Sunday 30 June 2013

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

Time for Brunello history. There is still bottles of Biondi-Santi 1888 Riserva in existence at the estate. You can buy the 1891 for 6.000 Euro, if you have the urge...

Ferrucio Biondi Santi is credited as the father and inventor of modern Brunello, by making a wine solely of Sangiovese, making a full bodied wine with aging potential and bottling the wine on the estate and labelling it Brunello, the first vintage being the 1888 mentioned above. All this decades before anyone else did.

His son, Tancredi Biondi Santi took over the estate in 1917 and improved things even more. He also created the library with old vintages, which still exist today.
Tancredis son, Franco Biondi Santi took over in 1970 and was in charge when the bottle below was made. He died earlier this year, 91 years old.
Info here, here and here.

1980 Brunello di Montalcino "Il Greppo", Biondi-Santi
When opened it feels a bit feeble and over mature. But as so many times before, with air it calms down, comes together and fine aromas of ripe red cherries, violets, pipe tobacco, rose petals and autumn leaves rises from the glass. There is a fine maturity here, combined with a low key elegance. Black tea leaves and a touch of veal stock after a while. Not that complex but very fine.
The taste is medium big, mature and a bit high strung. There is some fine red fruit here in the shape of red cherries, lingonberries and some unripe raspberries. Then there is a rather high acidity that overwhelms the fruit. The finish is medium long and ends on the dry side of things. With deer filets, a red wine sauce and ceps it behaved nicely but on its own it is a tad dry and acidic. The nose is much better than the taste.
82p   (tasted 2013/06)

Friday 28 June 2013

Lunch Tasting With Paul Draper & Six Vintages of Monte Bello

Yet again, VinUnic arranged a stunning lunch, this time with legend Paul Draper from Ridge present. He is now doing his 44th year at Ridge - that´s impressive! And what about the the stunning Monte Bello´s he have crafted during those years - my fondest memories are of the 1984, 1985 and 1991, so far...
It was a pure joy listening to Paul Draper and his wine making philosophy.
There are tons of info on the net about Ridge and Paul Draper - here are a few: Vintomas and Puttes Vinspalt (both in Swedish), A Ridge Blog, From Wikipedia, and of course Ridge.

More impressions here and here.

2005 Cristal (magnum)
I felt like a hip hop star, sipping Cristal from magnums...but I´m not complaining (even though I would rather have my arms and legs chopped of than have anything to do with hip hop).
Anyway, this bubbly has a fresh, elegant nose with notes of  grapefruit, melon, yellow pears, elderberries and freshly washed clothes drying in the wind. Very fine.
The taste is clean as a whistle with notes of grapefruit, grass, lemon cream and lots of minerals. Medium long and fresh. Very, very good although I have had better vintages of Cristal.
92p   (tasted 2013/06)

2011 Ridge Estate Chardonnay
A fine, deep, buttery nose with lots of nerve and spice. It has an fine balance and lovely notes of passion fruits, summer flowers, warm grass and smoke. A fine depth.
The taste is big and juicy but with a lot of interest and structure. Sweet notes of melon, lemon cream, summer flowers and cap gun smoke. A fine acidity that shows itself in the finish. A very creamy texture. Really fine.
91p   (tasted 2013/06)

2011 Ridge Lytton Springs
A warm, upfront, nice nose with notes of sweet blueberries, christmas spices, bonfire, dark butter biscuits and allspice. Nice enough but without real character.
The taste is warm, spicy and good with lots of blueberry and blackberry fruit with some earthy notes tossed in. Nice but lacks precision and focus. 82% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 2% Carignane.
85p   (tasted 2013/06)

2011 Ridge Geyserville
The Geyserville have what the Lytton Spring is missing - character. The nose is warm, deep and with extra dimensions in the form of a delicious blueberry pie, bonfire, lingonberries bushes and warm earth. Very good.
The taste is tight, warm and smooth with notes of allspice sprinkled blueberries, bonfire, hot earth and a touch of vanilla pods. Very pure. The finish is long and warm. Would love to drink this in 5-8 years time. 78% Zinfandel, 16% Carignane, 4% Petite Sirah, 1% Alicante Bouschet, 1% Mataro.
90p   (tasted 2013/06)

2001 Ridge Geyserville
This has gone to far - a big, overripe, burned nose with notes of black raisins, bonfire, masonite and figs. Too hot, too unfocused, too dry. There is some depth, but this doesn´t please me.
The taste confirms the dryness, it is big, warm and unbalanced with dried blueberries, raisins and hot earth. The tannins dries the mouth out in the finish. It reminds me of an mature, unbalanced, hot Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Not my cup of tea. 74% Zinfandel, 18% Carignane, 8% Petit Shiraz.
71p   (tasted 2013/06)

2010 Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
A young, fresh, promising nose with upfront notes of ripe black currants, coffee powder, leather and some stables in a distance. Cool and fine.
The taste is tight, pure and gratifying with notes of fresh blueberries, black currant leaves, dark chocolate and cold coffee. A medium long, fine finish. This is a fine drinking Cabernet and for 38 Euro it is well worth the money.
91p   (tasted 2013/06)

2012 Ridge Monte Bello
This barrel sample has an immensely deep, tight and focused nose with gorgeous notes of sweet black currants, blueberries, graphite, ginger and hyacinths. Very elegant. This is very, very promising.
The taste is young, concentrated and intense with beautiful black currant fruit with notes of lead pencil, new leather and sugared coffe tossed in. The finish is long and impressive. This will be a beauty. Since it is not bottled yet, my score gets a question mark.
94p?   (tasted 2013/06)

2011 Ridge Monte Bello
A deep, tight, fresh nose with notes of sweet black currants, cigarette ashes, graphite and a gorgeous floral note. After some air a refined perfumed note emerges. Stunning!
The taste is pure, tight and young with notes of black currant and blueberry pie, warm tiles, coffee and sweet minerals. Very long and structured. Great stuff.
93p   (tasted 2013/06)

2009 Ridge Monte Bello
The 2009 vintage is a stunner! The nose that greats you is deep, powerful yet elegant with gorgeous notes of ripe black currants, warm earth, new leather and that same perfumed note as in the 2011, but this time even better. Just lovely!
The taste is tight, intense and concentrated with notes of blueberries, black currants, dark chocolate, coffee beans and hyacinth. Pure, cool and complex. Very, very long. A beautiful wine.
72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot.
95p   (tasted 2013/06)

2006 Ridge Monte Bello
The 2006 has a warmer structure and is more "jammy", although one thing you can´t associate with Ridge is really jammy wines. Sweet notes of blueberry pie, dark fudge, hot earth and a touch of mint. Very good but not in the league of the others.
The taste is big, warm and yummy  with notes of sweet blueberries, dark chocolate, sugared coffee and hot earth. The finish is long, warm and intense. There is a touch of alcohol warmth in the end of the finish. A really good wine all the same, it just have some serious competition...
68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc.
89p   (tasted 2013/06)

2005 Ridge Monte Bello
Like this show stopper, the best of the bunch. The nose is a revelation with its gorgeous black currants fruit intermingled with notes of cranberries, Valrhona chocolate (64%!), cigarette ashes, some autumn leaves and sweet coffee. Bottomless deep and hauntingly beautiful.
The taste is tight, intense and flat out marvellous with notes of ripe black currants, graphite, chocolate truffles, autumn leaves and lots and lots of sweet minerals. This gorgeous creature combines balance, power, structure and hedonism. I must get me some of this...
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc.
97p   (tasted 2013/06)

2004 Ridge Monte Bello
I was looking forward to this vintage but there was something wrong with the bottle that was poured at our table - hot, almost cooked flavours and very, very dry in the mouth. At the next the table their bottle was corked. Too bad.
Not rated   (tasted 2013/06)

Wednesday 26 June 2013

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

At our Midsummer feast we also opened four bottles of Brunello to go along with the home made burgers. This became a really impressive line up!

1997 Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli, Altesino
On the vertical tasting of 1997 Brunello´s earlier this year, the Montosoli from Altesino was badly corked. It was nice to get to taste a fine bottle.
The nose is deep, round and mature with sweet notes of ripe black cherries, dried flowers, veal stock and dark fudge. Very deep and perfectly mature.
The taste is tighter than the nose leads me to believe, with masses of muscovado sugar sprinkled black cherries wrapped in sandy tannins and a long, warm, intense finish. Lots of licorice, violet candy and warm gravel. Long and fine. This has matured very well and is ready for prime time drinking.
92p   (tasted 2013/06)

1999 Brunello di Montalcino, Fanti Tenuta San Filippo
Apparently have The Sucker (aka James Suckling...) given this Brunello 99p. He wasn´t right this time either, but not as far from that he usually is... A new producer for me. Info here.
A deep, pure, gorgeous nose greats me when I put my nose in to the glass. Lovely notes of rosemary marinated cherries (what is that!), licorice, rosehips, tea leaves and Tuscan road dust. Very refined. Almost profound. Great wine.
The taste is both structured, elegant and decadent at the same time with lovingly sweet cherry fruit paired with perky tannins and a long, balanced finish. Notes of licorice, rosemary, violets and gravel. A really handsome wine. With 3-5 years more in the cellar this could almost reach Suckers rating.
94p   (tasted 2013/06)

1982 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Poggio Al Vento, Col d´Orcia
What a debut! This first vintage of Poggio Al Vento is a masterpiece. The nose is deep and complex and filled with beautiful notes of ripe red cherries, dried flowers, clay, orange peel, coffee beans, wet tea leaves and forest floor. Just stunning. Freshly poured its gorgeous, with two hours in the glass it is radiant, and it keeps that way all night long and also day two. What a wine!
The taste is tight, intense and concentrated, yet it flows like silk over the tongue. Lots and lots of ripe red cherries, roses, violets, summer warm gravel, licorice and a hint of coffe. There is still some polished tannins lurking in the end of the finish. This is a stunner! One of the best wines so far this year.
97p   (tasted 2013/06)

2004 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Poggio Al Vento, Col d´Orcia
A really interesting comparison, to have the 22 year younger sibling in the next glass. And this is no slouch neither! The nose is more upfront with notes of freshly matured cherries, fresh herbs, licorice and a touch of bonfire. But interesting enough there is some notes that resembles the 1982, there is (almost) the same scent of orange peels and coffee beans as in the older version. A very high, pure nose. Sooo young, but you can feel that this is going places. Very, very fine.
The taste is very tight, young and relentless in its concentration and power. But there is sweet, gorgeous fruit here also. And additional notes of licorice, herbs, sugared tea and hot gravel. The finish goes on and on and on. In the end - today - the tannins wins the match, but I´m certain that this in due course will rival the 1982 in quality. I know I will buy more of this.
93p   (tasted 2013/06)

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Second Rosé This Summer

It has so far been a slow rosé season, but I have now bought some bottles and will go through them the next couple of weeks.
You´re not suppose to like rosé wines if you pretend to be a true connoisseur....but I´m too old to care about what I should like and what I am supposed to dislike.
I like - well made mind you! - rosé wines, and they do go very well with the lighter food we eat in the summer time - no Beef Wellington until autumn!

2012 Rouviere, Château Routas
The blend is 45% Cinsault, 35% Grenache and 20% Syrah. The nose is open, light and fresh with notes of wild strawberries, rhubarb, red currants and road dust. At first very nice and almost refined. But with air and warmth it gets a bit candy like and the fruit feels more man made than by the old mighty.
The taste is dry and fresh with notes of not yet ripe raspberries, rhubarb, licorice and gravel. In the medium long finish there is a hint of white peppar. Very good.
The taste is better than the nose and when drinking and sniffing it at 11-12 degrees it is a fine rosé from Provence. But don´t let it get too warm! Info here.
85p   (tasted 2013/06)

Sunday 23 June 2013

A Midsummers Feast!

Like last year we had good luck with the weather gods (not to be confused with the Metal gods...) - sunny and warm. Perfect for a lunch out by the sea with some antipasti and bottles of Riesling!

1997 Mussbacher Eselhaut Riesling Spätlese Trocken, Müller-Catoir
A fine, mature, medium deep nose with notes of dried apricots, yellow pears, slate and a petrol station. Very a point. Racy and fine.
The taste is tight, dry and fresh with notes of grapefruit, pear and lots of crushed rocks. A fine acidity. This has matured well. I remember that these bottles was hard as nails when I bought them some 10 years ago. Time has done them well.
89p   (tasted 2013/06)

2006 Westhofen Kirchspiel Riesling Trocken, Keller
The 2008 & 2009 was magic not long ago, and this somewhat older sibling was as magical as those. A cool, deep, pure nose with notes of ripe yellow fruit, smoke, wet asphalt, grapefruit and cap gun smoke. A very creamy nose. Deep and beautiful.
The taste is young, intense and spicy with notes of grapefruit, lime peel, star fruits, ginger and chalk. A stunning acidity shows itself all through the long, long finish. Very, very fine.
93p   (tasted 2013/06)

2002 Furstenstum Grand Cru Riesling, Albert Mann
A big, semi dry, creamy nose with notes of warm hay, sweet summer flowers, peaches and a touch of licorice. Some waxy notes.
The taste is big, tight and intense with lots of sweet yellow fruit and some residual sweetness. The acidity isn´t really up to par with the fruit. Very long. Quality wise a good wine but not my cup of tea.
85p   (tasted 2013/06)

Back home we started to prepare dinner. First out was scallops with a sweet potato aioli. With that dish more white wines were opened!
2007 Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon, Cullen
A bit shy nose at first with notes of gooseberries, ripe green apples, dry marzipan and some rubbery aromas. Medium deep and fine, but a bit elusive.
The taste is tight, fresh and warm with notes of almond paste, green apples, oil cloth and sun warm tiles. A good length with a fine acidity. There is some warmth in the finish. Very good.
88p   (tasted 2013/06)

2007 Norheimer Dellchen Riesling Spätlese Auction, Dönnhoff
This auction bottle is a stunner! A hauntingly deep, focused and pure nose with notes of white currants, lemon peel, chalk and William pears. Soooo fine and elegant. Stunning!
The taste is pure, elegant and fresh with notes of lemon cream, lemon peel, lots of slate and an impressive acidity. The finish is counted in minutes. A beauty!
94p   (tasted 2013/06)

2004 Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières, Sauzet
Another beauty is poured! This needs some time in the glass until it unfolds into a racy, complex white Burgundy. A deep, elegant nose with notes of white peaches, cold butter, blood oranges, melon and cap gun smoke. Very, very deep and fine.
The taste is taut, racy and lip smacking good with notes of butter fried nuts, peaches, smoke and summer flowers. Very long, cool and refined. This is a great bottle of Chardonnay!
94p   (tasted 2013/06)

For main course we had home made burgers that were grilled to perfection and with them we had a smattering of fixings. Six bottles of red wine were opened to go along. In addition to those below we had four bottles of Brunello, but those will be posted in a separate post.

2007 Spitzerberg, Muhr - van der Niepoort
This 100% Blaufränkisch jumps out of the glass with notes of blueberries, rowanberries, balsa wood and lots of high floral aromas. Very fresh and juicy.
The taste is cool, tight and very fresh with notes of blueberries, lingonberries, forest floor and dried spices. A high, fresh acidity. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2013/06)

2007 Musmeci, Tenuta di Fessina
A young, cool, fresh nose with notes of red currants, not yet ripe raspberries, earth, rosehips and lots of minerals. Very pure and fine. A lovely upfront juicy nose.
The taste is tight, concentrated and fine with notes of red currants, rosehips, iron and dry raspberries. Young, sandy tannins that leaves a distinctive mark in the end of the taste. Could still use some years in the cellar but this is a fine bottle of Nerello Mascalese today.
91p   (tasted 2013/06)

And we finished things of with a strawberry cheesecake and a bottle of
1985 Vouvray Moelleux Le Mont, Huet
A semi mature, fresh and pure nose with notes of dried apricots, dried honey, oil cloth, red apples and some vanilla pod notes. Very fresh for its age. Deep and fine.
The taste is sleek, pure and lovely with creamy yellow fruit paired with a stunning acidity and a long, long finish. Notes of blood oranges, oil cloth, warm hay and lemon peel. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2013/06)

Thursday 20 June 2013

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

I have had two vintages of La Gerla prior to these two bottles - the 2007 a year ago and the 1997 Vigna gli Angeli a month ago.
Both those bottles were just up my Brunello alley, so I had high expectations when I pulled the corks out of these bottles.

1985 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna gli Angeli, La Gerla
A gorgeous, mellow and mature nose with notes of rowanberries, ripe red cherries, licorice, veal meat, bonfire and rose petals. Deep, elegant and complex. Very, very fine. This has matured very gracefully. Just beautiful.
The taste is like drinking velvet, with notes of sweet red and black cherries, licorice, tobacco, bonfire and some black olives. A very long, soft but still intense finish with a perfect dryness. A very fine warmth. In a perfect drinking phase. Great wine!
95p   (tasted 2013/06)

1990 Brunello di Montalcino, La Gerla
This on the other hand isn´t fully mature yet. A warmer, more powerful nose meets you when you stick your nose into the glass, with notes of ripe black cherries, chocolate truffles, cigar ashes, sweet violets and a bonfire. A lot of warmth, but in a good sense. Very deep. Sweet and fine.
The taste is pure, tight and with lots of tannins, warmth and intensity. Notes of black cherries, dark chocolate, black olives, violets, pressed flowers and smoke flows over the tongue. There is lots of steady tannins in the finish. Impressive, but I wonder if it will reach the harmony and finesse of the 1985 Vigna gli Angeli when fully mature, or will it dry out before reaching that point?
92p   (tasted 2013/06)

And tomorrow it is yet another Midsummers feast, with hopefully a bunch of great bottles, among others a couple of Brunello´s.....stay tuned!

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Just Bought

I hope that these two gentlemen and myself will agree on this bottle when opened...:-)

"...medium sweet but with a good rich flavour, quite powerful, with a hot alcoholic finish and a crisp ´37 acidity"   (Michael Broadbent: Vintage Wine, last tasted June 2000)

"Clean, sweet, elegant and with evidence of plenty of noble rot. Inevitably the concentration has loosened a little now but a fine wine nevertheless"   (Clive Coates: Grands Vins)

Sunday 16 June 2013

Then & Now - 1964 & 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Ogier

I recently bought a handy three pack of 1964 Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Ogier. Interesting enough it is two different bottles shapes...two of the bigger and one of the smaller bottle.

And on the state monopoly there was the 2010, so why not pair the two vintages, 46 years apart, together over Saturday dinner!
Info here.

1964 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve, H. Ogier & Fils
Poured right out of the bottle it looks very pale, but the scents that rise from the glass are anything but fragile. A big, brawny, sweet nose with notes of dried strawberries, muscovado sugar, wet pipe tobacco, dried flowers and a touch of wet dog. After a while a whole autumn forest oozes up from the glass.
The taste is big, warm and spicy with lots of dried berries, cold coffee, autumn forest, old chocolate and tobacco. A very long, warm, fine finish. The tannins have all melted away. Not that complex but a yummy mouthful of mature Châteauneuf.
87p   (tasted 2013/06)

2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Clos de L´Oratoire des Papes, Ogier
And now for something completely different - A young, upfront, fiery, in your face kind of nose with notes of hot blueberries, rosehips, warm rosemary, white pepper and meat stock. After an hour in a decanter the same autumn forest aromas as in the 64, albeit younger, emerges - interesting! A fine warm spicy scent. Deep. This needs time. The nose is very good.
The taste is on the other hand a bit unbalanced with fiery, dry tannins, a big, strapping fruit and a long, hot finish. Lots of cooked dark cherries, blueberries, rosemary and dark chocolate. Very, very long. Ends with a alcohol stick. Needs plenty of time, and it will hopefully become more integrated. It have been standing in a open decanter since last night - will get back to it in a couple of hours and see what have happened, but for the showing last night it gets
82p   (tasted 2013/06)

Friday 14 June 2013

Yet Another Bargain - NV Graham Beck Brut Rosé

This was handed out to me by Prime Wine as a tasting sample. I opened it tonight when we was having a shrimp cocktail as appetizer, and while not being a grand vin it behaved very nice with that dish.

NV Graham Beck Brut Rosé
The nose needs some coaxing of the glass to get some aromas of wild strawberries, not yet ripe raspberries, rhubarb and a hint of cap gun smoke. Not that deep but with a nice character.
The taste is smooth, pure and cool with notes of lingonberries, raspberries, blood oranges, earth and some steely flavours. There is a fine dryness at the end of the taste, that in all honesty is rather short. But with the shrimp cocktail it performed without complaint, especially after that I had mixed in a few drops of blood orange juice into the shrimp cocktail. Then in was a great match. And for approximately 12  Euro it is definitely a bargain.
85p   (tasted 2013/06)

Thursday 13 June 2013

A Fine White Bordeaux - 2010 Château Larrivet Haut-Brion

Many talk about them, almost everybody agrees that they are great wines, but nearly nobody seems to drink them. I am of course talking about white (dry) Bordeaux. I scan lots ot wine blogs, wine forums etc and it is seldom that you see notes of white Bordeaux. And it is the same here...
But here is one, and a great one at that! :)

2010 Château Larrivet Haut-Brion
A big, tight and focused nose with gorgeous notes of tangerines, dried lemoncello, a bit of Tahiti vanilla, smoke and a fine earthy aroma. Very deep and complex. A touch of band-aid, in a positive sense. Oily yet refined. Very, very fine.
The taste is a big mouthful of pure, concentrated Semillon (40%) and Sauvignon Blanc (60%) fruit with lovely notes of lemon cream, white peaches, apricots, fudge, lemoncello and a touch of matchbox. It has an oily touch and flows fine over the tongue. A long, long finish with warmth, structure and a fine acidity at the very end. Very young and very promising. And impossible to resist today. Striking!
93p   (tasted 2013/06)

Monday 10 June 2013

Metal & Miscellaneous Bottles

Again, home from four heavy days at Sweden Rock Festival, the best Metal festival in Sweden, and possibly the world. Among the 33.000 big crowd there were visitors from 56 different countries.
And yet again, there was mostly American, Belgian and Swedish beers and whisky that made up the liquid diet...

Some of the highlights of the 80+ concerts were:
Demon - my old favourites, they performed a solid concert with a lot of old stuff, like this one from their debut album from 1981 -

Huntress - a new acquaintance, but what a voice Jill Janus had live, impressive!

Five Finger Death Punch - without a doubt the best band/public interaction, will see them again in November!

Amon Amarth - these Swedish Vikings really put on a big show in the dark Swedish night -

Asia - some 80´s AOR is never wrong and Asia performed lots of the good old stuff -

Saxon - we had to wait until the end of the concert, but then the best song came -

Accept - it is really a Metal disease, and I got it bad...

Rush  - the power trio from Canada is always perfect live, this time with an (even more) amazing show -

But this is apparently a wine blog, so over to some miscellaneous bottles tasted over the last weeks.

2010 Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara Chardonnay
This usually performs well in every vintage, and this is no exception. The nose is medium big with notes of ripe red apples, butter biscuits, summer flowers, fudge and some smoke. Nice but without much depth.
The taste is creamy, fine and nicely structured with notes of grilled lemons, yellow apples, smoke and sweet summer flowers. Fairly long. Very good. Should be drunk sooner than later though.
87p   (tasted 2013/05)

2012 Château Bonnet
Event though I have had multiple vintages of the Au Bon Climat above, I must have tasted around 20 vintages of the white Château Bonnet. It has always been a wine that have performed above its price (it now cost about 10 Euro), but I think that this vintage is the best I have ever tasted.
The nose is pure, crisp and salivating with notes of chives, gooseberries, white currants, freshly cut grass and a touch of licorice. Very, very fresh and immediately likable. Very, very good.
The taste is cool, fresh and light, but with lots of fine notes of white flowers, gooseberries, white chocolate and grass. A fine, fresh acidity. This is sooo gulpable!
87p   (tasted 2013/05)

2001 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese, Joh. Jos. Prüm
A very fine, elegant, pure nose with some maturity and lovely notes of white peaches, William pears, sweet hay and lots and lots of minerals. A gorgeous purity. The fine after-the-rain scent that signals great, maturing Riesling. Very deep.
The taste is fine, elegant and semi dry, with notes of ripe pears, yellow apples, smoke and crushes rocks. A finely tuned acidity. Long and refined. On its way to maturity which it should reach in 5-8 years.
92p   (tasted 2013/05)

2010 Rosso di Montalcino, Campi di Fonterenza
A young, fresh nose with notes of lingonberries, blueberries, cherry pips, licorice and some herbal scents. Upfront and juicy, but without much depth. Cool and nice.
The taste is young, tight and juicy with notes of lingonberries, red cherries, mixed herbs and licorice. Uncomplicated but very gulpable - the whole bottle just vanished! Should get even better with 2-3 years in the cellar. But at 27 Euros it is, at least today, too expensive.
86p   (tasted 2013/05)

Monday 3 June 2013

15 Magnum Bonanza!

A couple of weeks ago, Peter sent a mail to a bunch of wine geeks and asked if there were any interest in a BYOM - Bring Your Own Magnum - get together. Of course there was!

And then, on a Thursday evening, 14 wine aficionados met up at a MFW, bringing 15 magnums to the table. The set up was easy enough, three flights - the first with four Champagnes, then two flights with red wines.
It became a fun night with a lot of interesting wines! And besides all Freudian slips, there are something extra with a wine out of a magnum...
All tasted double blind.

Flight 1
NV Pierre Peters Blanc de Blancs (magnum)
Bought in 2005 according to the bringer, probably based on vintages between 1996 and 2000. The nose is fine, cool and elegant with notes of starfruit, butter biscuits, tangerine and a touch of vanilla. Very good.
The taste is pure, elegant and with a hint of maturity. A fine sweetness to the fruit. Fine notes of lemon cream, dry fudge and wet rocks. A fine acidity. A medium long finish. Drinking great today but could surely be kept for 10+ years.
89p   (tasted 2013/05)

1996 Palmer & Co (magnum)
An open, sexy, creamy nose with lovely notes of freshly baked bread, red currants, cap gun smoke and a touch of rubber. Very, very fine. A touch of maturity.
The taste is tight, intense and creamy with notes of red and white currants, toasted bread, crushed rocks and lime cream. A long, fresh finish with a fine acidity. This should turn out even greater with 4-6 years in the cellar, but it is a gorgeous mouthful of Champagne today.
93p   (tasted 2013/05)

1996 Henriot (magnum)
Bottles of 1996 Henriot have been a hit or a miss, it is irritating with that kind of bottle variation, keeping in mind that don´t come that cheap. This magnum is somewhere in the middle of those previous ones - not great but not bad either. The nose is cool, creamy and medium deep with notes of red apples, warm grass and smoke. Good but uncomplicated.
The taste is better with a fine mousse and notes of toasted bread, red apples, dry fudge and warm gravel. The finish is medium long and rather fresh. Good but that´s it.
85p   (tasted 2013/05)

NV De Venoge Rosé (magnum)
This was an interesting bottle, a NV Rosé bought in 1985 and probably from the late 70´s. This one divided the crowd, those who thought it over the hill and those, me included, that thought that it was a fine example of mature Champagne.
The nose is open, warm and just stunning with its aromas of mature, autumn apples, almond paste, wet asphalt, root vegetables and pine nuts. Fascinating. Very, very good.
The taste is big, warm, round and mature with notes of apple pie, dry cookies, almond paste, autumn leaves and a hint of dried strawberries. The finish is long, ripe and velvety. A treat to drink.
90p   (tasted 2013/05)

Flight 2
2001 Imperial Gran Reserva, CVNE (magnum)
A big, open, fruity nose with notes of black fruit, a touch of pepper, some smoke and eucalyptus scented wood. Medium deep. Lacks focus. Good fruit though.
The taste is big, warm and mature with notes of blueberries and black cherries that have been sprinkled with vanilla powder and toothpaste. Even though Rioja was one of the things that got me started 20+ years ago, the modern ones can´t get my taste buds to salivate. Nothing wrong, but nothing right either.
80p   (tasted 2013/05)

2001 Kurni, Oasi degli Angeli (magnum)
This 100% Montepulciano opens with a fine, deep, seedy nose with notes of black cherries, rosehips, violets, balsa wood and blueberry bushes. A fine depth. Very, very good.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of sweet dark cherries, rosehips, warm gravel and a touch of dark chocolate. The finish is long and warm. This is still young and will surely evolve nicely over the coming 6-8 years.
90p   (tasted 2013/05)

1997 Barolo Bussia, Prunotto (magnum)
This was my contrubution and there were instantly some remarks of "aged Nebbiolo"...The nose is a tad mature with notes of dried cherries, rose petals, undergrowth, dried mushrooms and rosehips. A nice spiciness to it. Medium deep. A fine sweetness to the fruit. Very, very good.
The taste is tighter and more seedy than the nose with notes of red beets, dried cherries, mushroom forest and licorice. A fine, taut structure. Somewhat mature, but this should still evolve with age, for at least 6-8 years.
90p   (tasted 2013/05)

2000 Domaine de Courteillac (magnum)
This predominantly Merlot wine opens with a shy nose of red currants, grass and gravel, leading me to a Cabernet Franc based wine. But with air the fruit thickens and some plums and blueberries show themselves alongside notes of autumn leaves, cigarette ashes and old leather. A medium bodied nose that is nice but without depth.
The taste is structured and linear with notes of red currants, blueberry bushes, old leather and warm earth. The finish is medium long and with a nice warmth. A good wine but it lacks charm.
84p   (tasted 2013/05)

1996 Château Kirwan (magnum)
What a classic Bordeaux nose! From the glass aromas of ripe black currants, coffee, grapthite, leather and freah stables oozes up. Semi mature with a fine coolness to the fruit. Very classic and fine.
The taste is full of the classic markers - black currants, pencil shavings, ceder and stables. A long, elegant finish with a glimpse of still juicy tannins. Very, very fine. Should still evolve (at least inn a magnum) for 5+ years.
92p   (tasted 2013/05)

1997 Ben Glaetzer Shiraz (magnum)
This is the predecessor to Amon-Ra, a wine that I have tasted on a few occasions. Although not a big favourite of mine, the Amon-Ra is miles ahead of this train wreck.
The nose is overly sweet and all over the place with notes of cherries and blackberries cooked in hard liquor with vanilla pods and toothpaste... Lots and lots of VA. Sounds good, huh? Nope.
The taste is big, sweet and overpowering with the fruit, acidity and tannins all playing different instrument, just like impromptu jazz, totally incomprehensible, or in this case, totally undrinkable. The finish goes on for long (too long) and is cloying, hot and with drying tannins. Almost sickly.
58p   (tasted 2013/05)

Flight 3
2003 l´Esprit de Font Caude, Alain Chabanon (magnum)
This blend of 55% Syrah, 37% Mourverdre and 8% Grenache has a cool, deep, tight nose with notes of ripe blueberries, dark cherries, meat stock and a touch of cocoa. Warm but not overly so. Deep and fine. Still young.
The taste is young, warm and intense with notes of ripe blueberries, lingonberries, thyme, warm gravel and old leather. A long, warm finish with a lot of oomph. Still young, this needs another 4-6 years in the cellar. Very, very good.
89p   (tasted 2013/05)

2004 Prado Enea Gran Reserva, Muga (magnum)
A warm, fruity, somewhat anonymous nose with notes of red and black fruit, licorice, black peppar and lavender. A good sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is also anonymous - there is fine, sweet fruit here and the tannins does a fine job holding it together, but where is the character, the personality? Qualitywise a good wine but it is bland.
83p   (tasted 2013/05)

2004 Mas de Daume Gassac (magnum)
This old acquaintance has a fresh, seedy, herbal nose with notes of red currants, cherries, mushrooms, undergrowth and some spicy sausages. Not that deep but very good in a traditional way.
The taste is big, warm and mouthfilling with sturdy red fruit and notes of earth, dry chocolate and fried herbs. The tannins creep up in the finish and leaves the mouth dry. This needs some more time. But very good in a old fashion style.
87p   (tasted 2013/05)

2006 Château Lanessan (magnum)
A cool, elegant, fairly light nose with some interesting aromas of sweet lingonberries, red currants, graphite, road dust and some smoky notes. Not very expressive, but elegant and poised. Very young.
The taste is cool, tight and seedy with notes of red currants, lingonberries, herbs, leather and a touch of iodine. It has a nice flow about it. Very drinkable albeit very young. This should turn out nicely with 5+ years in the cellar.
89p   (tasted 2013/05)

2008 Don Maximino Founder´s Reserve, Errazuriz (magnum)
Lo and behold! If anyone would have said beforehand that I would put a Chilean wine in top at this tasting (alongside the 96 Palmer), I wouldn´t have believed it. But that´s blind tasting for you...
The nose is deep, powerful and yet very polished with gorgeous notes of ripe black currants, raspberries, dark chocolate, fresh rosemary, new leather and some expensive new oak (it gets 22 months in french barrels, of which 81% is new). Very deep and yummy!
The taste is intense, broad and great, with lovingly sweet, decadent but firm fruit, in the shape of black currants, blackberries and notes of dark chocolate, graphite, warm herbs and cigarr smoke. Concentrated, pure and just lovely!
93p   (tasted 2013/05)

As an extra wine to close the eveing, Niklas presented this beauty.
1987 Sercial "Canteiro", Artur de Barrose e Sousa
A piercing, intense, gorgeous nose with notes of decaying apples, orange peel, band-aid, green bananas, dried flowers and stale coca-cola - very complex and utterly captivating.
The taste is intense, laser focused and very, very long with notes of nuts, wet tea bags, dried flowers and some rubbery notes. A fine dry sweetness. Very, very good. A perfect ending of this evening!
91p   (tasted 2013/05)