Sunday 30 August 2015

Drinking Like Common People - Part One - The Whites

"I want to live like common people, I want to do whatever common people do"

Not my favourite kind of music, but this song is good. And it fits to this little experiment.

Every year the state monopoly publish statistics about the sales over the past year.
I have taken the 10 most sold white and red wines of 2014, bought the ones that are sold in regular bottles or, sadly, in plastic containers, but omitted the ones that only are sold in bag-in-box (3 liters) - there are some limits to how much wine I will pour down the drain...

I will start with the whites. The list is from last year so I guess that the vintage was 2013 then, but I don´t think that the difference is that large.
Here they are in backward order from number ten.

2014 Chardonnay, Robertson Winery
Number 10 on the list and 1.765.220 bottles were sold last year of this disaster. What have people done with their tasting buds? The nose is little and lightly smoky with some lemon peels. Dull but reasonable ok. But after only 30 minutes in the glass it is a complete mess with rotten cigarettes and the scent of garbage in a distance, really nice...
The taste is dry and hollow with artificial acidity and notes of cigarettes and unripe lemons. For the chain smoking crowd, I guess...
60p   (tasted 2015(08)

2014 Lindeman´s Chardonnay
This will not make my most memorable list this year, but it is actually ok. The nose is cool and somewhat anonymous with notes of grey pears, flowers and wet stones. After a while in the glass it loses some of its freshness, but it doesn´t collapse as the wine (!) above.
The taste is cool and dry with some lemon and gravel notes. Doesn´t have much character but it is sound and drinkable. Number 9 on the list and 1.839.020 bottles sold.
75p   (tasted 2015/08)

2014 Rhine Riesling/Sauvignon Blanc, Chapel Hill
Well, well, it actually gets better. Number 7 on the list and 2.135.032 bottles sold. The nose is light and spicy with notes of nettles, gooseberries and crushed rocks. A touch of smoke. Good. Keeps well in the glass.
The taste is very tight and dry with notes of lemon peel and unripe pears. A very high acidity that feels manipulated. The finish feels like chewing on blotting paper. The nose is good but the taste is strange.
77p   (tasted 2015/08)

2014 Les Fumées Blanc, Francois Lurton
Number 5 on the list is a odd one. All the other wines are cheap, but this cost 9 Euro. Not much for us hard core nerds, but the drinking common people usually scorns wine that cost that much. Lets find out what makes it so popular. The nose is a very typical Sauvignon Blanc with lots of fresh grass, red apples. gooseberries and even some cat pee. This is the only wine that gets better with the 30 minutes I gave them in the glass. Good.
The taste is dry and fresh with notes of sweet minerals. oyster shells, grass and white currants. A good acidity. Very nice. The finish is a tad short, but this I could drink. 2.639.107 bottles sold.
84p   (tasted 2015/08)

NV Castillo de Gredos
Number 3 on the list. It is sold in a one liter plastic container and 2.364.278 (equals 3.152.371 75cl bottles) were sold. Are people mad? This is not even wine. The nose smells like a blend of pear juice (the one that contains 1% pears...), soap and paint remover. There isn´t a hint of grapes here. Hideous!
The taste gives me the shills, and not the nice ones. It taste like the blend above but if you add some hair spray you get the whole mix. The worst wine (!) I have tasted for about 15 years, since a friend brought home a Cabernet from Egypt, say no more. The people responsible for this abomination should be dragged into the streets and publicly whipped.
50p   (tasted 2015/08)

2014 Foot of Africa Chenin Blanc
We have come to the end - thankfully! Number 2 on the list and 3.748.229 bottles sold. This wine is a unique one, it doesn´t have an aroma. However vigorous you swirl the glass - nothing. Even after the 30 minutes it doesn´t emerge one scent. Water smells more.
I wish that the taste would be the same, but no. It is dry and hollow with notes of unripe lemons, rotten grass and decaying flowers. The acidity is added and of the charts. Why? The finish is long and not in a good way.
61p   (tasted 2015/008)

The next post will be on the reds, and already I fear for my health...

I got to open something REALLY nice now!

Saturday 29 August 2015

A Bottle Of Bubbly - 2008 Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs, Launois

I tasted this at a trade tasting last year and consequently bought a couple of bottles. Lets see how they are doing.

2008 Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Cuvée Reservée  Launois
The nose is still young and rather tight, but opens up nicely in the glass with notes of lemon cream, almonds, dried flowers, grapefruit and wet stones. Deep and fine. With some time it becomes more creamy. Very, very good.
The taste is structured and tight with fine notes of lemon peel, chalk, smoke and a hint of a vanilla pod. Very long and dry. A fine acidity. Salivating. This is good. But will become even better with 3-5 years in the cellar. Note to self - lets not open the remaining bottles for some time.
92p   (tasted 2015/08)


Friday 28 August 2015

Just Bought

I hope that Grivot made equally great wines 42 years ago, as they do today.


Monday 24 August 2015

Drinking Tonight - 1996 Cuvée El Campanario, Abadia Retuerta

Way back, in those days when a Parker score really meant something, at least for many of us, the notes of the wines of Abadia Retuerta meant that you should buy them on sight!

Now, many years later, a single bottle from them emerges in a recently bought mixed case. I pull out my now old 5th edition of the Wine Buyer´s Guide (1999) and reads the following:

"this powerful, rich, layered, wine could easily pass for a top-class Bordeaux in a blind tasting. Anticipated maturity: 2001-20120
With a score of 93+p.

Here we are now. It is 2015. Well within the anticipated time frame. Is it still a dead ringer for a fine Bordeaux? Lets pull the cork and find out.

1996 Cuvée El Campanario, Abadia Retuerta
This is 100% Tempranillo and it has been aged in 100% new French oak for 16 months. The nose is big, deep and mature with notes of dried strawberries, pipe tobacco, some oak vanilla still, raspberry liquorice and even some dill, that is one of Rioja´s tell tale signs. A fine round sweetness to the fruit. Very good, although on the soft side of things.
The taste is mature, round and warm with notes of spicy strawberries, pipe tobacco, liqourice and dill. The finish is long, warm and smooth. Should probably have been drunk 5+ years ago. The bottle was flawless, with a fill in the neck and the cork was perfect, so I don´t think this have been stored to warm or otherwise wrong. But Bordeaux like - no way. Very good though.
87p   (tasted 2015/08)

The Eight Costa Brava Dispatch - A Visit To Castillo de Perelada

This was the only producer visit I got around to during your weeks in Costa Brava. And it also was the only producer from which I had tasted any wines before our vacation.
Some years ago, their Ex Ex 7 really impressed me. Nearer in time I also tasted their 2010 Finca Malaveïna.

So it was with great expectations that I arrived at Castillo di Perelada´s tasting room and shop. I was met by Lidia Perpiña from the estate. We first sat out to get a glimpse of their vineyards, and we visited Finca Malaveïna. Lidia was a really gracious host and answered all my silly questions. :-)
Pereleda owns 150 ha and buy grapes from another 150 ha. That makes them the, by far, largest producer in Empordà, which only has 1.800 ha under the DO.
The vineyards are marked by the Tramontana wind that descends from the mountains and can hit the vineyards at up to 175 km/h. All info about the estate and its wine, here.

Back at the estate we then visited the cellar. A vast cellar containing 4000 barrels - my kind of view! :-)

We then headed to the tasting room and I had the opportunity to taste the following wines. And Lidia was ever so kind to let me bring with me the opened wine bottles to taste them with some more air at our apartment. The only bottle of their finer wines I didnt´t got to taste was their Finca Garbet. It is their "Premier Cru", made of 100% Syrah and cost at their shop a hefty 93 Euro. Of course I bought one! It is of vintage 2006 - will be opening it soon...
Kudos to Lidia and the estate for a great visit!

2011 Riserva Gran Claustro Brut Nature
They have been making this cuvée since 1959, when USA President Dwight Eisenhower visited Spain, and Castillo de Perelada was chosen to deliver the Cava needed.
It is almost a Champagne cuvee with its majority of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, that makes up about 85% of the blend. The rest is the indigenous grapes - Xarel-lo, Macabeu and Parellada.
The nose is pure and fresh with notes of green apples, summer flowers, jasmine and some smoky scents. Very good. On the light side but with a good intensity.
The taste is young and tight with a fine acidity and notes of red and green apples, minerals, grass and dried flowers. A medium long finish with a dry ending. Very, very good.
88p   (tasted 2015/07)

2010 Finca Espolla
They make three vineyard designated wines, this and the Malaveïna below and then La Garriga, that I tasted at our apartment, see further below. The Finca Espolla is a 21 ha big vineyard and the blend is (for this vintage) 31% Monastrell, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Syrah and 19% Garnatxa.
The nose is big and open with a wonderful eucalyptus note that hits you immediately. Lidia explains that this is typical trait in the Finca Espolla. It also displays notes of pine resin, black fruits, vegetable stock and earth. A bit of a peculiar nose, but I like it!
The taste is young and tight with notes of black cherries, undergrowth, herbs and eucalyptus, even though it is on a smaller scale than on the nose. The finish is long, warm and very good. Would love to see how this develop. A fine wine.
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

2011 Finca Malaveïna
I had tasted the 2010 before, see above, but this was the newest vintage released. I would say that the vintages doesn´t differ much. The nose is a little bit softer on the 2011, but the plums, chocolate and earthy notes are there. The taste is also pretty much in align with the 2010. A good wine, but I prefer the two other vineyards bottlings.
87p   (tasted 2015/07)

2009 Gran Claustro
Next up was the Gran Claustro, a cuvée from selected handpicked grapes. The first vintage was the 1993. The blend for the 2009 is 50% Garnatxa, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot.
The nose is deep and concentrated with gorgeous notes of ripe black currants, plums, red wine marinade and dark chocolate. Very intense and focused. Still young. Very impressive.
The taste is taut and dense with boatloads of ripe black currants and plums alongside some dark chocolate, warm herbs and liquorice. A long, long finish that displays some strong yet velvety tannins. Great wine, that has a long way to go.
94p   (tasted 2015/07)

2011 Ex Ex 10
Ex Ex stands for Exceptional Experiences. Each years, since 1998, they have produced a wine from a special experimental vineyard plot. The Ex Ex 10 is 100% Cabernet Franc and only 1.960 bottles are released.
The nose is deep but muted. After some vigorous swirling you can get notes of red and black currants, warm grass, ink, dried flowers and hot earth. This needs time. It has a elegant character to it. Very, very promising.
The taste is young, tight and structured with notes of red and black currants, green peppers, scorched earth and asphalt. The finish is counted in minutes and there are some forceful tannins here. This will need at least 5+ years in the cellar, proably more.
93p   (tasted 2015/07)

After the visit I really got warmed up to the wines from Castillo de Perelada. I managed to taste these wines from their portfolio during the following weeks in Costa Brava.

The 2010 Finca La Garriga I actually tasted before my visit. And this was the vineyard I liked best, so I got hold of two older vintages.

2006 Finca La Garriga
Finca La Garriga is a 41 ha estate that has Perelada´s oldest vines, more than 50 years old Samsò vines. The 2006 displays a deep, warm, meaty nose with additional notes of dark violets, forest floor, asphalt and mixed lingon- and blueberries. Velvety. Some maturity. Very, very good.
The taste is somewhat mature with notes of ripe blackberries, warm tiles, asphalt and moist undergrowth. A long, warm, caressing finish. This is good, very, very good.
93p   (tasted 2015/07)

2005 Finca La Garriga
The one year older La Garriga shows of a big, inviting nose with notes of plums, Christmas spices, violets, cigarr smoke and asphalt. Very, very good, although a bit looser around the edges than the 06 and 10.
The taste is warm and tight with notes of plums, smoke, cigarette ashes and forest floor. The finish is long and there are still some unresolved tannins. A very good dry ending. A touch more angular than the two other vintages, but a very good wine. Gonna get me some more vintages of La Garriga!
90p   (tasted 2015/07)

2013 Finca La Garriga Blanco
The white La Garriga is a blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% white Samsò, and has an attractive , buttery nose with notes of hazelnuts, yellow apples, vanilla ice cream and smoke. Very good. A fine creaminess.
The taste is young and upfront with notes of ripe melon, yellow apples, buttercup flowers and smoke. A long finish with a good acidity. Easy to like, easy to drink, yet with a fine depth and concentration.
89p   (tasted 2015/07)

2010 5 Fincas
This is a blend of grapes from all 5 vineyards that Perelada owns, from younger vines and grapes that doesn´t get into the single vineyard wines. The 2010 consists of 39% Garnatxa, 26% Merlot, 26% Syrah and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is open, soft and spicy with notes of violets, dark berries, warm tiles and some bonfire aromas. Good. Medium deep.
The taste is medium bodied, soft and accessible with notes of spicy black cherries, violets, dusty earth and some leather. Very gulpable, yet it has a good concentration and a fine firmness in the fnish. For the 9 Euro it cost in Spain, this is a bargain.
86p   (tasted 2015/07)

NV Cava Brut Reserva
Cava is big in Spain, you find them in oodles, even in the tiniest Supermercato. Perelada makes 15 different Cava´s! The Gran Claustro above is regarded as their best, but I was curious to try their modest line, so I bought this one and the Rosé below to test drive when I got home.
The Brut Reserva is made out of 40% Macabeu, 30% Xarel-lo and 30% Parellada. Its nose is young and fresh with notes of just ripening yellow apples, lemon peel, dry herbs and gravel. A bit light, but pleasant enough.
The taste is cool and dry with notes of inmature red apples, model clay, lemon peel and dusty earth. A medium long finish with a decent acidity, although the fruit sensation fades quickly. An ok bottle of bubbly, but nothing I would return to.
82p   (tasted 2015/07)

NV Cava Brut Rose
But this I would love to have some bottles of at home, when my stock of Cristal Rosé runs out...
Joking aside, this has an attractive nose with notes of lingonberries, dried raspberries, raspberry vinegar, minerals and herbs. It has a fine sweet/sour scent in regards to the red fruit. Salivating.
The taste is medium bodied, dry and with a good acidity, that pairs well with the notes of lingonberries, raspberry candy, minerals and balsa wood. Very good and very gulpable. Made out of 74% Carnatxa, 18% Pinot Noir and 7% Trepat.
86p   (tasted 2015/07)

Friday 21 August 2015

Exploring The Forgotten Side Of Bordeaux - Chapter X

"This is one of the world´s great dry white wines" (Stephen Brook: The Complete Bordeaux, 2012).

That will give you some expectations, right?
Since 2009 it is named La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc, but the bottle for tonight is the more, for me anyway, well known Laville Haut-Brion. It has been in La Mission Haut-Brion´s ownership since 1931- and since 1983 it belongs to the Dillon group of estates, along with Haut-Brion.

The wine comes out of 3 ha, planted with 63% Semillon and 37% Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is whole-cluster pressed and then barrel fermented with natural yeasts. There is no malolactic fermentation. It is aged in 50% new wood for about 15 months.

Broadbent has of course tasted it and writes that it is "dry and light for Laville..., very attractive - for the short term". and that was in 1998. But when Broadbent writes "short term", it could mean 50 years...
Lets find out!

1993 Château Laville Haut-Brion
The nose is a bit slow out of the gate but soon it reveals some fascinating scents in the shape of wet lanolin, dried tangerines, ski wax, candied lemon peel, gravel and matchbox. A deep, refined and still vigorous nose. It evolves more and more in the glass. For the short term - baaah!
The taste is tight, focused and dry with notes of band aid, candied orange peel, gravel, oil cloth and talc powder. The finish is long, finely tuned and really aristocratic. A very good acidity. This is really good. A bad year? Again, the proof is in the bottle. This 93 gets
93p   (tasted 2015/08)

Thursday 20 August 2015

Live From 19 Glas

A warm afternoon in Stockholm, and I pass 19 glas - - and I think, why not?

2013 Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett, Markus Molitor
A long time favourite of mine - I think I still have some 90's Auslese - Molitor has crafted a young, fresh Kabinett in this vintage. The nose is very fresh with notes of lime, slate, gooseberries and a hint of ripening peaches. A fine saltiness. Very good.
The taste is salivating and inviting with a crisp acidity and notes of lime peel, white currants, lots of minerals and a touch of smoke. A medium long finish with an almost dry ending. Good stuff.
88p   (tasted 2015/08)

Monday 17 August 2015

An Evening With Some Fantastic Wines - Keller, Mascarello, Masseto, Lafleur & More

S, M and me got together to drink some gooood wines. We each brought a couple of bottles, and some nice food was prepared.
All wines tasted double blind, except for the ones I brought.

NV Brut Rosé Grand Cru, Egly-Ouriet
A fine, light, flowery nose with notes of red grapefruit, red apples, mineral and some strawberries. Very good and airy.
The taste is fresh and refined with a fine acidity and an assortment of red fruits paired with sweet minerals and roses. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2015/08)

2014 Scheurebe Trocken, Keller
A young, perky nose with notes of ripe pears, freshly cut grass, minerals and spices. This is good. Some flowers scents after a while. A hint of sweetness.
The taste is cool, tight and spicy with notes of nettles, dried flowers, granite and chalk. The finish is medium long and nicely balanced. A very fine, young wine.
92p   (tasted 2015/08)

2014 Nierstein Riesling Kabinett -H-, Keller
Kellers Nierstein´s - both Hipping and Pettenthal - always impresses. Last time I tasted the 2012 Hipping it delivered the goods, but the 2014 is even better. The nose is deep and penetrating with lovely notes of peaches, flint, white currants, the fat from Serrano ham and even a hint of vanilla ice cream. Lots and lots of minerals. Stunning juice!
The taste is pure and refreshing as water from a mountain river, and adds notes of white currants, pears, gravel and a touch of matchbox. Lip smacking acidity and a long, long finish. Still young of course, but oooh so good.
95p   (tasted 2015/08)

2009 Ma Douce Chardonnay, Morlet
This is something else... But equally good! The nose is big and concentrated with notes of butter cookies, wax, lavender honey, summer flowers and some juniper wood. Deep and creamy, yet with a tight core of ripe yellow fruit. Very, very good.
The taste is big and steady with notes of tangerines, vanilla pudding, dried flowers and ripe peaches. A big structure and a whole lot of ripe fruit, yet it ends with a firm, dry note. This is good!
93p   (tasted 2015/08)

1995 Saarburger Rausch Riesling Spätlese, Zilliken
A very good wine, but in this company, a bit of a let down. The nose is cool, mature and spicy with notes of dried peaches, wet asphalt, rubber boats and a hint of saffron. Very good.
The taste is mature and initially semi dry with notes of grey pears, moist earth, dried flowers and the saffron goes through the taste also. A medium long finish that ends almost completely dry.
88p   (tasted 2015/08)

1990 I Sodi di S. Niccolo, xxxx
A fine, deep, a bit laid back nose with notes of ripe black cherries, forest floor, a touch of charcoal and some liquorice. A very refined nose. Very, very good. Deep.
The taste is almost fully mature with fine notes of red and black cherries, earth, dried rosemary and violets. The finish is long and dry, with some fine aristocratic tannins caressing the palate. A lovely wine on its apogee.
92p   (tasted 2015/08)

1985 Barolo, Bartolo Mascarello
My offering. It has a very light, mature colour and look a little feeble, but this is still packing quite a punch. The nose is intense and very fragrant with lovely notes of dried raspberries, rosehips, dried mushrooms, rose petals and sweet tobacco. A lovely maturity and balance. A hint of nougat. Great!
The taste is mature but still tight and focused with notes of dried strawberries, lots of undergrowth, roseships, ceps and tobacco. A very long, intense finish. Mouth filling in the most positive sense. In a perfect stage of maturity.
94p   (tasted 2015/08)

2006 Masseto
A big, broad shouldered nose with notes of black olives, black cherries, dark chocolate, warm herbs and graphite. Still very young, needs time to open up. A tight core of sweet, black fruit. Impressive, but needs to open up.
The taste is big and firm with notes of ripe black cherries, tapenade, moist undergrowth, asphalt and dark chocolate. Very dense. A long, long finish with some strapping tannins. Very young. Not as gorgeous as Masseto usually is, even at this stage of development. But there is no denying that it is a great wine, and will surely become even better with time.
94p   (tasted 2015/08)

1999 Château Lafleur
My offering, and the wine of the evening! :-) This beauty has a deep, refined, structured nose with notes of ripe plums, rose petals, autumn leaves, veal stock and a light tobacco touch. Deep and truly fine. A very fine lightness, yet intense. Just stunning.
The taste is velvety yet with a perfect firm touch, with fine notes of red currants, plums, earth, tobacco and rosehips. A impressive showing of this 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Franc Pomerol. The last vintage I bought primeur, from 2000 the prizes got silly.
97p   (tasted 2015/08)

2003 Château Pontet-Canet
This has an outgoing, deep and sturdy nose with notes of ripe black currants, scorched earth, tobacco, black olives and new leather. A very creamy nose. Deep and warm. Rich. Very, very good.
The taste is tighter and more backboned than the nose leads you to believe, with notes of red and black currants, graphite, earth, clean stables and a touch of green olives. Lots of firm tannins. Long and fine. Still on the young side of things. This is good.
92p   (tasted 2015/08)

2001 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling Auslese, Robert Weil
My offering. Kind of weird. Very developed, both in colour and on the nose, with notes of yellow raisins, dried pine apple, detergent and a hint of saffron. Yet it is very focused and intense with a lovely sweetness. Very deep.
The taste is big and sweet with notes of ripe melon, pine apple, sugared water and butter fudge. A very long finish with a fine acidity. Very, very good, although it seems a little advanced for a 2001 Auslese from one of my favourite producers. Have to try another one. From a half bottle.
91p   (tasted 2015/08)

Friday 14 August 2015

Friday Dinner - A Young Pouilly Fumé & A Mature Bordeaux

I have been working only three days this week after a five week holiday, but I am a wreck...
I need something to lift my spirits. With a tasty Toast Skagen I opened a young Pouilly Fumé that many have written and talked good things about.
Then - with a big slice of Gotland fillet of beef with some roasted vegetables and a nice béarnaise sauce, I opted for a mature (hopefully!) Bordeaux.
It worked out well...:-)

2014 Pouilly Fumé, Jonathan Didier Pabiot
This beauty displays a pure and fresh nose with notes of elderberries, green apples, gravel, pine sap and a very salivating lemon peel scent. Very, very good. A very vibrant wine.
The taste is young, tight and mineraly with notes of lime peel, gravel, green apples and elderberries. A very fine acidity. A bit Chablis like, and a very good one at that. Easy to drink sip after sip. Lovely.
91p   (tasted 2015/08)

1982 Château Maucaillou
Popped and poured, and it immediately reveals fine aromas of a mature Bordeaux, in the shape of fresh stables, dried red and black currants, graphite, coffee powder and worn leather. A very fine aromatic nose. Perfectly mature.
The taste is more taut than the nose with fine notes of red currants, dried plums, cigarette ashes, dried autumn leaves and balsa wood. A medium long finish with a nice dry finish. In a fine drinking stage, but I won´t save remaining bottles for much longer.
89p   (tasted 2015/08)


Wednesday 12 August 2015

The Seventh Costa Brava Dispatch

Among the wines I bought and tasted from Empordà there was one natural wine. Why, could one ask. But you gotta expand your horizons sometimes. :-) I am glad I did!

2013 Confianca, Cosmic
This turned out to be a nice surprise! Made out of 100% Garnatxa Roja. Only 626 bottles made and this bottle was nr 503. The label states that it has bottled without sulfites. Upon opening it I discovered it was a orange wine.
Granted, I had my preconceived thoughts while pouring it, but guess what, shame on me!
The nose is deep and complex with notes of (over)ripe yellow apples, white raisins, hay, dried flowers and banana peel. Very fine. A hint of glue after a while. This is good.
The taste is tight and dry with notes of yellow apples, paint, yellow plums and lots of crushed rocks. Long and fine. A high acidity. Feels like chewing on a peach kernel. This is really good. Worked well with some assorted Spanish delicatessen. Info here.
89p   (tasted 2015/07)

Monday 10 August 2015

Some Miscellaneous Bottles

Here are some bottles drunk over the last couple of weeks.

1996 Moulins de Citran
The second wine of Château Citran. This 19 year old Bordeaux displays a fine maturity in the shape of soft red and black currants, fresh stables, autumn leaves and cigarette ashes. There is a ever so tiny hint of green peppers, but that only add to the nice personality.
The taste is cool, mature and fine with notes of red currants, earth, old leather and autumn leaves. The finish is medium long and gentle. Classy for what it is. Really good. I have the big brother of the same vintage, gotta open that one soon.
87p   (tasted 2015/07)

2011 Les Obriers de la Pèira, La Pèira
A upfront meaty, spicy nose with notes of ripe blueberries, violets and moist earth. A lot of stuffing although it lacks a bit of refinement. Very good though. Gets better and fuller with air.
The taste is medium bodied and steady with notes of blackberries, blueberries, dried flowers and violets. A long finish with some cigarette ashes in the end, and a good warmth. It went down really well with some grilled meat. Could evolve some more.
89p   (tasted 2015/07)

2009 Las Flors, La Pèira
Again and again this bottle of stunning juice delivers a great experience. I can just recycle my last note...
95p   (tasted 2015/08)

2000 Sassoalloro, Biondi Santi
The nose is rather subdued, even with an hour in the decanter. There are some notes of red and black cherries, crushed rocks, pine wood and dried herbs. Some maturity. Rather dense. Never really opens up in the glass.
The taste is tight and semi mature with notes of dried up cherry liquor, liquorice, dried herbs and gravel. The tannins are a bit dusty. A medium long finish with a nice warmth. A bit boring.
79p   (tasted 2015/08)

1999 Print Shiraz, Mitchelton
A mature, round, sweet nose with lovely notes of ripe blackberries, bacon fat, cherry liquor, asphalt and toothpaste. Very typical and very likable. Sweet flowers after a while. Really good.
The taste is big and warm with notes of mint covered black fruits, tar, dark chocolate and violets. A very good warmth. Good length. To go along some grilled burgers, it fitted the bill perfectly.
88p   (tasted 2015/07)

1995 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château Mont-Redon
Popped and poured. A soft, warm, mature nose with notes of undergrowth, dried raspberries, pine resin and warm herbs. Opens up nicely in the glass. Fully mature and enjoyable.
The taste is round and mature with notes of red cherries, raspberries, moist earth, herbs and pine nuts. A medium long, warm finish with soft tannins. A nice mouth full of mature Ch-du-Pape.
87p   (tasted 20115/08)

Sunday 9 August 2015

Exploring The Forgotten Side Of Bordeaux - Chapter IX

Carbonnieux is one of the oldest estates in Bordeaux, dating back to the twelfth century. The current owners, the Perrin family bought the estate in 1956.
It is the largest producer of white wine among the classified Graves, with 42 ha dedicated to white wine. That explains the amount of bottles of Carbonnieux, both old and new, that I found when I started to buy bottles for this project. And the volume seems to keep the prize down, I paid equally much for these two bottles, 27 Euro/bottle.
The blend is 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Semillon.

1982 Chateau Carbonnieux
What a surprise! A 33 year old white Bordeaux that are brimming with life! The nose is deep, upfront, and of course a bit mature but not much (would have guessed a 1995-96 from a more prominent chateau if I was given this blind). Lovely notes of dried peached, oilcloth, dry grass, paint and matchbox. Dried up lemon curd. Very, very good. From time to time it reminds me of a fine Clos de Coulee dé Serrant on the nose.
The taste is tight, focused and mature with notes of lemon cream, oilcloth, dry herbs and dried pine apple. Complex. A very good acidity. Long and fine. Really, really good. The best Carbonnieux I have tasted, yet.
91p   (tasted 2015/08)

2004 Chateau Carbonnieux
A much darker colour than the 1982, and there is something wrong here. The nose is big and open and clearly oxidized. The taste follow the pattern with a oxidize feel with a dryness and hollowness. A badly stored bottle I guess.
Not rated   (tasted 2015/08)