Friday 30 November 2012

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

There are 222 member bottlers in the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino.

So far I have tasted wines from 11 of them - I have my work cut out for me...

I thought it would be fun to se my progress in this project so I contacted the Consorzio and asked if I could have their map of producers in a file so that I could make a bigger picture out of it. They send me their list of associated producers in 2012.

This is the picture I have had made.

And this is my track record of producers so far.

Now I just have to get rid of this damn cold so I can open some bottles of Brunello!

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Tasting 1997 Tuscany - The Third Flight

For the background to this tasting, look here.

On Saturday night we had 19 bottles of 1997 Tuscany to deal with. :-)
The third flight, the first one of this evening, was dedicated to Chianti. This was the most mature, in some cases overmature, of the flights. But there was very enjoyable bottles as well, especially the two that I had beforehand thought would shine.

All bottles decanted 30 minutes before the first pour. All tasted single blind.

1997 Chianti Classico Riserva O´Leandro, Cennatoio Intervineas
A deep, warm, mature nose with notes of cherry jam, licorice, muscovado sugar and some coffe aromas. Opulent, mature and ready for action. But not much depth.
The taste is fresher than the nose, still mature, but with a leaner cherry fruit and notes of licorice, violets, gravel and autumn leaves. Some dry tannins in the finish but all in all a passing wine. 95% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
83p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Chianti Classico Riserva Montegiachi, Cinughi de Pazzi
A fine, warm, mature nose with notes of dried black cherries, red currants, autumn leaves, coffe powder and a touch of coconut. A very fine maturity. This is holding its own.
The taste is tight, seedy and fine with notes of red cherries, almond paste, licorice, rosehips and balsa wood. A fine structure. A medium long, balanced finish. This has hit its peak and delivers a lot of enjoyment.
88p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Chianti Classico Riserva, Castello di Fonterutoli
Oh dear, Castello di Fonterutoli didn´t show itself from their best side in 1997, if these two bottles, this one and the Siepi (from the first flight) is any evidence. This also reminds me of an old Barolo, that on its own is not a bad feature, but we are talking about a 15 year old Tuscan wine here, not a 50 year old Barolo. The nose is full of old rosehips, wet undergrowth, muscovado sugar, old chocolate and a lot of warmth. Definitely old, but still, just, hanging in there.
The taste is dry, warm and mature with notes of dried cherries, frozen rasberries, licorice, sweet tobacco and old leather. Very soft and round in the finish, there is no grip here. Over the hill, but not far away... 90% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
70p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna di Fontalle, Machiavelli
A deep, finely tuned, mature nose with notes of red cherry jam, licorice, forest floor, gravel and a lovely rosehip sweetness. Deep and fine. This is fully mature and in charming time span. Very good.
The taste is tight, fresh and seedy with notes of red currants, dried cherries, tobacco, violet pastilles and forest floor. Dense and fine. The finish is medium long but ends with a sour/dry/sweet twist. This is drinking beautifully.
90p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Chianti Classico Castello di Brolio, Barone Ricasoli
A big, broad, sweet nose with lots of character and extract, with notes of red cherries, rasberries, vanilla powder, forest floor, milk chocolate and leather. Very deep. After some time in the glass there is a scent of a perfect autumn walk in a forest. Just lovely.
The taste is tight, intense, deep and with lots of sweet cherry fruit intermingled with notes of leather, dried rasberries, tobacco, autumn leaves and violets. Long, elegant and beautiful. The wine of the flight. Stunning! 100% Sangiovese.
93p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia, Felsina
This perennial favourite of mine did show of this night, as it always do, even though the Castello di Brolio was marginally better this night. The nose is yummy and upfront with notes of chocolate covered cherries, licorice, violets, cold coffe and a lovely perfumed note. But under all that sweet fruit there is a firm structure. This has just reached perfect maturity.
The taste is lovingly firm with just the right amount of sweet fruit in the shape of black cherries and dried rasberries and some notes of almonds, gravel, licorice and autumn leaves. Very pure and fine. This should hold for 5+ years, at least. Same score as the Castello di Brolio, but when we voted for best wine in the flight, I voted for the Castello. 100% Sangiovese.
93p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Chianti Classico Riserva, Querciabella
A deep, warm, jammy nose with notes of cherry compote, dry tobacco, dried flowers and some rubbery notes. Fully mature but with a rather compressed structure, and it didn´t unfold with air.
The taste is very tight, seedy and a bit to dry. There is fruit there but doesn´t really match the dry tannins. The finish is medium long and very dry. With food it performed better but on it own this is hollow and dry. 85% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, 5% Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.
68p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Chianti Classico Riserva, Villa Cafaggio
As with the Cortaccio, Villa Cafaggio has also produced a great Chianti. The nose soars from the glass with notes of sweet red and black cherries, dried flowers, chocolate, undergrowth and some leathery notes. Very, very fine. This is deep and still on the young side of things.
The taste is tight, focused and deep with notes cherry jam. licorice, autumn leaves, violets and balsa wood. The finish goes on for a minute and ends with a lovely dry twist. This could be cellared for 3-5 years more. Very, very fine. 100% Sangiovese.
90p   (tasted 2012/11)

And then it was time for the real Super Tuscans...flight four to follow.

Monday 26 November 2012

Tasting 1997 Tuscany - The Second Flight

For the background to this tasting, look here.

In the second flight we were going to get familiar with Tuscan versions of Cabernet Sauvignon, in different styles and quantities.
This flight was equally impressive as the first flight, and maybe even more so, since there were not one bad, off or less good bottle in the line up.

All bottles decanted 45 minutes before the first pour. All tasted single blind.
All the cepage percentage below is from Andrea Zanfi´s book SuperTuscans.

1997 Sassicaia, Tenuta San Guido
A warm, deep and penetrating nose with lovely notes of red currants, wet earth, tobacco and some note of sweet green bell peppars. A fine, almost aristocratic structure. On its way to maturity but this is still young. Very, very fine.
The taste is tight, warm with opulent, sweet fruit and notes of red and black currants, tobacco, earth, leather and some pencil shavings. The tannins have been polished with the finest sandpaper. A long, balanced finish that goes on for over a minute. This is a stunner! 87p - baah! 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc.
94p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Guado al Tasso, Marchesi Antinori
I had forgot that one of the tasters promised to bring this one, so this flight suddenly got even better! Thanks M! A deep, sweet, open nose with notes of black currants, pomegranates, warm spices, autumn leaves and a touch of coconut. This feels almost fully mature with its sweet, seductive, open style.
The taste is more tight than the nose leads on but this is for drinking now and the coming 5+ years. It has a fine sweetness to the taste with notes of black currants, tobacco, autumn leaves and some stable notes. Lovely to drink now. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc and Syrah.
92p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Mormoreto, Marchesi de´Frescobaldi
A round, mature, warm nose with notes of sweet black cherries, rasberries, pipe tobacco and a warm Tuscan gravel road. Has a fine sweetness but is a tad to warm for my liking.
The taste is better with a tighter fruit and drier structure. Notes of tobacco, gravel, autumn leaves and violets. The finish is long and dry. Very good with the food. I would say that this is fully mature. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc.
90p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Colleczione de Marchi, Isole e Olena
Aaaaah, this is the real thing! A gorgeous, elegant yet powerful nose with notes of sweet red and black currants, licorice, dark chocolate, expensive leather and the same gorgeous note of sweet green bell peppar as in the Sassicaia. But this is even more elegant and poised. Just gorgeous!
The taste is like the proverbial "iron fist in a velvet glove". We are talking about sweet hedonistic fruit paired with a tight backbone of finegrained tannins and a finish that goes on for two minutes. What density! This has just reached its peak I think, but will probably keep on this level for 5-10 years. I would drink this nectar any day of the week. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
97p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Ornellaia, Tenuta dell´Ornellaia
A very good wine, but since Ornellaia is one of my favourite Super Tuscans, this was a bit of a let down. The nose is open, warm and fine with notes of red currants, dried rasberries, warm grass, tobacco and dried mushrooms. Very fine, open for business and really good. But it lacks the depth and complexity of Sassicaia, Colleczione de Marchi and Cortaccio.
The taste is better than the nose with added structure and nice notes of red and black currants, blueberry bushes, dark chocolate and balsa wood. A long, cool, fine finish. Again, the taste is better but I can´t see this turning into something really, really great. It was ages since I tasted the 97 Ornellaia, so I can´t say if this is a representative bottle. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc.
91p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Summus, Castello Banfi
A deep, sweet, mature nose with notes of black currants, chocolate covered cherries, tobacco, old leather and some balsamic vinegar notes. A lovely maturity on this one, not a hard edge in sigth, just very enjoyable.
The taste is big, verging on brawny, but with sweet, fine fruit and notes on black cherries, coffe powder, autumn leaves and old leather. Not that big in the complexity department but very upfront, perfectly mature and yummy. 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Sangiovese and 20% Syrah.
89p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Château Mouton Rothschild
This was the dark horse in the second flight, and it surprised us all with its charm and drinkability. The nose is fine, cool and deep with lovely notes of blueberries, black currants, gravel, tobacco and some butter cookies. Deep and fine. Not really mature yet, there is some hard corners that time need to polish of.
The taste is dense and sweet with notes of black currants, blueberry bushes, gravel, dry tobacco and some stable notes. The finish is long and dry. The tannins are really noticeable in the finish. This needs another 3-5 years in the cellar. Reminds me of the 1987 Mouton, never a great wine but a really easy going, drinkable one. 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.
91p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Cortaccio, Villa Cafaggio
This perennial favourite of mine performed, as ever, great on this evening. The nose soars from the glass with intense notes of black cherries, black currants leaves, warm gravel, tobacco, licorice and expensive leather. Very deep and full of extract. Really, really fine. Hedonisticly good!
The taste is a stunning combination of sweetness and firmness, with gorgeous notes of red and black currants, rasberries, licorice, chocolate covered cherries, new leather and cold coffe. The finish is counted in minutes and this beauty is still on the young side of things. This has been a show stopper since birth and will continue to turn heads for 10+ years. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
96p   (tasted 2012/11)

And so ends the first evening with 1997 Tuscan wines. And both the gold and silver medal, in my book, goes to the two 100% cabernet wines - interesting...
Saturday brought 19 more bottles, all Sangiovese based. Flight Three and Four to follow.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Tasting 1997 Tuscany - The First Flight

For the background to this tasting, look here.

The first flight was impressive. Only one tired bottle in the lineup, and even that one was drinkable on its own. There was no clear winner when the vote on the best wine was casted, and to my surprise I had the dark horse as the winner...

All bottles decanted 45 minutes before the first pour. All tasted single blind.

1997 Pazzesco, Castello del Trebbio
The back label states that this wine contains Merlot, Sangiovese and Syrah but not how much of each. The nose is soft, fine and fruity with notes of black cherries, milk chocolate, earth and pipe tobacco. Some mature notes but this is still on the young side.
The taste is tight, focused and pure with notes of red currants, cherries, tobacco and violets. A fine acidity. A medium long, fine finish. The end of the finish is a tad dry, but overall a very good wine. But I shouldn´t keep any remaining bottles for long.
88p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Lamaione, Marchesi de´Frescobaldi
With 100% Merlot, this has a big, warm, intense nose with lovely notes of black cherries, summer flowers, fresh herbs, corinthian and dark chocolate. Pure and very fresh. Really fine.
The taste is tight, pure and warm with gorgeous cherry fruit - the really salivating kind. You also get herbs, a Tuscan gravel road and some chocolaty notes. Very long, warm and satisfactory. This should keep for another 5-10 years.
92p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Palazzi, Tenuta di Trinoro
This beauty consists of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. The nose is a stunner with notes of red cherry jam, pan fried almonds, corinthians, pipe tobacco, muscovado sugar, sweet root vegetables and some dark chocolate. Deep and intense.
The taste is big, broad and concentrated with sweet notes of rosehips, black cherries, tobacco, a Tuscan gravel road and warm tiles. The finish is long, long and with a lovely warmth. This is still on the young side of things, you could keep this for 10+ years, at least.
94p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Solengo, Argiano
Solengo consists of equal parts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. This nose appears more open and mature than the previous glasses. There is lovely notes of black cherries, red currants, dried flowers, tobacco and warm tiles. There is a touch of mint here which led me to believe that this was the dark horse, but not so.
The taste is big and racy with notes of chocolate covered cherries, old leather, cherry pips and autumn leaves. Very, very long. This actually lost a little momentum sitting in the glass, indicating that you should drink any remaining bottles sooner than later. But on this night, it shined.
92p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Masseto, Tenuta dell´Ornellaia
Ok, what to think about a wine that cost as much as the rest of the bottles in this flight together? Well, since we were tasting blind, I didn´t guess it to be the Masseto (but someone else did...). A beaty but I have tasted even greater bottles of the 97. The nose is deep, warm and ripe with notes of cherry compote with added balsam vinegar and a touch of mint. Then there is notes of dark chocolate and cold coffe. Warm and very fine.
The taste is big, creamy and warm with lots of sweet cherry fruit and notes of tobacco, dark chocolate, dried flowers and green raisins. The finish is long and intense. This feels young still but I think this is a bit warmer than previous bottles. But great all the same.
93p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Mammolo, Cennatoio Intervineas
This is the third 100% Merlot wine in the first flight. A pure, cool, elegant nose with notes of sweet red currants, dry licorice, leather and a summer Tuscan dirt road. Graceful and very fine. This is just lovely to sit and sniff. Not a hint of maturity.
The taste is tight, seedy and vivid with notes of red currants, red cherries, tobacco, warm tiles and leather. The tannin structure is exquisite. The finish is long, elegant and poised. Still young, this could go on for 10+ years. Gorgeous.
93p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Siepi, Castello di Fonterutoli
A overripe, mature, warm nose with notes of sugar cooked cherries, cold coffe, earth and old, old leather. It reminds me of a really old Barolo, like a 58. This is on the verge of meeting its maker...
The taste is old, warm and big with notes of brown sugar, cold coffe and old leather. The middle of the taste is hollow. Past its best. It actually became a tad better with air but never became good.
72p   (tasted 2012/11)

1997 Haven´s Bourriquet
The dark horse in the first flight, a Cheval Blanc look a like with two thirds Cabernet Franc and one thid Merlot. This was a beauty and me and one other taster had this as the best wine in the flight.
A cool, elegant, finely tuned nose with gorgeous notes of cherry pips, dried flowers, expensive leather, tobacco and gravel. Very intense. This has begun to mature but have lots to offer for the future. Stunning wine.
The taste is concentrated, delicious and sweet with notes of rosehips, black cherries, milk chocolate and summer flowers. The finish goes on for over a minute. Really, really fine. This has balance, structure and hedonistic fruit. Great!
95p   (tasted 2012/11)


Wednesday 21 November 2012

Looking Forward to The Weekend - Massive Tasting of 1997 Tuscany

Call them modern, call them traditional, call them overoaked, call them underfruited, call them overextracted, call them pure expressions of sangiovese - the 1997 vintage out of Tuscany have been called many things over the years, and the opions are as many as they are conflicting.

What about now then? How have they aged during the last 15 years? Well, we are about to find out. Upcoming Friday and Saturday we are tasting 32 bottles from this vintage plus two dark horses.
Most of them have been lying undisturbed in my cellar since purchase - yes, I was a true believer back then...:-)
Late Saturday evening I will know what I think about them now. Will be back with a full report, perhaps not on Sunday though...

The bottles to be tasted and the order of the flights are:

Flight I - Cabernet Franc, Merlot - based:
One Dark Horse

Flight II - Cabernet - based:
Collezione de Marchi
One Dark Horse

Flight III - Chianti:
Riserva, Querciabella
Riserva, Villa Cafaggio
Castello di Brolio, Ricasoli
Rancia Riserva, Felsina
O'Leandro Riserva
Montegiachi Riserva, Cinughi de Pazzi

Riserva, Castello di Fonterutoli
Riserva Vigna di Fontalle, Macchiavelli

Flight IV - Sangiovese - based:
Il Solissimo
I Sodi di San Niccolo
La Corte

Tuesday 20 November 2012

1952 Château Naudonnet

With a casserole made of deer, chanterelles and left over Brunello wine, this old Bordeaux gentlemen was a nice Sunday company.

1952 Château Naudonnet
The level was just below neck and the colour was healthy. Out of the glass soft aromas of red currants, sandalwood, pencil shavings and dry grass emerged. Very nice. Poured straight out of the bottle it kept on improving for a couple of hours. Not that deep and complex but soft, friendly and nice.
The taste is mature, dry and medium bodied with notes of dry red currants, old leather, autumn leaves and some stable notes. A medium long, dry finish. On its own it is to dry, but with the casserole it made an awakening and felt sweeter and younger. Good.
83p   (tasted 2012/11)

Monday 19 November 2012

Getting Addicted to Fontaine-Gagnard´s Chassagne-Montrachet´s

I can´t seem to resist pulling the cork out of Fontaine-Gagnard´s stunning 2008 Chassagne-Montrachet´s. The village wine is yummy but the premier cru´s - La Grande Montagne and La Maltroie is a few notch higher on the quality ladder.
Time now to open not one, but two more premier cru´s!
Info here!

2008 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Caillerets, Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard
A young, crispy, fresh nose with a distinctive saltiness to it, but also with lots of candied lemons, butter fried nuts, lavender honey, blood oranges and summer flowers. Very, very fine. It has a wonderful sweet, sour, salty note. Gorgeous, upfront stuff.
The taste is young, pure and intense with notes of dried tropical fruit, lemon cream, matchbox and lots of sweet minerals. A fine acidity. That salty element is also present in the taste, but to a lesser extent. A long, balanced finish. Very young of course but very drinkable all the same. Lovely.
94p   (tasted 2012/11)

2008 Chassagne-Montrachet La Romanée, Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard
Aaaaah, this is good! More elegant, more profound and with more depth that the previous premier cru´s, this is Grand Cru quality. The nose flows up from the glass with notes of white currants, star fruit, lemon cream, crushed slate, summer flowers and a beautiful perfumed note. Seductive in a very classy style, this is all about finesse and breed.
The taste is pure as a mountain river with gorgeous notes of almost ripe peaches, lemon cream, pine nuts, cold butter, dry fudge and some smoky notes. The finish is over one minute long. This feels younger than its sibling. Needs 3-5 years in the cellar. Stunning wine.
96p   (tasted 2012/11)

Friday 16 November 2012

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

In chapter III I tasted Salvioni´s 1993 and was really, really charmed. I just had to open a younger version to see what I would feel. Guess what, I´m in love! :-)

2006 Brunello di Montalcino La Cerbaiola, Salvioni
A deep, profound, yet ethereal nose with gorgeous notes of cool cherry fruit, tobacco, mushroom forest, violets, rosehips, hard cherry candy, fresh herbs and some licorice. There is a stunning depth here. Young of course, and it doesn´t show off everything but oh boy, this is stupendous. We are in presence of (future) greatness here.
The taste is tight, young, complex and utterly delicious with beautiful notes of cherry pips, red currants, licorice, fried herbs, tobacco and dried mushrooms. The structure is just awesome. Very, very young. In 10+ years time this should be in the three digit score range. Not as harmonious as the 1993 today but oh so promising. I need to get more Salvioni!
96p   (tasted 2012/11)

Wednesday 14 November 2012

A Bottle of Bubbly - 80´s NV Pommery Brut Royal

This bottle came out of a mixed case and was specified as a NV Pommery from the middle of the 80´s. The look of the bottle and the cork, when it slowly came out, makes me think that that specification was correct.

NV Pommery Brut Royal
A wide open, soft but intense nose with notes of mature red apples, blood oranges, smoke, pickled ginger and lobster shells. A very fine maturity. This nose is so salivating! Perfectly mature I would say.
The taste is round, creamy and yummy with lovely notes of lemon cream, orange peel, almond paste and mature apples. The acidity is fresh and the finish is long with a nice dry ending. Not heeps of complexity, but oh so drinkable, you just wanna take big sips of this. Very, very good.
89p   (tasted 2012/11)

Monday 12 November 2012

Tasting Dinner With Old Pommards 1949 - 1989

Last Saturday I arranged a tasting dinner around some bottles of old Pommards. A couple of years ago I did a similar dinner.
We were six around the table, which is just right when it comes to sharing a bottle and getting to taste is properly. And for the chef, aka me, to have time to taste the wines, not spending all of the time in the kitchen. :-)
Apart from two bad bottles, the night went a long with lot of wine talk (!) and great atmosphere!

We started with grilled scallops with a parsnip puree and a herb oil. I had opened two white Burgundies to go along. The 1989 Corton-Charlemagne, Le Savour Club was corked but the other bottle was truly enjoyed.

1999 Corton-Charlemagne, Verget
A deep, creamy, oily nose with notes of lemon cream, cold butter, pine nuts, rosemary, dried apricots and a lovely smoky note. Very deep. A taut structure but very elegant at the same time. Very, very fine.
The taste is tight, concentrated and sweet with notes of lemon cream, dried tropical fruit, summer flowers and cap gun smoke. The acidity is perfectly balanced. Long, long finish. Great wine. You could say that this is mature but I would guess it have on more gear to shift in to in a couple of years time.
94p   (tasted 2012/11)

Before the Pommards hit the table we had a consomme with chanterelles and sweetbread. I thought that an old Madeira would do the trick...

1879 Rare Sercial, Justino Henriques
I opened this bottle and decanted it on wednesday and then it smelled of detergent. Not so three days later...
The nose is breathtakingly gorgeous with an intensity and purity that is beoynd words. Notes of linoleum, coffee beans, orange peel, tea bags, lime cream, dried herbs and a whiff of detergent oozes up from the glass. Very, very complex. A sheer and utter joy to sit and sniff this nectar.
The taste follows the nose with the same intensity and purity. Lovely notes of dried orange peel, assorted nuts, petrol station, muscovado sugar, balsa wood and wet tea leaves. The finish is counted in several minutes. The sweetness is a bit higher than I would have guessed, but no complaints from me. The acidity cuts like a sword through the taste. Magnificent! I wine to remember.
99p   (2012/11)

After we had composed ourselves after the impression from the Madeira it was time for the first flight of Pommards. With that flight we had a terrine (bought, not made) of pigeon and goose liver with a Madeira reduction.

1969 Pommard, Bichot
At first somewhat restrained but with air it opened up great, with notes of rasberries, rowanberries, dried licorice, forest floor, cherry candy and old leather. Very sweet and fine.
The taste is mature, pure and nice with notes of sweet lingonberries, rasberries, dried herbs and autumn leaves. The finish is medium long and very fresh. Drinking perfectly now.
91p   (2012/11)

1969 Pommard Rugiens, Chanson
A big, sweet, brawny nose with notes of mature strawberries, mushroom forest, grounded coffee and autumn leaves. A bit foursquare. With air more stable notes emerges, and it becomes a bit muddy.
The taste is big and mature with the fruit in the background and a stiff structure in the foreground. There is some nice lingonberry fruit and undergrowth in the finish but all in all this is a bit dull.
82p   (tasted 2012/11)

1969 Pommard, Leon Violland
A fine, spicy, mature nose with notes of rasberries, strawberries, dry tobacco, christmas spices and forest floor. Very good. A fine round sweetness to the fruit. Perfectly mature.
The taste is mature, sweet and upfront with notes of rasberries, cold coffee, spices, leather and autumn leaves. A fine warmth in the medium long finish. Very, very good. When the Bichot picked up momentum during the evening this one declined a bit, but a fine bottle of mature Burgundy all the same.
90p   (tasted 2012/11)

For the second flight I had prepared a pastry baked Bresse chicken with a mushroom sauce. I hoped it would go along nicely to the four mature Pommards that were poured.

1949 Pommard Les Epenots, Alain Bellecour
A deep, tight, mature nose with a fine sweetness and notes of dried rasberries, forest floor, corinthians and veal stock. Very deep and fine. A bit sturdy with air but it kept on going all through the evening.
The taste is round, sweet and rather intense with notes of lingonberries, almonds, dark fudge, autumn leaves and a hint of coffee. Medium long finish with a dry ending. Very good but it lacks a bit of complexity.
87p   (tasted 2012/11)

1949 Pommard, Morin
Corked! #%¤&#"=%&¤ A beautiful label though...

1949 Pommard, Sicard
A very deep, tight and vivid nose with notes of wild strawberries, celeriac, hard rasberry candy, old leather and fresh autumn leaves. Very, very good. With air it becomes even sweeter, with notes of chocolate covered rasberries. This being 63 years old!?
The taste is tight, pure and mature with notes of lingonberries, dried strawberries, dry tobacco and a touch of cinnamon. A medium long, fine finish. It actually feels more its age on the palate then on the nose, but this is a impressive bottle of wine.
92p   (tasted 2012/11)

1949 Pommard, Mme Ph. Vincent
Level: 7 cm. Cork: A short, crumbly one. Wine: Fantastic! This is one of the reasons why wine drinking is so fun - no expectations what so ever, and the result? Apart for the Madeira, the winner of the night!
A deep, sweet, elegant nose with gorgeous notes of wild rasberries, spices, pipe tobacco, forest floor, root vegetables, dark fudge and a touch of cold coffee. So pure and fresh! If it was hard to belive the previous wine to be 53 years old, this strikes us as even younger. The guesses (all wines were served blind) was in the 1985, 1989 category...which is what I would have guessed to.
The taste is impressive with its long lasting fruit, great acidity and a long, sweet finish. Notes of strawberries marinating in balsamic vinegar, tobacco, spices, autumn leaves and coffe with milk. The finish goes on for over a minute. Great wine.
95p   (tasted 2012/11)

We talked about if this last wine was pure Pinot, the colour was fairly dark, but it did feel like Pinot. In the previous dinner it was quite obvious that there was bottles with something added, but I felt that this was not the case with these bottles. But who knows? If something was added to this last wine, it was surely made by a master blender!

With the last flight we had some cheese - Reblochon, Pont l´Evéque and Gruyére. And now it was time for the youngsters!

1989 Pommard Grand Clos des Epenots, Domaine de Courcel
A deep, seedy, steady nose with notes of fresh rasberries, cranberries, lingonberry bushes, parsnips, leather and a hauntingly perfumed note. Still young but full of promise. Very deep. It fleshes out all evening and becomes sweeter and sweeter. Impressive.
The taste is tight, structured and intense with a lovely purity and sweet lingonberry and cherry fruit. Lots of sweet tannins that coats the palate. Very, very long. This has a long and promising future. Would love to taste this 10-20 years down the road. Stunning!
94p   (tasted 2012/11)

1989 Pommard, Drouhin
A cool, fine, somewhat mature nose with notes of fresh strawberries, forest floor, licorice and christmas spices. Good but a tad one dimensional.
The taste is tighter and offers more resistance with a sweet rasberry fruit, fine acidity and a long, fresh finish. Very good. Pure and nice. Drinking really well, but the nose isn´t up to par.
86p   (tasted 2012/11)

1989 Pommard Les Chanlins, Domaine Parent
A big, creamy, sweet nose with notes of dark, moist earth, sweet rasberries, veal stock, leather and root vegetables. A deep, dark nose with lots of character. Really fine.
The taste is tight, concentrated and fresh with notes of sweet red currants, rasberries, red licorice, undergrowth and cold coffe. A long, intense finish. This has some maturing to do, but is drinking gorgeously this night.
92p   (tasted 2012/11)

1979 Moulin Touchais
A restrained but soft nose with notes of dried bee wax, oilcloth, dried figs and some earthy aromas. But where is the intensity? There is nothing wrong with it, but nothing really right either.
The taste is medium bodied with notes of blood orange peel, olicloth, hay and a touch of asphalt. The finish is correct but dull. Having tasted about 20 vintages of Moulin Touchais, this is in the bottom range, even though there is nothing wrong with the wine. Just dull.
76p   (tasted 2012/11)