How often do you taste a wine from Japan? From my recollection and in my case, never! The 2012 Grace Koshu has a cool, light, a tad bland nose and a light, fresh taste that is correct but anonymous (~83p). Two bottles of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zeeland suited med better - the 2012 Nautilus has lots of grass, gooseberries and yes, cat pee! The taste is dry, clean a whistle and ready for drinking (~85p). The 2013 Walnut Collectables is even better with an added elegance and spice on the nose and a complex grassy taste (~88p).
Next wine poured turned out to be a stunner - 2008 Cosme Blanco 1894, Hijos de Antonio Barceló - it oozes up from the glass with gorgeous aromas of melted butter, nuts, flowers, sun screen and sea shells. Deep and complex. The taste is equally fine with raciness, complexity and layers upon layers of ripe yellow fruit. Would love to match this against some fine Burgundies. I´m buying! (~94p).
On to the American whites! First another Sauvignon Blanc, the 2010 Alienor, Notre Vin which has a deep, interest nose with grass, chives and model clay. The taste is young, taut and impressive. Not a typical SB but a fine wine (~90p).
Then it was only Chardonnay poured. The 2012 Charles & Chardonnay, Charles Smith Wines shows some ripe pears and vanilla spiked fruit with a medium bodied, clean taste (~85p). 2012 Menage á Trois from Folie à Deux has a cool, spicy, elegant nose and a young, creamy taste with a fine structure and a good length. Really good (~88p).
A four-leaf clover of fine Chardonnay was then bestowed upon me - the Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch has a lovely blend of weight and weightlessness with notes of lemon cream, dried flowers and some pine apple. The taste is ripe and focused with a great length (~92p). Equally fine, is 2011 Old Stones, Bergström with its purity and freshness and an impressive spine in the wine (~92p). The 2010 Walter Hansel Estate shows a vivid nose with notes of melted butter, dry caramel and summer flowers and follows it up in the mouth with a fine tightness, great acidity and ripe fruit (~91p). Finally, I get the 2009 Wind Gap Yuen in the glass and this is the real thing. A big, yet highstrung and interesting nose with spicy lemons, butter cookies and warm hay. The taste is refined, shows a bit of maturity and has boatloads of lemon fruit and a cleansing acidity. Great! (~93p).
The reds started with a great Argentian Malbec in the shape of 2008 Catena Adrianna. The nose is deep, funky and intense while the taste shows a bit of maturity and lots of ripe black fruit. This is realy fine (~92p).
The 2012 2% Barossa Shiraz from First Drop Wines is a mess - full of VA, cooked and over-the-top sweet fruit. No (~72p). 2009 The Ironstone Pressing GSM, d´Arenberg is deep, concentrated and somehat mature with a sandy, expressive taste with some maturity (~91p). Even better is 2006 Jom Barry PB Shiraz Cabernet which displays a intense, minty, classy nose paired with a big, structured taste with both power and refinement (~93p)
Two wines from Mollydooker was poured next, the 2011 Gigglepot Cabernet Sauvignon shows a big, concentrated Cabernet fruit on the nose, but keeps it together. The taste is big and broad and displays a fine mix of power, structure and balance. Really good (~91p). The 2011 Carnival of Love Shiraz doesn´t get as much love from me, in a way that it is impressive with its massive fruit and body. But the VA is a bit high and the tannins seems not to be integrated in the wine biut sort of laying on the side (~86p).
|Hard at work...|
Moving on to France I began with three bottles from Domaine Jules Desjourneys - the 2009 Fleurie is upfront and juicy with fine lingonberyy fruit and a cool, fresh, salivating taste (~89p). The L´Interdit is deeper, darker and more structured with a long lasting taste of ripe strawberries and earth. Very, very good (~91p). Last up, and least of the three, is the 2010 Moulin à Vent which shows a meaty, ripe character but at the same time has a vegetal note to it, and I find it a bit unbalanced on the whole (~84p).
Jadot´s 2011 Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Couchereaux has a nice, spicy Pinot nose and a elegant, tight, enjoyable taste. Will turn out fine (~90p). Another wine from Jadot was their 2009 Pommard 1er Cru Epenots that presented itself with a big, sturdy nose with red cherries and warm raspberries. The taste is young, a bit foursquare at the moment and there is more structure than pleasure for now. Give it at least 6+ years (~88p).
It has been a while since I last tasted a vintage of Braida´s Ai Suma. Too bad, since the 2010 is a stunner. The nose is all about creamy cherries, gravel and licorice and the taste is focused and hedonistic. Gotta get me some of those! (~93p). The 2010 Doppiozeta, Marcheis Mazzei has an interesting blend of 65% Nero d´Avola, 25% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Franc. The nose is deep and shows notes of peppered cherries, a moist forest and minerals while the taste is full, broad and rich. This will need some time in the cellar but the potential is there (~91p).
I have earlier extolled the virtues of the 2010 Castello di Brolio, Barone Ricasoli and tasting it again is always a treat (~94p).
Since my Brunello project I am always eager when I get a chance to taste more Brunello´s! The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino, Castiglion del Bosco has a young, fine nose with notes of ripe black cherries, gravel and rosehips, with a following cool, refined taste with a fine backbone (~91p). Unfortunately, the 2006 Brunello di Montalcino, Cecchi isn´t up to scratch with its cooked nose and its warm, almost fiery taste (~77p). But the 2005 Brunello di Montalcino, Fuligni put things straight with a deep, intense nose with a gorgeous sweet/sour cherry note and a firm, concentrated taste. Will be great (~91p.
Two bottles from Poggio al Tesoro was poured next. The 2009 Sondraia has a big, fruity, outgoing nose with a lot of interest and a warm, tight, cherry flavoured taste. Very good but a tad anonymous (~88p). On the other, the 2005 Dedicato a Walter, is a posterchild for spicy, ripe, wonderful Cabernet Franc with a cool, generous taste with a wonderful green streak through the ripe cherry fruit. Great! (~93p). The two last Italian wines came from Allegrini. First out is 2010 La Gola Limited Edition with its big, ripe, warm nose and exactly the same taste. I liked La Grola better in the past (~85p). The 2009 La Poja is a better wine all together and highly enjoyable but it doesn´t really gets me going, like it used to (~89p).
On the last table for me some American wines caught my interest. The 2011 Shafer Merlot has a deep, plummy nose and a long, warm, cuddly taste with a fine backbone. Drinking great now (~90p). 2009 Alienor Grand Vin, Notre is a Merlot, Cabernet blend with a miniscule amount of Petit Verdot. It smells and taste like a elegant Bordeaux blend from Napa and I liked it very much (~90p).
To send me home with a smile on my face, the 2010 Prince of Hearts, Blankiet and 2009 Endre, Kapcsándy was poured. Both are blends of Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot and both performed stunningly. Hauntingly beautiful ripe black currants, graphite, expensive leather and coffe on the nose and a minute long, seamsless taste with velvety yet firm tannins. Both equally great. Pricy, yes, but stunningly good wines. Both (~95p).