberry bushes. Really fine fruit. Wit air a fine note of bonfire emerges. Both yummy and structured. Great wine.
The taste is big, round, sweet and mature with notes of black cherries, tobacco, balsamic vinegar, dried mushrooms and leather. The tannins have melted perfectly into the fruit, but you still feel them in the end of the finish, just in the right amount. Complex and fine. Lovely with food, lovely to drink on its own, just lovely.
95p   (tasted 2012/10)

Wednesday 17 October 2012

A Montrachet Monday

Only one though, but still! How about starting a dreary autumn week with a tasting of fine white Burgundy? Thanks to Mikke we got to do just that - deeply appreciated!
Tasted double blind except for the two starter wines.

1996 Beaune Bressandes, Camille Giroud
Just to wet our appetites for more wine, we got two bottles to taste as a prelude. A somewhat stifled, low keyed nose with notes of dried strawberries, bay leaves and undergrowth. Even though its not that expressive its nice on the nose.
The taste on the other hand is foursquare, dry and a tad hollow. There is some notes of dried red fruit, earth, rosehips and bay leaves, but this has taken its first step to meeting its maker.
75p   (tasted 2012/10)

2009 Château Pédesclaux
This has obviously been raved on by Decanter, but I can´t see the fuss. The nose is young, upfront and concentrated with notes of sweet black currants, menthol, sugared coffee, dry resin and a nicely perfumed note. But the depth isn´t really there. And the fruit is of the candy kind. A fine note of roasted coffe after a while. Good.
The taste is young, tight and medium focused with good black currant fruit and notes of new leather, dark chocolate, coffe and tobacco. The tannins are young and fresh, but there is a green streak in them that I don´t fancy. A medium long finish with a nice dry ending. This could evolve into something nice, but I can´t imagine it to be in the top 2009´s! Decanter have apparently a crush on this estate, check this out for lots of information on this châteaux.
86p   (tasted 2012/10)

On to the main event - we were presented with six decanters of white wine, and I don´t think there were one single guess outside the hallowed land of Burgundy.

1992 Meursault Charmes, Roland Remoissenet
A deep, mature, fine nose with notes of dried apricots, candied lemon peel, hay, root vegetables and dry licorice. A tad withdrawn but very nice.
The taste is tight, fresh for its age and focused with notes of lemon and lime peel, minced almonds and dry fudge. A very fresh acidity. Long and fine. Mature but this still have lots of vigour.
89p   (tasted 2012/10)

1993 Le Montrachet, Remoissenet
Before the bottles are revealed and the discussion starts, we are, as usual, forced to choose our favourite. This was mine - damn my expensive taste! :-) But this got the most votes, so I´m in good company.
The nose is deep, penetrating and complex with lovely notes of lemon cream, yellow apples, fudge, freshly cut grass and almond paste. Very, very deep. This is so fine! A lovely roasted note comes out with air.
The taste is harmonious, elegant and pure with a gorgeous blend of yellow fruit - lemon, peach, grapefruit, and additional notes of matchbox, herbs, almonds and dry fudge. The finish goes on for over a minute. This is perfectly mature but will surely stay at this level for 5+ years. Great wine!
96p   (tasted 2012/10)

1996 Meursault Perrières, Louis Jadot
A cool, intense, fine nose with notes of lemon peel, hazel nuts, hay, nougat and crushed rocks. Very fine and elegant. A note of wet asphalt emerges with air. This is beautiful. Still young.
The taste is tight, elegant and structured with notes of lemon cream, almond paste, hazel nuts and lots of sweet minerals. The acidity is fresh and lively. A long, long finish with a lovely warmth. Aaah, this is so good to drink!
93p   (tasted 2012/10)

1996 Meursault Les Perrières, Jean-Michel Gaunoux
A fine, elegant, cool nose with notes of sweet lemons, almonds, dried apricots and some smoky scents in the distance. Very fine. Lots of mineral notes emerges with air. Elegant and classy. This is still young. Lovely fruit.
The taste is bigger and sturdier than the nose leads on. More red than yellow apples, more smoky notes and more minerality in the taste. Its not that its not fine, it is, but the impression is that of a not really coherent wine. The individual parts is truly great, but together it is mere great. Does that make any form of sense?
91p   (tasted 2012/10)

1996 Chablis Les Clos, Joseph Drouhin
A broad, deep nose with notes of lemon peel, yellow apples, sun warm grass and a touch of oilcloth. A fine warmth to the fruit. Still young. Very good.
The taste is tight and full of sweet yellow fruit mixed with notes of parsnips, lemon tarte and warm herbs. A long, tight finish with a fresh acidity. This still has some maturing to do. Very fine.
89p   (tasted 2012/10)

1996 Chablis Valmur, Verget
A big, pure, sweet and deep nose with lovely notes lemon cream, almond paste, butter fried root vegetables, red apples and lots of sweet minerals. This is not for the faint hearted or those who love only the steely, unoaked form of Chablis.
The taste is big but very fresh, with a lot of warmth and notes of red apples, lemon cream, slate and an autumn fire. The acidity is fresh and holds the big fruit in its place. A very long, warm finish. Intense. A really fine wine. Another stunner from Verget.
92p   (tasted 2012/10)

Sunday 14 October 2012

One Good & One Not So Good Pinot Noir

Two Pinot´s tasted over the weekend - one - the Pommard - with sage stuffed chicken fillets and the other one - the Hamilton - just one its own.

2009 Hamilton Russsell Vineyards Pinot Noir
A big, deep, funky nose with notes of root vegetables, cooked cherries, beets, smoke and a big dollop of dog fur. And wet earth. I like funky aromas but that dog scent is a tad too much.
The taste is tight, young and seedy with notes of lingonberries, rasberries, dry chocolate, herbs and undergrowth. The acidity is a bit foursquare. Not really coherent in the mouth. Young though, maybe it can smoothen out but that funky aroma and the foursquare taste leaves me bothered.
76p   (tasted 2012/10)

1998 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand
It have been a while since I tasted this one. At a vertical tasting of Clos des Epeneaux some 2,5 years ago I thought it would never blossom into a swan. How about now then?
Still no swan, it opens with some nice aromas of ripe rasberries, autumn leaves, coffee, herbs and a meaty scent. Not a charmer but with a rugged backbone.
The taste is tight, somewhat mature with notes of rowanberries, lingonberry bushes, herbs, warm earth and dark chocolate. The tannins are of the rough kind, although they have softened a bit. This still have some maturing to do but the fruit will go before the tannins do. Very nice tonight.
88p   (tasted 2012/10)

Saturday 13 October 2012

Just Bought

More project material is arriving - can´t wait to get the the cork screw in action...:-)

Friday 12 October 2012

Rosso di Montalcino & Risotto

The combination of a velvety risotto with lamb sausage and ceps and a young, vibrant Rosso di Montalcino was immensely successful last night. The flavors went perfectly with each other. And the Rosso di Montalcino was a nice preview to the Brunello project that will start in a couple of weeks time. Stay tuned! :-)

2010 Rosso di Montalcino, Ciacci Piccolomini d´Aragona
A cool, fresh, upfront nose with lots of cherry pips, lingonberry bushes, rose petals, gravel and a hint of cigarette ashes. Very, very juicy fruit. Young and vibrant.
The taste is young and springy with gorgeous cherry fruit and notes of balsa wood, rosehips, hard cherry candy and some saw dust (not in a negative way). Fresh acidity. This is drinking really well, although it could use 1-2 years in the cellar.
87p   (tasted 2012/10)

Tuesday 9 October 2012

A Delicious Bottle of Blaufränkisch

I don´t drink these kind of wines to often - too much wine, so little time...but I should, at least when it is as good as this one.

2008 Ried Hochberg Blaufränkisch, Hans Igler
A fine, cool, laid back nose with notes of lingonberries, bay leaves, blood orange juice, balsa wood and a smidgeon of eraser rubber. Fresh, juicy and very good. A very salivating nose.
The taste is pure, fresh and gulpable with lots of lingon- and bluberries paired with fresh herbs, licorice, violets and bay leaves. A fine acidity. The bottle just vanished!
88p   (tasted 2012/10)

Saturday 6 October 2012

Mushrooms, Pizza & Barolo!

We spent a couple of hours in the woods today and got home with two big baskets full of mushrooms. We had already decided that we were making home made pizza for dinner.
I made a pizza with truffel salami and fresh mushrooms right from the woods - stunningly good if you ask me! :-)
What to drink then...? Truffel salami + mushrooms + thirsty = Barolo!

2004 Barolo Pajana, Domenico Clerico
A deep, tight, concentrated nose with notes of sweet red cherries, masses of rosehips, licorice, fried mushrooms, dry resin, milk chocolate and sweet pipe tobacco. A fine warmth. Still young but oooh so promising!
The taste is young, potent, tight and lip smacking good with notes of hard cherry candy, dark cookie dough, mushrooms, moist undergrowth, licorice and some tobacco notes. The finish is long, intense and concentrated. This is very, very good although on the young side of things. Give this beauty at least 5 years.
93p   (tasted 2012/09)

Friday 5 October 2012

Deja Vu! More Chassagne-Montrachet & More Crabs

This is the time of the year when the crabs are packed with flavour and sweetness - and we can´t resist them! And on this night they are a great excuse to open another 1er cru from Fontaine-Gagnard - the last one was spectacular.

2008 Chassagne-Montrachet La Maltroie, Fontaine-Gagnard
A more restrained nose than the La Grande Montagne, but ooh so racy and fine. The nose is full of white currants, yellow apples, cold butter, some almond paste and a lovely smoky note. Deep and more laid back than its sibling. Very, very fine.
The taste is young, fresh and elegant with lovely scents of yellow apples, matchbox, sweet minerals, dry fudge and a touch of bonfire smoke. A long, fresh, elegant finish. Not as hedonistic as the La Grande Montage, this Chassagne-Montrachet stimulates my more aristocratic side. Great wine.
94p   (tasted 2012/09)

Thursday 4 October 2012

Even More American Bottles & Lots Of Other Stuff!

As I mentioned in a previous post I was then on my way to taste even more american bottles. The setup was easy enough - BYOB - the only requirement was that it had to be from the USA.
Sickness and a hectic life got in the way for some, so we ended up with only four brave tasters - thanks M for the invitation, great food and lots of additional bottles!
All bottles tasted double blind - of course with the execption of our own bottle..:-)

2004 Dorsheimer Goldloch Riesling Kabinett, Schlossgut Diel
An elegant, mature and cool nose with notes of dried apricots, candied lemon peel, cap gun smoke and the scent of a busy petrol station. Evolved and really fine. 
The taste is tighter, racy and fine with notes of lime peel, crushed sea shells, dry fudge and some rubbery notes. A medium long, dry finish with a fine grapefruit note. This is almost fully mature but I guess it will keep this way for another 5+ years.
91p   (tasted 2012/09)

2004 Dorsheimer Goldloch Riesling Spätlese, Schlossgut Diel
A mature, deep, semi dry nose with notes of dried fruits, grass, minerals, cap gun smoke and some plastic notes. A little unstructured. The fruit is good though.
The taste is tight, cool and fine with notes of dried apricots, lime juice, shellfish shell and lemon cream. A long, fine finish that ends almost dry. Very good taste but the nose is a tad shallow. The Kabinett is the better wine.
87p   (tasted 2012/09)

2003 Riesling Spätlese, Robert Weil
A deep, delicate, spicy nose with lovely notes of lime juice, summer flowers, white currants, grey pears and crushed slate. Very racy, elegant and complex. This is some serious juice.
The taste follows up the nose with a gorgeous sweet/salt/sour taste and lots and lots of lime, lemons, pears and summer flowers. A long, long finish. The acidity is like a spring river. Truly great.
A 2003 basic Riesling Spätlese?! How does he do it? This is the second or third time I have tasted this nectar and I am baffled every time.
95p   (tasted 2012/09)

1989 Erdener Treppchen Riesling Auslese, Dr. Loosen
A mature but vigorous nose with gorgeous notes of dried fruits, wetsuit, slate, dry honey, grass and a touch of saffran. Complex and fine. Very deep.
The taste is mature, intense and fine with notes of dried fruits, orange peel, wetsuit, smoke and the white stuff in grapefruit peel. Very, very good. The finish is long and full of finesse. Perfectly mature.
92p   (tasted 2012/09)

The prelude was over and four decanters were present on the table...

2002 Reva Syrah, Alban Vineyards
A deep, compact, sweet and almost overpowering nose with notes of bluberry liquor, dark chocolate, bakelite, band aid and violets. Very, very deep. I think this is too extracted, every dial have been turned to eleven.
The taste is extremely tight, concentrated and inky with lots of fiery sweet fruit and notes of violet candy, soya sauce, licorice, band aid and some sweet summer flavours. This is on the verge of being to much. Maybe it just needs time? Impressive, but my gut feeling says that this will never age beautifully as the 1998.
85p   (tasted 2012/09)

2004 Shell Creek Vineyard Syrah, Clos Mimi
120 barrels were made of this big, bold creature. The nose explodes from the glass with notes of ripe rasberries, christmas spices, black peppar, balsa wood and violets. Very deep and sweet but still rather graceful. A lovely warmth, although the alcohol show itself from time to time. Still very young. Great nose!
The taste is big and brutal with fiery sweet fruit, big sweet tannins and a long, long finish where you breath out grain alcohol - this is 17,5% and I can tell you, it really shows. Too bad, the nose was fine, but the taste almost ruins it with that savage alcohol sting.
87p   (tasted 2012/09)

2000 Orion Old Vines, Sean Thackrey
A very deep, intense, tight nose with truckloads of sweet, ripe blue- and blackberries backed up with notes of eukalyptus, violets, pressed summer flowers and strawberry juice. Very concentrated. Still very young, this needs time. Sweet undergrowth after a while. This nose is stunning.
The taste is tight, concentrated and opulent with big, sweet bluberry and rasberry fruit mixed with notes of licorice, mint candy, dark chocolate, beef broth and vanilla oak. Very long and intense. A touch ungainly, even with some hours in the glass, but this is still young. Very, very good.
93p   (tasted 2012/09)

1991 Dominus
We had poured our wine into decanters, mixed them around and the object was that we were tasting three bottles double blind and our own at least single blind. This one was my bottle and it stood out against the others like a sore thumb, so it was easy for me to pick it out. But what a sore thumb! :-)
The nose is mature, round and very, very deep with gorgeous notes of black currants, black cherries, bonfire, fresh stables, leather and pipe tobacco. The fruit is just stunning. With air more and more black currants leaves just oozes up from the glass. Profound.
The taste is taut and velvety at the same time with lovely black currant fruit and notes of autumn leaves, tobacco, leather, moist earth and a touch of smoke. The finish goes on for over a minute. Just perfectly mature. This bottle came from a six bottle case which I bought in 1997 for 40 Euro/bottle - those days...
97p   (tasted 2012/09)

2010 Gravel Bench Chardonnay, Stonestreet
M thought that we had to have an interlude before the sweet flight, and we just can´t say no...
A big, juicy, fresh nose with lovely notes of dry lemoncello, candied lemons, melon, freshly cut grass and some butter fried root vegetables. Very, very good. It becomes better and better in the glass and has no problem becoming warmer. Great stuff!
The taste is tight, focused and large scaled but with enough stuffing and acidity to keep everything in check. There are notes of blood oranges, root vegetables, cap gun smoke and fine buttery notes. The finish is long and ends dry. We got this one right - it just had to be a great American Chardonnay. The 08 Lower Rim from Stonestreet tasted a while back was even better, but this is going places in 2-3 years time.
93p   (tasted 2012/09)

1947 Vouvray Moelleux Le Haut-Lieu, Huet
Firstly - a real privilege to taste this bottle - thanks M! But - secondly - I guess it could have been even better. I will not get into the story behind this, but this bottle have been frozen, and although it was a fine glass of wine this night (also a testament to these wines survival skills) it wasn´t truly great.
It opens with a deep, concentrated, full nose with notes of sweet tangerines, oilcloth, dried apricots and hard lemon candy. Really fine. There is a lovely sweet/sour/salt note that flows out from the glass. But, there is almost like a thin membrane over the nose that prevents it from really show itself of.
The taste is mature, round, semi sweet and fine with notes of dried fruits, sugared water, hay and oilcloth. The acidity is high but touch foursquare. Finishing long and semi dry. This is a fine bottle of wine, but, but...
89p   (tasted 2012/09)

1990 Vouvray Moelleux 1er Trie Clos de Bourg, Huet
And the next glass really is a great testament to the staying power of Chenin Blanc - opened three weeks ago and kept in the fridge, it behaved like newly opened and my notes were pretty much identical.
95p   (tasted 2012/09)

1990 Coteaux du Layon, Domaine des Baumard
A fresh, young, somewhat restrained nose with notes of white and red currants, blood oranges, oilcloth, fresh herbs and some smoky notes. Very elegant and refined. With air it really blossoms in the glass into a beautiful young Chenin Blanc and oozes class. Great!
The taste is intense, pure and satisfying. The fruit is stunning and consists of dried apricots, lemon cream, lime peel with additional notes of dry fudge, rosehips and crushed rocks. The acidity is lasersharp and makes the long finish ends dry. Stunning stuff, and still young!
94p   (tasted 2012/09)

1997 Quarts de Chaume, Domaine des Baumard
A young, upfront nose with deep notes of lemon candy, olicloth, balsa wood, herbs and some rubbery scents. Lots of sweetness and very pure, but a bit ungainly today. This needs time to unfold.
The taste is intense, tight and concentrated with lots of sweet yellow fruit in the shape of lemons, apples, and grapefruit with notes of smoke, minerals and oilcloth. The finish goes on for over a minute. This is more promising at this stage than truly enjoyable. Give this 10 years and I guess my score for today would look stingy.
89p   (tasted 2012/09)

Monday 1 October 2012

Just Bought

More 64´s keeps popping up, and this time it is two bottles for dessert for those upcoming dinners two years down the road...