Friday 27 February 2015

Drinking Tonight - 2012 "M" Blaufränkisch, Schneider

Friday dinner - Comte filled ground meat steaks with root vegetables and a green pepper sauce - what to open?
A quick stop to the State Monopoly and I notice a bottle from Schneider. I drank the 2005 Spätburgunder two years ago and liked it a lot. How about a young Blaufränkisch then?

2012 "M" Blaufränkisch, Schneider
A big, open, herbal - think sage and sweet thyme - nose with notes of blueberries, chewing tobacco, cocoa and leather. With air a fine scent of violets emerge. Very good.
The taste is medium bodied, upfront and juicy with finely tuned but noticeable tannins, with notes of blueberries, violet pastilles, leather and fresh herbs. A medium long, dry finish. Very nice. A have to check out the wines from Schneider more.
90p   (tasted 2015/02)

Thursday 26 February 2015

A Perfect Example Of A Mature Classic Bordeaux

This is why one would and should cellar Bordeaux. Château Beaumont has over the years been a reliable Cru Bourgeois. I have found memories of their 1982 (last tasted in 2009 and it performed on the same level as this 89), their 1985 and 1986.
The last time I tasted the 89 was in 1996 and then I noted that it had a good potential. 19 years later it has really fulfilled that potential and is a great testimony of the Bordeaux´s I fell in love with some 25 years ago. Info here.

1989 Château Beaumont
The nose is just beautiful with notes of ripe black currant, autumn leaves, sweet tobacco, worn leather, lead pencil shavings and a touch of dog fur thrown in for complexity. A soft but persistent feeling. A fine depth. A charming example of a mature Bordeaux.
The taste is soft but with lots of flavour, focus and complexity, with notes of fresh stables, ripe black currants, sugared coffee, autumn leaves and leather. The finish is medium long and ends with a fine dry twist. Very refined. I just want to take another sip. I love this.
91p   (tasted 2015/02)

Sunday 22 February 2015

Some Miscellaneous Bottles

These were drunk over the last couple of weeks.

2005 Chianti Colli Senesi, Castello di Farnetella
A rather narrow, tight nose with notes of sour cherries, road dust, dry chocolate and some tarry scents. A bit rough around the edges.
The taste is better with notes of cherry pips, gravel, rosemary and a hint of espresso. A medium long finish with a nice acidity. Good.
83p   (tasted 2015/02)

1978 Gran Reserva, Bodegas Franco-Españolas
To put it mild - dry and hollow
50p   (tasted 2015/02)

2014 Beaujolais Nouveau, Jean Foillard
An young, open, appetizing nose with notes of strawberry lemonade, red currants, candle grease, forest floor and a hint of tobacco. Not deep but fine.
The taste is light and pure with a fine red currant fruit and additional notes of dried herbs, liqourice and forest floor. The finish is a bit anemic. Good.
84p   (tasted 2015/02)

2009 Astralabe, Chêne Bleu
This Grenache and Syrah blend sports a upfront, juicy and peppery nose with notes of blackberries, meat stock, undergrowth and a hint of bacon fat. Balanced though. Good.
The taste is young and broad with sweet red and black fruits with additional notes of meat, white peppers, bakelite and undergrowth. A medium long finish with a nice warmth. Could surely evolve into something even nicer with 3-5 years in the cellar.
86p   (tasted 2015/02)

1964 Château Lamartre
This Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé opens with a big, mature, warm nose with notes of sweet red and black currants, plums, old leather, cigarette smoke and some stables in a distance. Very ripe and yummy, but lacks somewhat in the complexity compartment.
The taste is warm, mature and broad with notes of ripe red currants, earth, cigarette ashes, coffee grounds and worn leather. A medium long, soft finish with a fine warmth. Drinking great on this night.
88p   (tasted 2015/02)


Saturday 21 February 2015

1982 - Three White Wines

Talk about a coincidence. While rummaging around in the cellar, I have the past weeks managed to pull out three different 1982´s, from three different regions in France. Go figure.

1982 Muscadet, Château La Cormerais Cheneau
A fresh. salty and stony nose with notes of lemon peel, oyster shells, eraser and flint. A light, upfront nose. Wet stones. Good.
The taste is like licking on a salt stone with some additional notes of lemon peel, flint, wet suit and gravel. A medium sized acidity ends the slightly anemic finish. Very perky for its age, I guess you could store your Muscadet´s a bit longer than the general believe, something that this bottle proved (and the 50 year old version, tasted last year -
85p   (tasted 2015/02)

1982 Château La Tour Martillac
This has also stood the test of time. The nose is deep an mature but still with dashing notes of dried peaches, linoleum, plastic, white peppers and warm grass. A nice plumpness to the fruit. Some ripe flowers after a while. Very good.
The taste is dry, broad and clean with notes of dried tropical fruits, linoleum, sweet minerals and a touch of smoke. A very fine length with warmth and refinement. Really good. I drink way too little white Bordeaux.
90p   (tasted 2015/02)

1982 Meursault, Thorin
Well, two out of three, isn´t that an acceptable batting average, considering the age of these bottles?
Fot this has gone to far, the nose is not dead, but clearly oxidized, with notes of wrinkled yellow apples, moist cellar scents and old vanilla ice cream.
The taste is dry and oxidized with notes of stale nuts, overmature yellow apples, glue and forgotten fudge. A long, warm, dry finish that doesn´t have much substance. Probably stored badly.
57p   (tasted 2015/02)

Thursday 19 February 2015

2011 Tinto Reserva, Pago De Los Capellanes

I have earlier tasted two wines from this producer and liked them a lot. Now it is time for their Reserva.

2011 Tinto Reserva, Pago de los Capellanes
With some air a big, gorgeous nose oozes up from the glass with notes of sweet rosemary, black cherries, dark chocolate, expensive leather, graphite and asphalt. Powerful yet balanced. Some wood smoke after a while. Very, very good.
The taste is young, tight and concentrated with lovely notes of ripe black cherries, chocolate mousse, sugared coffee, asphalt, iron and rosemary. A long, long, structured finish with lots of sweet tannins. This will need time to really unfold, but this will great in 5-8 years time.
93p   (tasted 2015/02)

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Pasta & Chicken & Rioja

To go along garlic, sun dried tomatoes and herb filled chicken breasts, I opened this Rioja. It behaved very nicely with the food and one can only hope that it will evolve as the 1964 has done!

2001 Gran Reserva 904, La Rioja Alta
A fine, spicy, open nose with notes of sweet/sour red cherries, warm red apples, star anise, soft leather and a fine, creamy vanilla scent. Medium deep and flavourful. Some perfumed notes emerges with air. Very good.
The nose is nice enough but it is the taste that really get my thumbs up. It is more slender and chiselled than the nose leads you to believe. Fine red fruit flavours with notes of dried strawberries, hard cherry candy, leather and some cigarette ashes. A long, structured, tight finish. Ends dry and enticing, drawing you back for another sip. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2015/02)

Monday 16 February 2015

A Great Bottle Of Mature Burgundy

Just as I was finishing the post of the 127 64´s I drank last year, I felt the urge for one more!

1964 Hospices de Beaune Pommard Cuvée Billardet, Ets Leroy & Cie S. A.
As soon as I put my nose to the glass I realize that I am in for a treat. The nose that flows up from the glass is deep, mature, sheer and refined with gorgeous notes of dried strawberries, rose petals, cigar box, Asian spices and forest floor. Just wonderful. A stunning floral note emerges with air. Mature, but just so. A lovely balance. A masterpiece.
The taste is like drinking velvet, paired with notes of wild strawberries, dried raspberries, herbs, rose petals, old balsamic vinegar and some Cohiba smoke. The finish is very long, exquisite and just gorgeous. A lovely dried up sweetness to the fruit. This really caresses the palate.
Bought from a now extinct wine store in the Netherlands. Would love to have more bottles of this nectar.
97p   (tasted 2015/02)


Saturday 14 February 2015

An Account Of 127 Bottles From The Greatest Vintage Ever

About a year ago I posted this mission statement for 2014 - too drink all my bottles from my birth year, since I was going to turn 50.

I almost managed it - 127 bottles down the hatch. :-) That leaves 57 bottles for me to enjoy upcoming birthdays.

The list of what have been consumed during 2014 looks like this:
35 bottles of Barolo
34 bottles of Bordeaux
19 bottles of Burgundy
6 bottles of Rioja
6 bottles of Chianti
4 bottles of German Riesling
3 bottles of Champagne
and 20 odd bottles

How about the most memorable wines from the greatest vintage ever? Five of them made the list of the 10 most memorable wines of 2014.

But there were many others that highlighted my year. To name a few - the 1964 Monte Real proved that Rioja with some age is a world class wine.
I could not believe that a 50 year old Muscadet would be drinkable, but this bottle was not only drinkable but highly enjoyable.
One of the flights in a Ceretto tasting dinner contained two 64´s and the Riserva was a real stunner. The Cheval Blanc made the year list but 1964 Ausone was not far behind, a true joy to drink.
There have been many more fine bottles drunk during last year, and interesting enough very few corked wines and just a few dull bottles that most probably haven´t been stored properly over the years. Lest see if I have some bottles left for when I turn 60...:-)

Drinking Tonight - 1989 Château du Basque

I opened this St Emilion Grand Cru tonight to go along a grilled flapsteak with mixed vegetables and a mushroom and thyme sauce.

1989 Château du Basque
A mature, soft, nice nose with notes of red plums, dried red currants, old leather, dried herbs and some clean stables in a distance. Light, mature and very nice.
The taste is mature and easy to drink with fully resolved tannins and notes of plums, red currants, warm rocks and some tobacco flavours. The finish is medium long, soft and pure. A luncheon claret for dinner, that complimented the meat very nicely.
86p   (tasted 2015/02)

Sunday 8 February 2015

Drinking Tonight - 1987 Brunello di Montalcino, La Chiesa di S.Restituta

Sunday dinner with a mature Brunello!

From a producer that is no more, Gaja bought the estate in 1994 and now produces two Brunello´s, Rennina and the single-vineyard Sugarille. The 2008 of both tasted here. The 1997 Rennina tasted here.

1987 Brunello di Montalcino, La Chiesa di S. Restituta
This 27 year old Brunello opens quite funky but after a half hour in a decanter it shows of nice notes of chocolate covered cherries, moist undergrowth, sweet violets, dark cookie dough and some dog fur (in a positive way). Fully mature, soft and very nice.
The taste is mature, warm and dry with notes of dried cherries, hard cherry candy, old liquorice, violet pastilles and rosemary. A long finish with a nice warmth. Again, fully mature and I guess it showed some more muscles 10 years ago but it still is a fine mouthful of Brunello.  The 1988 was magic a year ago.
90p   (tasted 2015/02)

Saturday 7 February 2015

Drinking Tonight - 2009 Heytesbury Chardonnay, Vasse Felix

With skewers filled with pieces of halibut, salmon and scallops and a white wine sauce and angel hair pasta I opened a bottle of this perennial favourite of mine.

2009 Heytesbury Chardonnay, Vasse Felix
This Margaret River Chardonnay is a charmer right out of the bottle. From the glass notes of white peaches, crushed flint, caramel, lemon cream and a touch of pineapple flows up. Really yummy, yet with a fine concentration and focus.
The taste is creamy and intense with lovely sweet yellow fruit and notes of sweet limes, cap gun smoke, milk chocolate fudge, white flowers and gravel. A long, balanced finish that ends dry. Very, very good. Will go on for years although I don´t think it will get better.
92p   (tasted 2015/02)

Drinking Tonight - 2010 Chianti Riserva, Panzanello

I opened this to go along some fine lamb chops with a mushroom sauté and a rosemary sauce.

2010 Chianti Classico Riserva, Panzanello
A rather big but nicely put together nose with notes of ripe red cherries, warm rosemary, violets, a hint of chocolate and some Tuscan gravel. Still young of course but this could turn out very fine.
The taste is warm, caressing and concenterated with a sweet, juicy cherry fruit alongside notes of liquorice, gravel, fresh herbs and dark chocolate. Medium bodied tannins. A high drinkability on this one. Very good.
89p   (tasted 2015/02)

Tuesday 3 February 2015

A Fine Bottle Of Chablis

To be honest, I did not have any higher expectations on this bottle. A 36 year old Premier Cru from a passable vintage. The bottle looked fine though, the level was perfect for the age and I have had some good bottles from Louis Michel before. So I held my fingers crossed and pulled the cork...

1979 Chablis 1er Cru Montmain, Louis Michel
The first couple of minutes it is quite muted but then, like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, it blossoms in the glass. The nose is beautiful with notes of salt stained rocks, lemon peel, dry nuts, white currants and a hint of band aid. Medium deep. It has a wonderful balance and intensity.
The taste is cool and taut with some signs of maturity and notes of dried peaches, nuts, oyster shells and that salty tang that fine Chablis can have. A medium long, finely tuned finish. I guess this has, even though it still feels rather youngish, started it downward slope. I am glad I caught it in time.
91p   (tasted 2015/01)

Monday 2 February 2015

BYOB Evening With A California Twist

6 of us gathered at Ulf´s place for a evening with brought bottles. It turned out to be a great evening and interesting enough, almost all bottles came from the USA. Thanks all!
All wines tasted blind, except for the ones I brought.

NV Cumières Premier Cru Brut, Georg Laval
Peter brought this bubbly. The nose is fine and elegant with notes of lemon peel, pickled ginger, gravel, smoke and oriental spices. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and finely tuned with notes of lemon cream, gravel, white flowers and a touch of almond paste. A very fine acidity with a steely touch. As good as the Brut Nature tasted a year ago.
90p   (tasted 2015/01)

2012 Bentrock Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay, Sandhi
This had me firmly positioned in the hallowed land of Burgundy when we were guessing its origin. A very refined, chalky nose with notes of cold butter, white peaches, butter biscuits and blood oranges. A very cool, laid back character. Really fine.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of lime and lemon peel, white flowers, fudge and sand. A long, balanced finish. Very, very good and perfect with the king crab with a truffle sauce!
92p   (tasted 2015/01)

1976 Vosne-Romanée Les Malconsort, Domaine Clos Frantin
This was my first offering and sadly it didn´t perform. I have had this before and then it has been a great, mature Burgundy. But as the saying goes, there are no great wines, just great bottles.
The nose is muffled and foursquare with notes of dirty root vegetables, dog fur and old red apples.
The taste is angular and old with notes of dried red currants, undergrowth and old leather. Fairly long. Worked with the food but to dry on its own. Too bad.
76p   (tasted 2015/01)

2003 Paradise Hills Vineyard Merlot, Blankiet Estate
And now over for something completely different - A big, big, brawny nose with overripe black fruits and notes of red beet juice, bakelite, burning plastic and oak. With ait it calms down a bit but there is an overripe, over-the-top feeling about it.
The taste is massive and intense with notes of wood smoke, black fruits, bakelite and rubber tyres. The finish is very long, rich an fiery. Surely a well made wine but for me it is too much. Merlot? Ok, why not, it is impossible to find any grape attributes.
83p   (tasted 2015/01)

2009 Vin Perdu, Amuse Bouche
The cepage of this stunner is mixed - Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc - but it works really well! The nose is big and bold with gorgeous notes of ripe black currants, blueberries, dark fudge, graphite and warm tiles. A very creamy fruit with a fine depth and delineation.
The taste is compact and broad with lovely black fruit in the shape of currants and cherries with additional notes of sweet tobacco, sugared coffee and warm tiles. A long, balanced finish with a finr warmth. Great stuff!
93p   (tasted 2015/01)

2008 Carrie´s Pinot Noir, Melville
Magnus brought this fine Pinot Noir from Melville, from whom I just the other week had tasted some 08´s. This was far better. The nose is typical Pinot with its scents of ripe raspberries, Christmas spices, forest floor and liquorice. Very, very good.
The taste is fine and elegant with notes of sweet raspberries, wild strawberries, fresh herbs and forest floor. A very nice mouth feel. Drinking fine now.
90p   (tasted 2015/01)

2005 Nebbiolo Bricco Buon Natale, Jim, Isabelle & Know Clendenen
I didn´t see this coming. I was dead certain that this was a Nebbiolo from the foggy hills of Piedmonte. But no. It is from California... When I was convinced that it wasn´t a case of mislabelling (a common error in the wine business...) I could sense that this is a very good Nebbiolo,, although from the "wrong" side of the world. The nose is fine with a beginning maturity and notes of lingonberries, mushrooms, earth, red peppers and some rose petals. Very good.
The taste is cool and dry with notes of ripe lingonberries, gravel, dried mushrooms and leather. A medium long finish with a nice warmth. This is good.
88p   (tasted 2015/01)

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paul Hobbs
A big, inky nose with notes of ripe blackberries, bakelite, dark chocolate and some oak vanilla. There is a scent of red beet juice, something a associate with trying-too-much-winemaking (except in the cases of mature Burgundy of course). Very warm.
The taste is very big and fiery with notes of overripe black fruits, espresso, pipe tobacco and undergrowth. A bit unbalanced. A long, creamy, warm finish. Not my cup of tea.
85p   (tasted 2015/01)

1964 Tegolato,
This was my second offer and unfortunately, this was no good either (that´s the risk you take when you bring old bottles...:-)). It had quite a bottle stink when I opened it, It blew of some but it still smells of a worn gymnastic shoe with some dry red fruit tossed in. Not that appetizing.
The taste is better with notes of old tobacco, dried red fruits, autumn leaves and old, worn leather. Quite long. Better on the palate.
78p   (tasted 2015/01)

2007 James Berry Vineyards Syrah, Copain
This beauty has a big, intense nose with notes of ripe blueberries, bonfire smoke, sweet tobacco, black pepper and meat stock. A creamy character to the fruit. Very, very good.
The taste is big and broad shouldered with lots of sweet blueberries and black cherries with additional notes of peppered meat, bonfire, warm gravel and some fine leather. A long, warm, complex finish. This is good!
92p   (tasted 2015/01)

2005 Barolo Bricco Pernice, Elvio Cogno
Johan brought this Barolo which has a fine nose of red currants, dry liquorice, asphalt and undergrowth. Some maturtity. It is nice but is a bit withdrawn in character.
The taste is tight and dry with lots of dry tannins and a cool red currant and lingonberry fruit. A bit seedy. With food it is fine but the tannins makes it a bit hard on its own.
86p   (tasted 2015/01)

1999 Die Krans Cape Vintage Port
Ulf fools us with a Port styled wine from South Africa as the closing wine. The nose is big, sweet and concentrated with notes of Cherry liquor, assorted nuts, green raisins and chocolate. Sweet and good.
The taste is big, sweet and fiery with notes of nut chocolate, figs in brandy, cherry liquorice and raisins. The finish is long and warm, a bit much so. Will need more time to mature and soften.
87p   (tasted 2015/01)

Sunday 1 February 2015

Just Bought

When I read on blogs or wine boards about the usual suspects of great German Riesling - Dönnhoff, Keller, J. J. Prüm, Ziliken, Koehler-Ruprecht, Willi Schaefer, Egon Müller et al - there is, usually, one of the greatest missing.
Especially when we are talking about Spätlese and Auslese versions. One of my all time favourite for these magic semi dry/sweet aspects of Riesling is............Robert Weil.
And these bottles was a welcome addition to the cellar.