Sunday 31 March 2013

Two Easter Pinot Noir Bottles

These two bottles was opened one day apart but I saved some for comparison on this evening. Two slightly different expression of this great grape, both very interesting and went perfectly with some easter holiday food and Saint Vitus......

2008 Sankt Paul Spätburgunder Grosses Gewächs, Friedrich Becker
A deep, spicy, tight nose with notes of ripe rasberries, fresh herbs, new expensive leather, pine forest and some chocolaty notes. Very deep and fine. Opens up nicely and becomes sweeter. A gorgeous note of rasberry vinegar appears with air, and a elegant perfumed note coats the ripe rasberries.
The taste is cool and a tad restrained with good intensity and lots of ripe rasberries and lingonberries. A fresh acidity. The finish is long and medium bodied with a licorice note. Fresh and fine. Very, very good but the taste is a touch ascetic compared to the more hedonistic nose. Should evolve some  more, give it 3-5 years. Very, very good. Info here.
92p   (tasted 2013/03)

2005 Echezeaux, Lucien le Moine
A big, deep, powerful nose with notes of ripe rasberries, warm herbs, licorice, a touch of band-aid (in a positive way) and the scent of autumn leaves burning. Very, very deep. Has a old fashioned feeling about it. I like this very much. Very, very young.
The taste is tight, intense and focused with still perky tannins and notes of chocolate covered rasberries, black cherries, christmas spices, moist earth and some new oak. The finish is long, warm and very well balanced, in spite of its young age. This still needs another 5-7 years in the cellar. Great quality! Info here.
The title track of their first album - Saint Vitus - have never echoed better in my ears when (almost) a bottle of this nectar flowing through my veins...
93p   (tasted 2013/03)

Yours truly and David Chandler, guitarist and founding member of Saint Vitus

Saturday 30 March 2013

California Tasting - Part II

Well, Part I didn´t end well. Luckily, the next table proved the quality of California wines. Three stunning wines from Buccella - first poured is the 2010 Mica, a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 2% Malbec, which has a cool, fine black currant fruit paired with nicely integrated tannins and a long finish (~91p). Next up was a stunner, the 2010 Buccella Merlot (98% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon). The nose is deep, sweet and gorgeous with notes of plums, christmas Spices and Valrhona chocolate, and the taste follows the nose with hedonistic fruit wrapped in a firm tannin structure. This is world class! (~96p). The last pour was the 2010 Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon (90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec). This beauty has a sweet, penetrating cassis nose with a touch of smoke, pencil shavings, chocolate and vanilla oak. The taste is young, pure and fresh with delicious black currant fruit and notes of new leather, graphite, chocolate and a lovely perfumed note. Not as stunning as the Merlot, but this is still a wonderful wine (~94p). Importer is Vinopia.

At the Fondberg table I tasted some really good Chardonnay´s. First up was the 2010 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay. This is young, fresh and very drinkable with notes of lemon, smoke and some tropical fruits (~90p). The two Chardonnay´s from Jackson Family Wines were stunning. The 2010 Cambria Katherine´s Vineyard is filled with gorgeous yellow fruit and some flinty aromas. The taste is broad and structured with notes of fudge, cold butter and cap gun smoke. Really fine, and for 23 Euro, this is a steal (~92p). A notch up on the quality ladder is the 2010 Four Hearts Vineyards with its amazing purity and notes of grilled lemons, cookie dough, summer flowers and a touch of bonfire. Very long and intense (~93p).
Turning to the Pinots, the 2010 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir is cool, fresh and with notes of lingonberries, herbs and some licorice. With a medium body the taste is rather elegant with fine smoky Pinot fruit (~87p). The 2009 Jackson Family Cambria Julias Vineyard Pinot Noir is deeper, sweeter and more yummy with notes of sweet/sour rasberries,, licorice, herbs and licorice. The taste is long, spicy and really fine (~91p).

Next up was an old acquaintance, Beringer Vineyards. I remember a tasting with Tim Hanni in about 1992 that was amazing, with lots of vintages of their Private Reserve. Treasur Wine Estates is the importer. The 2011 Beringer Chardonnay is cleanly made with some cloves and oranges, and a medium sized body (~84p). Their 2010 Beringer Founder´s Estate Chardonnay is a tad cooler with more lemon notes and the taste is also cooler and more fresh (~86p). The last Chardonnay poured was the 2011 Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay, and here the fruit is more concentrated and it has a lovely grapefruit note. The taste is broad, fresh and fine with notes of lemon cream, smoke and butter biscuits (~89p).
The only red I tasted was the 2009 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon which has a deep, profound nose with sweet black currant and cherry fruit. There is additional notes of tobacco, coffee, new leather and graphite. The taste is long, structured and filled with beautiful cassis fruit. This is in the same league as the 1984 and 1991Private Reserve´s (~93p).

Part III to follow.

Saint Vitus & Echezeaux

On my way to a Saint Vitus concert - what better way to prepare for a concert with the doom masters than a young strapping Burgundy?
Full tasting note to follow, for now listen to Saint Vitus -

Wednesday 27 March 2013

My Easter Egg...

Just got home - and now I have 5 days off! Time to drink some nice bottles of wine with friends and relatives (and on my own...:-))
I have assembled these bottles to go in my easter egg. Last year the focus was on Syrah, this year my craving was Pinot and Cabernet. Will soon open something for tonight - stay tuned!

Happy Easter!

Sunday 24 March 2013

Then & Now - Château Citran

Last time I tasted the 1995 Citran was in 1999, and then I thought it was a really fine, young Bordeaux, scoring it 90p. It was fun tasting it again, 14 years later, and with its 10 year younger sibling.

Château Citran has a long history, before being bought by the Clauzel family in 1832, it belonged to the Donissan family for six hundred years. In the middle of the 18th Century Citran achieved a higher price than Lynch-Bages and Pontet-Canet.
Parker thinks that since 1987 the quality of Citran is equivalent of a Médoc fifth growth.
Citran consist of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon and 42% Merlot. More info here.

1995 Château Citran
A fine, fairly mature, low keyed nose with notes of fresh stables, red and black currants, saddle-girth, cold coffe and a fine herbal note. Not that deep but very satisfying. With air a delicious scent of warm grass appears.
The taste is taut and fresh with a fine maturity and notes of cool cassis fruit, dry leather, graphite and some dried herbs. The finish is medium long and ends dry. I would say that this maturitywise won´t get any better. But last night this was a fine mouthful of traditional Bordeaux.
87p   (tasted 2013/03)

2005 Château Citran
The nose on the 10 year younger version is much more upfront and "modern", with lots of sweet black currants, oak vanilla and sweet flowers. But after two hours in the decanter it has transformed to a much more traditional version, with pencil shavings, tobacco and warm tiles. Very good.
The taste is young and steady with black currants and cherries alongside warm notes of tobacco, dark chocolate, hyacinth and some fine minerals at the end. This is really good and will surely evolve some more the upcoming 5+ years.
90p   (tasted 2013/03)

Saturday 23 March 2013

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

This was an opportunity to taste through a few of the older bottles of Brunello I have bought in the last months for this project.
The reason that I wound up with these two properties are two - the 1975 Castello Poggio Alle Mura was one of the few Brunello´s that I had tasted earlier - 20 years ago and I thought at that time that is was spectacular. Now we were going to taste that vintage again, and three more from this estate that is no more. The Banfi brothers bought it in 1984.

The reason to taste some of the older vintages of Col d´Orcia is that Antonio Galloni made a big vertical tasting of their Riserva, Poggio al Vento and spoke highly of some of the older Riserva´s. Before the first vintage of Poggio al Vento in 1982, the Riserva´s were made almost exclusively from grapes from that vineyard. And we had three of them before us.

Flight I
1970 Brunello di Montalchino, Tenuta Poggio Alle Mura
This is a bit old on the nose, with lots of decaying leaves, canned mushrooms, tea leaves and moist earth. From time to time it smells like an old Barolo. After some time in the glass there is a whiff of wet dog fur. This is too old.
The taste is a bit fresher with notes of dried lingonberries, licorice, autumn leaves and cigarette ashes. Cooked root vegetables. The finish is medium long and ends very, very dry. Good with food but the fat is mostly stripped from the body on this one.
74p   (tasted 2013/03)

1971 Brunello di Montalcino, Tenuta Poggio Alle Mura
A deep, sweet, fairly elegant nose with notes of dried cherries, mushrooms, tobacco and cold sugared coffee. A fine warmth. Very good.
The taste is tight, mature, round and medium bodied with ripe cherries dusted with muscovado sugar and additional notes of licorice, violets, dried flowers and autumn leaves. The finish is a tad short. A good, but not great wine.
83p   (tasted 2013/03)

1974 Brunello di Montalcino, Tenuta Poggio Alle Mura
A very ripe, deep, mature nose with fine notes of dried cherries, rasberries, fudge, violets and some fine pipe tobacco. A very fine mature sweetness. There is a whiff of VA that comes and goes but that just adds to the complexity. Very, very good.
The taste is tight, mature and fine with notes of lingonberries, warm gravel, cigarett ashes and autumn leaves. The acidity is fine and perky. The finish is medium long and it ends dry and sandy. This is perfectly mature and will just go downfill from here.
90p   (tasted 2013/03)

1975 Brunello di Montalcino, Castello Poggio Alle Mura
Here it is, the reason I got this tasting together - is it as good as 20 years ago? Well, its not, but it has really hold its own all this years. The nose is deep and intense with notes of sweet red cherries, gravel, freshly grounded coffee and a very fine salty minerality. Very deep. But there is a monolithic feeling about the nose.
The taste is tight, seedy and big with still upfront tannins and a fine red fruit. Notes of lingonberries, violets, dried flowers, hard fudge and gravel flows over the palate. Very big still. The only one in the first flight that could be cellered longer, but I´m not sure it will get better.
88p   (tasted 2013/03)

Flight II
1975 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Tenuta Col d´Orcia
Continuing with the 1975 vintage, you can really get a sense of why the Consorzio awards this vintage with a 5 star rating. There is a depth and intensity here that defies age, with fine notes of plums, cherries, tapenade and a sweet flowery note. Very, very good.
The taste is firm, steady and concentrated with notes of licorice spiced cherries, bay leaves, tobacco and warm undergrowth. The finish is long and warm. With air the taste gravitates toward the lovely sour/sweet cherry taste. Mature of course, but I would say that this could evolve some more. A lovely wine.
92p   (tasted 2013/03)

1977 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Tenuta Col d´Orcia
Even though 1977 "only" gets a 4 star rating, this wine transcendes vintage charts. It is pure magic in a glass, with gorgeous notes of menthol spiked black cherries, hard dark fudge, violets, pipe tobacco and hard cherry candy. Very, very deep. It has a lightness to it that is wonderful. Great!
The taste is all about focus, concentration and sweet, decadent fruit. Notes of red cherries, lingonberries and plums, all dusted with a touch of menthol. There are also aromas of mature red apples, tobacco and that Tuscan summer gravel road. A very long, fresh and dry finish. A gorgeous wine, that still could be kept for 5+ years. I saved 10 cl in a small bottle and three days later it was fresh as a daisy.
95p   (tasted 2013/03)

1980 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Tenuta Col d´Orcia
A deep, finely matured nose with notes of black cherries and currants, cranberries, leather, tobacco and warm gravel. A touch foursquare, although there is a fine quality to the fruit. Deep.
The taste is tight, fresh and grapey with notes of red cherries, lingonberries, dry tobacco, rosehips, dried flowers and leather. A very long, although somewhat narrow finish.Very good but not in the league of the others. Interestingly enough, the 10 cl I saved, just like the 77 above, was better - sweeter, more open and rounded. Go figure, maybe it needs some more cellar time?
87p   (tasted 2013/03)

1985 Brunello di Montalcino, Tenuta Col d´Orcia
The only non riserva in the Col d´Orcia lineup, but it performed very well in the company. The nose is deep, open and mature with notes of cherries, mulberries, dark chocolate, violets and moist autumn leaves. Very fine. With some air that fine note of a warm Tuscan gravel road emerges. This feels fully mature on the nose.
The taste is warm, seedy and fresh with notes of sweet cherries, red currants, dark chocolate, bay leaves and licorice. A very fine warmth. The tannins takes a firm grip of my tongue in the finish, leading me to the conclusion that this still needs some time in a cold cellar, say 3-5 years. Very, very good and it has room for improvement.
91p   (tasted 2013/03)

A very interesting comparison, both between the two producers but also vintage wise. The wines from Poggio Alle Mura were all fully mature, and in case of the 70 and 71 maybe a bit much so. The Col d´Orcia´s on the other hand felt fresher and with more stuffing to them, and those could go on for many years.

And it was also interesting to taste these older bottles, given the fact that in 1970 only 78,84 hectares were producing Brunello wines, and up to 1975 there were only 30 producers who collectively made about 800.000 bottles of Brunello.
Now there are 250 growers and 200 producers making about 8 million bottles a year from 2.100 hectares...

Thursday 21 March 2013

California Tasting - Part I

Yesterday I hade the opportunity to taste a waste range of California wines, thanks to Charlotta at the Wine Institute of California.
On my way home I counted the wines in the exhibition catalog and came up with the impressive number of 547 wines that was on display. I tasted 54.....and by then I thought that my tasting buds were a little jaded. Anyway, I had the possibility to taste through a number of interesting wines. The notes below is a little shorter than usual  - tasting standing with a notebook, glas, spittoon and pen in hand while chatting with the wine maker/sales representative doesn´t give room for novel writing.... And I give a approximate score, since I only spent a minute or two with each wine.

I started att Divine´s table where the charming Magda - a friend of mine! - poured the wines. The 2010 Ojai McGinley Sauvignon Blanc is a fresh, charming SB for those upcoming summer evenings with some grilled fish (~86p). More substansial in weigth is the 2010 Brewer Clifton Chardonnay but it still keeps cool with a fine acidity (~89p). An even better Chardonnay is poured when the 2010 Lynmar Chardonnay lands in the glass, big and juicy but with a clean, refreshing taste (~91p).

The two Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon - the California (~83p) and the Napa Valley (~86p) are both cleanly made but without real nerve. The 2010 Andrew Murray Tours Les Jours Syrah is a nice evereyday wine with blueberry and spicy notes (~86p). As I asked in the notes from the Gaja tasting - why blend grapes that don´t (in my opion...) go together? The NV Ojai Red is 50/50 Syrah and Pinot and the blend is just bland and anonymous (~72p). Big and burned, that´s one way to describe the 2010 Melville Vernas Syrah, although it has some additional blackberry and flowery notes that makes it a good wine, but it could have been really good without that burned note (~82p)

The Pinot part started with the 2009 Saintbury Pinot Noir that showed a cool Carneros fruit with some lingonberries and fresh herbs (~86p). Lynmars 2010 Pinot Noir is more upfront and juicy with a touch of warmth in the end (~86p), but even better is the 2010 Melville Pinot Noir which balances the sweet, warm Pinot fruit with a fine structure (~90p). The gold medal in the Pinot line up at Divine´s table goes to the 2010 Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir for its spicy hedonism and elegant body (~93p).

The last wines poured was from the Bogle Winery - the 2009 Phantom is a blend of 52% Zinfandel, 46% Petite Shiraz and 2% Mourvèdre and shows a big, upfront plum fruit paired with a fine note of bay leaves - very good (~89p). The 2008 Petite Sirah Port does a fine job impersonating the real stuff with its nutty, chocolaty aromas and a long, sweet finish (~88p).

Next up was a real walk down the memory lane - Grgich Hills! Seen below is a note from my first tasting book, second entry, on the 14th of September 1991 - the 1988 Grgich Hills Chardonnay - and as you can see it got a 91p score from me! :-)
First up from this importer is the 2010 Grgich Hills Fumé Blanc that oozes grass, goosseberries and cat pee with a fine herbal taste (~86p). I was anxious to try the next wine, the 2010 Grgich Hills Chardonnay, the 22 year older sibling to the wine I tasted in 1991. The nose is elegant, a little restrained but fine with lemon cream, cold butter and wet rocks. Very Burgundy like, which also is the case with the taste that is full of minerals, lemons and yellow apples. Very good (~89p). The 2009 Grgich Hills Zinfandel has a spicy, plummy nose but the taste has a swetness that is a tad to intense (~81p). With a classic cassis and pencil nose, the 2010 Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon is a polished, low keyed version with lovely polished tannins and a fine length. Really good (~90p).

The next table presented a lineup from Clos du Val, imported by Primewine. The 2008 Clos du Val Chardonnay is cool and nice with a fine buttery fruit and a light lemon spiced taste (~84p). The 2008 Clos du Val Pinot Noir is a tad warm on the nose with some burned aromas but the taste is leaner and better (~85p). For being a Zinfandel, the 2010 Clos du Val Zinfandel is rather light but with a fine plummy fruit and the taste is long and with a fine structure (~86p). Last, two Cabernet were poured - first up is the 2009 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon which has a fine black currant nose with some leather and coffee and the taste is young, tight and fresh (~87p). The second Cabernet is the 2006 Clos du Val Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon and this is a more serious creature with its deep penterating nose of ripe black currants, a touch of chocolate, grapthite and a hint of warm grass. The taste is young, intense and with nicely polished tannins. A fine wine indeed (~92p).

To finish this first part on a sadder note - I noticed on one table that they had two wines from Havens. The 1997 Havens Bourriquet performed stunningly at our 1997 Super Tuscans tasting in November of last year, so I thought that these wines would be fun to taste. They wern´t. The 2009 Havens Chardonnay is big and clumpsy with a note of mango cooked in butter and some soapy aromas. The taste is big, foursquared and with lots of alcohol and to little acidity. No, no, no (~66p). The 2009 Havens Meritage (I didn´t get the cepage, I was in shock over the poor quality) is a tad better with its sweet blackberryfruit, but this is also foursquared and with a bit too much alcohol on the nose. The taste is on the one hand sweet but on the other hand have a green, underripe streak in it. No, this isn´t good (~70p).

But things were to get better, much better...Part II to follow.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Just Bought

This gentleman arrived today - 1945, St Estèphe and fill in neck - what could go wrong? :-) Will be back later with a report...

Monday 18 March 2013

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

Time for two more vintages from Argiano. I recently tasted their 1979 and 1985 Riserva. Now it was time for the 1993 och 1999.

1993 Brunello di Montalcino, Argiano
This opens a bit murky but that soon blew away. After some time their is fine notes of dark cherries, licorice, muscovado sugar, rosemary bushes, forest floor and dried flowers. A fine warmth. But it goes back and forth on the nose, from very good to a touch murky. Fully mature.
The taste is mature, warm and broad with lot of ripe cherries, balsamic vinegar, licorice, violets and a warm gravel road. The tannins and acidity still carries the structure but I wouldn´t save this for much longer. Good though with a home made pizza with truffle salami!
87p   (tasted 2013/03)

1999 Brunello di Montalcino, Argiano
At first just a touch of cardboard, but it soon evolved to a full frontal cork damaged wine. Interestingly enough, this was my first corked Brunello. So far 48 bottles tasted and this was the first cork damaged wine, I think that is a pretty good track record. But still, a bummer...
Corked!   (tasted 2013/03)

Friday 15 March 2013

I´m a Little Late - 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau, Jean Foillard

I bought this bottle on release in November, but being busy with the Brunello project and other things I forgot about it. The other day when the sun shined and I could feel the tingling sensation of spring in the air, I noticed this bottle in the cellar and thought, why not?

2012 Beaujolais Nouveau, Jean Foillard
A very direct, beautiful, upfront nose with notes of rasberry candy, licorice, lingonberry jam, fresh herbs and a touch of earth. Light, fresh and juicy. The strawberry sweetness that evolves with air is adorable. Yummy!
The taste is light, fresh and cool with nice notes of lingonberries, wild strawberries, licorice and a touch of white peppar. The finish is rather short but fresh and pure. Very gulpable, I think I broke my record for finishing of a bottle... This is like a summer flirt, fun for the moment, but not a keeper.
86p   (tasted 2013/03)

Thursday 14 March 2013

A Luncheon With Gaia Gaja

No wine from this vintage was regrettably presented...
I was invited by Swedish importer VinUnic to a lunch with the charming Gaia Gaja, daughter of the (in)famous Angelo Gaja. I still remember buying the 1990 Barolo Sperss in 1994, astonished how good it was right out of the block. I drank my last bottle in 2004, asking myself, as always, why didn´t I save some for later...

On to the luncheon then - before seated the usual suspects chatted while sipping on a glass of Louis Roederer from a 6 liter bottle - I will say it again - Champagne taste better out of big bottles! Or is it a Freudian thing...? :-)

Gaia Gaja talked about the history of Gaja, her fathers work over the years, and her own since she joined the family firm in 2004. It was a joy listen to her tell the Gaja story and her commentary on the wines, in a witty and charming way.
Info about Gaja here.

The Wines:
2011 Rossj-Bass Chardonnay, Gaja
This starts out young and fresh with notes of white peach, summer flowers, bread crust and freshly washed clothes. A fine perfumed note. I don´t think it holds that well in the glass when it becomes warmer. A bit too perfumed then for my taste.
The taste is young, pure and broad with notes of white peach, summer flowers, expensive vanilla pods and some soapy notes. The acidity is fine but should have been a notch higher. Very good without being impressive.
87p   (tasted 2013/03)

2010 Ca´Marcanda Promis, Gaja
A pure, rather elegant nose with notes of menthol spiked blackberries, blueberry bushes, new leather and some dark plums. Good quality but if I was given this blind, should I have placed in Tuscany? Well, I don´t know, it feels a bit, in spite of the good quality, a bit anonymous.
The taste is young, tight and pure with fine notes of ripe blueberries, black currants and sweet almond paste. A medium long, balanced finish. Very good, but again, a bit internationalized. Would love to see how it matures. I´m not sure that blending Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese is a good thing?
86p   (tasted 2013/03)

2010 Ca´Marcanda Magari, Gaja
This is instead a blend of grapes that really go together - Merlot (50%), Cabernet Sauvignon (25%) and Cabernet Franc (25%), and the difference is obvious. The nose is deeper, tighter and more expressive with notes of sweet black currants, pencil shavings, smoke and cold coffee. With air a gorgeous animal note appears. This is really fine, albeit very young.
The taste is lovingly tight, focused and intense with lots of ripe black currants and black cherries with some notes of smoke, sandal wood, coffe beans and charcoal tossed in. The finish is long, pure and fine. This is great!
93p   (tasted 2013/03)

2008 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina, Gaja
Rennina comes from 3 different vineyards in Montalcino. A deep, elegant, fresh nose with notes of red cherries, smoke, hard cherry candy and a touch of hazelnuts. With air it becomes more floral. Very intense and fine. Has an ethereal feeling about it. Great!
The taste is tight, intense and young with notes of hard cherry candy, dried flowers, tobacco, violets and warm gravel. The finish is long and fresh. This is very, very fine, but young, needs at least 5-7 years in the cellar.
92p   (tasted 2013/03)

2008 Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille, Gaja
The Sugarille is a single vineyard. At first I thouht that the Rennina was the better wine but with air the Sugarille became deeper, tighter and more profound. The nose opens up with stunning notes of sweet red and black cherries, cigarr ashes, red autumn apples and moist earth. A very deep, honest nose.
The taste is big and juicy with just the right amount of vigour and backbone to be truly great. Fine notes of sweet and sour cherries, licorice, dark chocolate, violets and warm tiles. The finish is counted in minutes. The tannins are young and perky but lovingly polished. Great wine! Keep it out of the reach of a corkscrew for 6-8 years.
94p   (tasted 2013/03)

2010 Sito Moresco, Gaja
This is a blend of Nebbiolo (35%), Merlot (35%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), and while it is a good wine qualitywise, I think it has the same problem as the Provis above, the lack of character. Blending these grapes makes it somewhat anonymous. The nose is warm, open and rather deep with lots of sweet ripe black fruit with some notes of vanilla pods, forest floor, ginger bread and chocolate covered cherries. Very good but a tad bland.
The taste is tight, young and warm with notes of blueberries, black cherries, forest floor and some vanilla oak flavours. Good acidity. Again, good, but without, for lack of a better word, soul.
86p   (tasted 2013/03)

2008 Barolo Dagromis, Gaja
On the other hand - this has just that - when you put your nose in the glass it speaks of the gorgeous hills of Barolo. Lovely notes of rosehips, red cherries, a touch of balsamic vinegar, dried mushrooms and a high flowery scent. Really fine. Elegant and deep. Very young of course, but this is great at this early stage.
The taste is young, tight and fresh with large amounts of finely polished tannins with a cool cherry and lingonberry fruit with some notes of rosehip, rose petals, forest floor, dried mushrooms and bonfire tossed in. The finish is long and steady. This needs 5+ years before it will show everything it got.
93p   (tasted 2013/03)

2009 Barbaresco, Gaja
A cool, elegant and deep nose with notes of hard cherry candy, sweet rosehips, summer flowers, smoke and a lovely perfumed note. A bit withdrawn though. Very, very young.
The taste is cool, tight and focused with the fine cherry (and some rasberry) fruit locked in by an upfront acidity and perky tannins. I think this is in an awkward stage right now. There should be a fine wine in there, based on earlier vintages of the regular Barbaresco (and the 09 Sori Tildin below), but for now I will wait and see.
87p   (tasted 2013/03)

2004 Sperss, Gaja
Aaaaaah, what a wonderful light, ethereal, but at the same time deep and concentrated nose, with stunning aromas of menthol spiked cherries, rosehips, hard cherry candy, ceps and a mosit forest floor. Even though its far from mature, this has started to show some of what will come with maturity, and it is all good!
The taste is pure, elegant and stylish with notes of red and black cherries, dried rasberries, ceps, cigarr smoke and a lovely perfumed note. The finish is one minute long and the tannins show themselves at the end. What a great structure! Give this 4-6 years more in the cellar and it will become a marvel.
94p   (tasted 2013/03)

2009 Sori Tildin, Gaja
As soon as I put my nose in the glass I had to surrender. With some wines it is enough with one sniff, and you know it will be stunning. This is. The nose is bottomless deep with the sweetest red cherries imaginable paired with notes of licorice, rosehips en masse, crushed rose petals, ceps and a whiff of truffle salami. Deep, deep, deep. But oh so young.
The taste is all about purity, intensity and hedonism, in spite of its young age. There is huge amounts of sweet cherries and rasberries with additional notes of smoke, licorice, leather, ceps and dried flowers. The tannins is polished with the finest sandpaper. The finish seems to never end. In 10 years time this will be a perfect specimen, mark my words! :-)
97p   (tasted 2013/03)

1999 Sori Tilden, Gaja
I had hopes that this ten year older brother would be at just that stage mentioned above, but it was not quite there. A gorgeous wine with a really fine nose filled with cherry chutney, cigarr ashes, dried mushrooms and a touch of animal fur. A few steps up on the maturity ladder. A fin warmth to the fruit. Deep and fine.
The taste is tighter than the nose leads you to believe with perky tannins and a fine warm cherry fruit with notes of dried mushrooms, rosehips, bonfire and moist earth. A very long finish. This is drinking great, although I would guess it should be even better in 3-5 years time. Very, very long.
94p   (tasted 2013/03)

What a lineup! :-)
And upcoming saturday I will taste this Gaja wine, along with 13 other 1997 Brunello´s - report will follow!

Monday 11 March 2013

Tasting Sample - 2010 The Game Reserve, Graham Beck

This is my first tasting sample, sent by Primewine group.
First some basic rules about tasting samples:
* I accept tasting samples
* However, I don´t accept crap, for example bag in box wines (you don´t drink wine that come out of a plastic bag, it is as simple as that)
* I decide if I post a tasting note or not
* I taste it in the same way as I have bought it myself - if I like it I will say so, if I don´t like it I will say so
* I have no interest in any wine affiliated business what so ever

Ok then, over to the wine in question.

2010 The Game Reserve, Graham Beck
This South African Shiraz (93%) and Viognier (7%) blend opens a bit shy with some notes of bluberry bushes, plums and a touch of bonfire. With an hour in a decanter it has open up in a nice way with some additional notes of crushed white peppars, blackberries and rosemary. Not that deep but very nice.
The taste is cool, fresh and medium bodied with notes of blueberries, dried herbs, lightly peppered meat and some sawdust - the latter from the oak treatment, which could have been a tad lighter.
The finish is medium long, a little on the light side but fresh and good. An easy drinking Syrah that surely would fit well with some grilled meat later this summer. Today it was paired with a pasta gratin with lamb sausage and parmesan, and that worked well. For 75 SKR/9 Euro it is well worth the money.
84p   (tasted 2013/03)