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)

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