Tuesday 29 April 2014

A Great Grüner!

I drink Grüner Veltliner to seldom. And when I have done, I have to rarely come across really great ones. But this bottle was just that.
And it is the debut vintage. That is promising for the future.
The wine maker is Cristoph Hoch. He comes from a wine maker family that originates from the region and can trace their history back to 1640.
The vines in Hollenburg in Kremstal is twenty years old and Christoph is in the process of shifting the vinryard into a organic, biodynamic production.
And what about the wine then?

2012 Hollenburger Grüner Veltliner, Christoph Hoch
The nose is young, fresh and lively with notes of gooseberries, an array of summer flowers, ginger, grass and  crushed white peppers. Refined. It has depth and intensity too. Really fine.
The taste is young, cool, elegant and almost creamy with notes of lime, white currants, summer flowers, grass, a touch of wild strawberries and white pepper. Fresh as a daisy. Very refreshing. Long and classy. This is a great Grüner.
91p   (tasted 2014/04)


Sunday 27 April 2014

Two More 1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The view from working at the the grill with a glass of Vieux Télégraphe
I keep on diminishing my stash of 1998 Châteauneuf´s. These time two Vieux wines - Vieux Lazaret and Vieux Télégraphe.
According to you-know-who it would be a slam dunk victory for the Télégraphe - and for ones he was right...

1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine Vieux Lazaret
This should have been drunk years ago. The nose is big, cooked and kind of flabby with notes of Cherry Heering, resin, fried herbs, raspberry jam and sweet liquorice. It doesn´t keep things together, the nose is all over the place. Too warm.
The taste is like drinking Cheery Heering...with some added notes of hot herbs, liquorice and undergrowth. The alcohol is predominant in the finish. Works ok with a big slice of grilled beef but no fun on its own. Again, should have be drunk years ago.
77p   (tasted 2014/04)

1998 Châtauneuf-du-Pape La Crau, Domaine Vieux Télégraphe
What a difference! A deep, focused, broad nose with notes of ripe black cherries, raspberry truffles, garrigue, salmiak, leather, fresh rosemary and some deeply scented veal stock. Really deep and complex. Gorgeous.
The taste is big, steady and mouth filling with beautiful ripe, black fruit, a bold structure and there are still some firm tannins here. A long, intense finish with notes of raspberry truffles, rosemary, autumn leaves and leather. Very, very fine. This is entering maturity but there is no need to hurry up and drink any remaining bottles.
93p   (tasted 2014/04

Earlier tasting notes of 1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape here:

Saturday 26 April 2014

A Bottle Of Riesling & A Piece Of Cod

Sometimes, well almost always when I think about it, life is good. And in this way, simple. A nice piece of cod and a bottle of Riesling. What else do you need?

2009 Norheimer Dellchen Riesling Trocken, Jakob Schneider
An open, spicy, fresh nose with notes of sweet/sour lemon, tangerines, a lot of iron, some dried tropical fruits, pickled ginger and minerals. A little nutty after a while in the glass. Medium deep. Very good.
The taste is younger than the nose with a tight acidity paired with notes of lemon peel, seafood shells, iron, dried pears and a touch of banana peel. Long and fine. With the cod it performed great and the combination was, just then and there, perfect.
88p   (tasted 2014/04)


Wednesday 23 April 2014

A Beautifully Aged Burgundy - 1964 Mazis-Chambertin, Remoissenet

Another Easter bottle that performed in an excellent manner. I could drink more mature wines from Remoissenet - a 1993 Montrachet was equally great a while back.

1964 Mazis-Chambertin, Remoissenet
What a nose! A deep, refined, old vine nose with gorgeous notes of dried strawberries, veal stock, pipe tobacco, rosehip marmalade, a fresh forest floor with some mushrooms and fried root vegetables. Deep and profound. This has matured in a stately manner. Grace and charm. Really fine.
The taste is like drinking velvet with just the right amount of acidity and backbone. The fruit is a bit darker in the taste, with black cherries, wild strawberries and ripe raspberries. The finish lingers on for minutes with notes of raspberry truffles, sugared coffee and forest floor. Ample and fine. Old vine style, it resembles some fine bottles of Burgundies from the 40`s that I have tasted. Grand vin!
96p   (tasted 2014/04)

Tuesday 22 April 2014

2008 Puligny-Montrachet Les Referts, Domaine Bachelet-Monnot

Opened this beauty over the Easter holiday. While not as great as their 2009 Batard-Montrachet, it was a sheer joy to drink.

2008 Puligny-Montrachet Les Referts, Domaine Bachelet-Monnot
A lovely smoky Puligny scent flows out from the glass alongside notes of sweet grapefruit, lemon cream, cap gun smoke, buttercup flowers and luxury soap. Very fine. Deep and hedonistic, albeit very young still.
The taste is young, creamy and focused with notes of lemon cream, cold butter, matchbox, summer flowers and butter biscuits. The finish is long and with a fine warmth. Good acidity. This is drinking great now but I would guess it should improve over the coming 4-6 years.
92p   (tasted 2014/04)

Monday 21 April 2014

Just Popped & Poured - 1964 Haut-Bailly & 1964 Haut-Marbuzet

Just opened both bottles - right out of the gate the Haut- Bailly smells wonderful and have a soft, lovely mouthfeel. The Haut-Marbuzet feels more withdrawn and sturdier, both on the nose and the palate. Will update through the evening.
Now I have to tend to the lamb...

Update: the Haut-Bailly evolves into a stunning mature Bordeaux with all the signs of a fine Graves - warm tiles, gravel and soft black currants - very, very fine. The Haut-Marbuzet on the other hand is a rustic creature, too much so, but with the succulant lamb it show off in a excellent way. 
Now I will finish the bottles of - will be back with a final report...

Update no 2:
1964 Château Haut-Bailly
The nose is met by a wonderful, mature scent when you put your nose in the glass. Classy aromas of dried black currants, warm tiles, chewing tobacco, autumn leaves and a floral scent that is glorious. Very, very fine. Perfectly mature. Even some dried strawberries after a while.
The taste is cool, round and mature with notes of red and black currants, tiles, gravel, cedar, autumn leaves and dry dark fudge. The finish is long, balanced soft but oooh so expressive.
I loved this wine, from the first sip until the deposit, which I of course ate - they tasted sublime.
92p   (tasted 2014/04)

1964 Château Haut-Marbuzet
This on the other hand is more structured and heavy handed. The nose is big, focused and a bit younger than the Haut-Bailly, with notes of black currants, black cherries, dried orange peel, moist undergrowth and leather. A bit four squared. Dark.
The taste is big, mature and tight with notes of black currants, smoke, gravel, dry chocolate and some barnyard notes. There is still some tannins in the medium long finish. A little grumpy, and I think it will always be.
85p   (tasted 2014/04)

Sunday 20 April 2014

2009 Frauenberg G.G., Battenfeld-Spanier - Day Two

I opened this yesterday and didn't think much of it - rather ungainly, hard and frankly, no fun. One glass and then, back in the fridge.
Day two - the duckling have become a swan!

2009 Nieder-Flörheim Frauenberg G.G., Battenfeld-Spanier
Today a refined, harmonious, pure nose flows out of the glass, with notes of grilled lemons, grapefruit juice, a touch of mixed tropical fruits, lemon pepper, chalk and a touch of linoleum and mint. Deep, somewhat mature and complex. Very, very fine.
The taste is younger than the nose leads you to believe, with a searing acidity and notes of sweet/sour lemons, pineapple, lots of chalk and the same linoleum feeling as on the nose. Given this blind, I could have guessed a Chenin Blanc. The finish goes on for a minute, ending high and dry. This is really fine.
92p   (tasted 2014/04)

Thursday 17 April 2014

Just Bought

A bottle of 1955 Château Soutard has arrived. I am planning another vertical tasting of this long lasting St Emilion.
The one I did two years ago showed a St Emilion of great quality that can age and evolve for a long time. And the older vintages can still be bougt for a reasonable price. Thankfully!


Wednesday 16 April 2014

My Easter Egg...

Easter has come - I´m off work for five days, my cold has disappeared, the fridge is full of food and I just need to get my liquid Easter egg together.

After a lot of hard work I have chosen these bottles to comfort me and the family over the weekend, if they will suffice, which they wont... :-)

The Bordeaux bottles are 1964 Haut-Bailly and 1964 Haut-Marbuzet.

Happy Easter!

My Easter Egg Of 2012
My Easter Egg Of 2013

Sunday 13 April 2014

1982 Château Grand Barrail

I knew that this wouldn´t work as medicine. Too weak - only 11,5% alcohol! I would of course have needed a cryoextracted 14,5% modern Bordeaux to get rid of these bacteria's. They obviously couldn't make proper wine in Bordeuax back in 1982...:-)

Well, now that I opened it, how is it?

1982 Château Grand Barrail
A mature, round, funky nose with notes of red currants, autumn leaves, a moderately cleaned stable, charcoal, cigarette ashes and some dog fur. Interesting. Very much alive and kicking. Some well hanged meat after a while. Very good.
The taste is mature, tight and somewhat dry with notes of lingonberries, red currants, lead pencil shavings, autumn leaves and gravel. The fruit has dried up a bit but there is a fine intensity here. A medium long finish. It took me three hours to finish the bottle and it didn´t budge a bit. You obviously can pack some flavours into a 11,5% wine and make it keep for 32 years...
86p   (tasted 2014/04)

Saturday 12 April 2014

2011 Cumberland Reserve Pinot Noir, Bergström

The second dose of medicine... 

2011 Cumberland Reserve Pinot Noir, Bergström
A big, open, hedonistic nose with notes of mashed raspberries, lots of fresh herbs, raspberry liquorice, bonfire smoke and forest floor. Very good. A fine sweetness to the fruit. Easy going with a medium depth.
The taste is cool, medium bodied and finely structured with notes of raspberry coulis with a hint of vanilla in, smoke, herbs, undergrowth and a touch of resin. A long, balanced finish. A very good wine. The only thing I would write down of the negative side, is that it becomes a tad clumsy when it gets warm in the glass. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2014/04)

Friday 11 April 2014

2010 Côte-Rôtie Améthyste, Vignobles Levet

A bottle a day, keeps the doctor away.
Or so I hoped. Earlier this week I opened three bottles over three days and I felt during those days that a cold was on its way.
Wine apparently didn´t work as a preventive drug....now I´m sitting here with a running nose, coughing.
At least I can enjoy the memories, and wait for the returning health, when something (hopefully) great is going to be opened...

First up:
2010 Côte-Rôtie Améthyste, Vignobles Levet
Aaaah, a gorgeously, young, firm nose full of ripe blueberries, minced meat, violets, asphalt, bay leaves and crushed white pepper. Very fine. Some gasoline notes after a while alongside dried flowers. Very young but showing of fine none the less.
The taste is young, fresh and juicy with lots of sweet blueberries, crowberries and lingonberries with additional notes of white pepper, rubber, asphalt and hyacinth. A medium bodied structure with a fine finish with some warmth. The end of the finish trails of a bit to fast. This is on the young side of things, give it 2-4 years and I´m sure it will be even better. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2014/04)

Seven Bottles From The Greatest Vintage Ever...

...which of course is 1964!
But you already knew that, right? :-)

Update - I have learned how to count - it was seven bottles...

In order to reduce my stock of 1964 bottles, I opened six of them when some friends came to dinner last weekend.

With some assorted Italian goodies I opened two bottles.
1964 Muscadet, Domaine de Gilliéres
What a surprise! The expectations of a 1964 Muscadet wasn´t that high when I opened it, but lo and behold - fresh as a daisy and not just drinkable but highly enjoyable.
The nose is racy, fresh (!) and stony with notes of dried lemon peel, oyster shells, yellow apples, almond biscuits and lots of crushed rocks. Remarkable.
The taste feels more mature than the nose but is full of dried yellow fruits and notes of hay, almond paste, slate and a smoky note. A medium long finish with high acidity.
If I had got this poured blind I could have betted some money that it was a 80´s Chablis of premier cru quality... It kept for four days in the fridge and didn´t budge at all. Just stunning!
90p   (tasted 2014/03)

1964 Eltviller Sonnenberg Riesling Cabinet, Weingut Rudolf Kurth
A deep, mature, honeyed nose with notes of dried apricots, sage, petrol, rubber boots and some saffron notes. A very fine dried up sweetness. Maybe a bit monolithic. Good.
The taste is mature an semi dry with notes of dried tropical fruit, dried honey, lavender and dried flowers. A good acidity. Ends with a slight bitter note. I would guess that this would have performed better 10+ years ago. Good though.
81p   (tasted 2014/03)

With the red Burgundies we had an array of different chargrilled sausages, root vegetables and a couple of different sauces.
1964 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru, Domaine Drouhin-Laroze
First up was two bottles from Drouhin-Laroze. I have had some amazing old bottles from this producer. The Gevrey-Chambertin has a sweet, mature, round nose with notes of strawberries, licorice, gravel and warm herbs. A fine warmth. Ripe. Very good.
The taste is warm, mature and a bit seedy with notes of ripe strawberries, cold coffee, stables and old leather. A fine maturity. A long, warm finish. This is drinking great now. Lacks a bit of oomph for greatness though.
88p   (tasted 2014/03)

1964 Morey-St-Denis, Domaine Drouhin-Laroze
This bottle has seen better days, the fruit is hot, overripe and with notes of moist forest floor, bonfire and old leather. Not all the way over the hill but close enough.
The taste is mature, dry and foursquare with notes of overripe strawberries, rosehips, wet smoke and old leather. There is a rather fine warmth but the middle of the taste is hollow. Works with the food but is too dry on its own.
67p   (tasted 2014/03)

1964 Nuits St Georges Clos des Porrets, Domaine Henri Gouges
But we were richly compensated with the next bottle. From the glass sours a complex, deep, somewhat mature nose with notes of wild raspberries, fresh herbs, pine, warm tiles and mushrooms. Very, very poised. Ripe, fresh red fruit. This is utterly gorgeous
The taste is pure, velvety and perfectly mature with notes of sweet lingonberries, raspberry coulis, fried herbs, forest floor and warm gravel. A long, balanced finish with a fine acidity. This is in a perfect stage now but should keep at this level for at least +6 years. Great stuff!
94p   (tasted 2014/03)

1964 Beaune-Perriéres, Guy Leblanc
The bottles from the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin can from time to time deliver some real pleasure. And they usually doesn´t command a high tariff.
This one opens with a deep, ethereal, pure nose with notes of raspberries, red currants, rosehips, tobacco ashes, autumn leaves and mushrooms. Very, very good. A fine sweetness to the fruit. This is very much alive and kicking.
The taste is mature, sweet and velvety with notes of lingonberries, dried strawberries, forest floor, dry tobacco and herbs. A fine warmth in the medium long finish. Perfectly mature. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2014/03)

1964 Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses, F. Colin-Barolet
A Les Amoureuses no less but this is in a wheel chair on its way down a steep hill...
Not completely dead but the breathing is miniscule and the end is in sight.
52p   (tasted 2014/03)

Saturday 5 April 2014

A Nice Blaufränkisch

2011 Bela-Jooska Eisenberg Blaufränkisch, Wachter-Wiesler
A young, firm, nice nose with notes of fresh black cherries, blueberries, earth and a elegant black pepper note. Not that deep but very upfront and enjoyable.
The taste is young, fresh and gulpable with notes of cherry pips, blueberries, spices and dusty earth. A medium long finish with some low keyed tannins. A fine bitterness in the end. This is easy to pour one extra glass of, and then one more, and then...
87p   (tasted 2014/04)


A Rerun - Six Bottles Of Pinot Noir

Last time our tasting group got together we were poured bottles of Australian Pinot, and one Burgundy. When sniffing through the wines that Håkan poured a couple of days ago, I wondered, Pinot again?
Yes, it was. And yours truly nailed both the grape and origin - I won´t be guessing anything more the rest of the year...:-)
Next tasting is on me - I got an idea - Pinot! (not!)

2010 Reed Vineyard Pinot Noir, Calera
An open, warm, spicy nose with notes of raspberry coulis, leather, cold coffee, rhubarb and a iron scent. Nice enough but lacks focus.
The taste is warm, fruity and feels almost fully mature, with spicy Pinot fruit and some leather, liquorice and warm earth thrown in. The finish is medium long and a bit thin at the end. Again, good enough but should be drunk sooner than later.
84p   (tasted 2014/04)

2010 Ryan Vineyard Pinot Noir, Calera
This is more restrained and seedy with notes of sweet lingonberries, not fully ripe raspberries, undergrowth, dried herbs and a touch of band aid. Definitely more interesting and with the Phelps below, the only one that could have been mistaken for a Burgundy. Good.
The taste is young, cool and seedy with notes of lingonberry lemonade with some blueberries thrown in, liquorice, forest floor and lots of herbs. The same touch of iron as on the nose is evident in the taste. A medium long finish with a fine acidity. This is still young and will surely flesh out some with 2-3 years in the cellar. Very good.
87p   (tasted 2014/04)

2010 de Villiers Vineyard Pinot Noir, Calera
The following two Calera wines has more of everything - body, power, elegance and structure. The de Villiers has a big, open yet firm nose with notes of wild raspberries, new leather, forest floor, Asian spices and some bonfire aromas. Deep and fine. Very, very good.
The taste is young, tight and broad with notes of raspberry coulis, black cherries, licorice, fresh herbs and some freshly grounded coffee. The finish is medium long with a fine warmth. Very good for drinking now and the coming 7+ years.
90p   (tasted 2014/04)

2010 Jensen Vineyard, Calera
The Jensen has pretty much the same profile as the de Villiers, albeit the fruit is a tad warmer and there is a fine note of iron, as in the Ryan. Very deep and fine. A lovely sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is young, potent and concentrated with notes of raspberry truffles, hard cherry candy, warm herbs, leather and warm gravel. A long, fine finish. A very good acidity. Save this for 3-4 years before doing the deed.
91p   (tasted 2014/04)

2009 Ceremonial Vineyard Pinot Noir Vintage VII, George
Bottle number 1606 out of 2499 made. This bottle has a deep, decadent, gorgeous nose with notes of strawberries, (over) ripe raspberries, coffee powder, Asian spices, smoke and the crust of toasted bread. Very deep. This is good! A lovely sweetness to the fruit. Young.
The taste is big and bold yet with a fine delineation and notes of raspberry truffles, moist forest floor, fried herbs, tobacco and bonfire. Very long, very focused, very good. This is for drinking big mouthfuls of. But not worth the tariff, it costs 83 Euro here in Sweden.
93p   (tasted 2014/04)

2010 Freestone Vineyard Pinot Noir, Joseph Phelps
This was a surprise. I always associate Joseph Phelps with Insignia - the 1985 was magical a couple of years ago - and I don´t have much experience outside their Cabernet production. And this isn´t even their best Pinot! A more withdrawn nose than the George, with notes of lingonberries, red cherries, salmiak, dried spices, crushed rocks and tobacco ashes. It evolves nicely in the glass all through the tasting. Has more to give. Very, very good.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of not yet ripe strawberries, forest floor, smoke, salmiak and some tobacco flavors. The finish is long and elegant. Some bonfire notes evolves. I would love to explore this over a day or two. This is good!
93p   (tasted 2014/04)

Friday 4 April 2014

A Third Bottle From The Brothers

Dinner can be easy sometimes - assorted shellfish, bread and aioli - yummy! And to go together with the sea food I open yet another bottle from the brothers.

2010 Pouilly-Vinzelles Les Quartz, La Soufrandière
The vines in this climat is between 40 and 70 years old, and you can feel the old vine character in this gorgeous Chardonnay. The nose is deeper and heavier than the La Roche, with notes of grilled lemons, mango, warm butter, cap gun smoke and a touch of coconut flakes. Very, very good. Creamy and hedonistic, yet with an upright character.
The taste is a big mouthful of ripe, creamy Chardonnay with notes of mango, lemon cream, smoke and sweet minerals. A fine salty touch. A fine acidity in the long, warm, classy finish. This is really good but I liked the withdrawn elegance in the La Roche more. But make no mistake, this is world class Chardonnay. I´ll be stocking up.
93p   (tasted 2014/04)

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Craving A Bottle Of Brunello

Since my Brunello project, I get from time to time a real craving for the pleasure a fine Brunello gives. This night was no exception and I opened this bottle.

1995 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Giacci Piccolomini d'Aragona
This 19 years old Brunello opens with a mature, seductive, deep nose with notes of ripe black cherries, pipe tobacco, rosemary, autumn leaves, a Tuscan gravel road and a hint of balsamic vinegar. A very fine sweetness to the fruit. This has matured in a great fashion. Very, very good.
The taste is warm, mature and round with notes of red and black cherries, warm tiles, dried flowers, violets, rosehips, tobacco and some veal stock. A long, generous finish with a fine backbone. I would say that this should keep on this level for 8+ years but I don´t think it will get better than this. Lovely.
92p   (tasted 2014/03)