Thursday 23 June 2016

Two Wines From Elio Sandri

A mail came. From a Swedish importer - Bristly Wine - that had unearthed a, for me, unknown producer in Monforte d'Alba.
I could buy a 6 bottle mixed case and of course I ordered one. These are the two first bottles opened and drunk, of which there were 2 bottles each (the rest is one bottle 2013 Langhe Nebbiolo and one bottle 2009 Barolo Riserva).

For an enthusiastic report from a visit to the estate, check out Gregory Dal Piaz

2013 Marapika, Elio Sandri
This Langhe Rosso is a blend of dominantly Dolcetto and Barbera with "a small extra power given by Nebbiolo" as their website says.
The nose is young, cool and seedy with notes of red cherries, rosehips, red tea and a damp forest. Evolves nicely in the glass over the evening. Very good.
The taste is cool and fresh with notes of hard cherry candy, cigarette ashes, dusty earth and dry liquorice. The finish is medium long and dry. A touch anemic on the mid palate to be honest. With a pasta dish it worked great. 
85p   (tasted 2016/06)

2013 Dolcetto d'Alba, Elio Sandri
A joyful, exuberant nose right out of the bottle, with notes of sweet red cherries, dried raspberries, band aid and just the right amount of dirt to make it a complex, multi layered nose. Some light meaty aromas after a while. Lots of energy. Really good!
The taste is young, tight and fresh with notes of red cherries, wild strawberries, liquorice and dusty earth. A very fine, uplifting acidity. Very, very good. Probably the best Dolcetto I have ever had. 
92p   (tasted 2016/06)

More notes here (in Swedish).

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Another Notch In The Belt - 2002 Chambourcin, Pendarves Estate

To my knowledge I have never tasted any wine from the Chambourcin grape. But now I have. According to Jancis Robinson et al in her great work Wine Grapes (2012) Chambourcin is a complex hybrid that was first commercialized in 1963. Previously mostly planted in France where it still is one of the most widely planted hybrids, it is also planted in several other places in the world, from USA to Vietnam. This example comes from Australia, where 86 producers (!) make wine of this hybrid.

On to the wine!

2002 Chambourcin, Pendarves Estate
This estate was established in 1986 by Dr. Philip Norrie and on the label "The Wine Doctor´s Estate" is proudly printed. A bottle of this a day, keeps the doctor away...:-)
The nose is intriguing and given this blind I would have been lost. It behaves like a blend of a young Barbera with some Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc in the mix. Red ripe cherries, cranberries, bonfire, rubber and a warm green scent, are some of the notes. I really like it. Rather complex. Very, very good.
The taste is high strung with a high acidity, a medium body and notes of fir, cranberries, red currants, burning rubber and hard cherry candy. A long, lingering, refined finish. Very interesting. It behaves more like a old style Chianti on the palate. This is really good. Bought as a gamble, would love to have more. With its 12,5% alcohol, it is very gulpable. And the 14 years in the bottle doesn´t show at all.
91p   (tasted 2016/06)

Tuesday 21 June 2016

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, Jordan

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, Jordan

It always fascinate me - these tiny amounts of grapes in the blend - do they really make a difference? 1% Malbec? Would I have noticed a difference if there had been 77% Cabernet Sauvignon instead of the 76% there is now?
I don´t know, would be fun to try though. Other than these two grapes there are 16% Merlot and 7% Petite Verdot in the blend. You could call it a classic Bordeaux blend.
The nose is deep, fruity and finely tuned with notes of ripening black currants, graphite, black tea and forest floor. Very, very good. A fine sweetness to the fruit, but in a restrained way. This is fine. Still young of course.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of ripe black currants, blueberries, dark chocolate and lots of sun warm rocks. A long, intense finish. Some perky tannins peeks through at the end. Lovely now but will be even better in 5+ years time. I have some fine memories from Jordan´s Cabernet from the 1983, 85 and 86 vintages. More info here.
93p   (tasted 2016/06)

Monday 20 June 2016

Castillo Perelada Lunch Tasting

Vinunic invited to a tasting of wines from Castillo Perelada and Eugeni Llos Norenberg, a Norwegian by birth, that works at the estate presented the wines. I visited the estate last year and was really impressed by many of the wines they produce.

NV Cava Brut Reserva
This big selling bubble (3,5 million bt/year) has a light, cool nose with notes of almonds, gravel and dried pears. Nice enough.
The taste is dry and fine with notes of grapefruit, almond flakes and gravel. A medium long finish with a hint of bitterness.
81p   (tasted 2016/05)

NV Cava Brut Rosado
The Rosé is a whole other ballgame, with a medium deep, fresh nose with notes of lingonberries, wild strawberries, almond cookies and crushed rocks. A god lift to the nose. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of lingonberry jam, earth, blood oranges and gravel. A medium long finish with a fine acidity. Really good and for 11 Euro a true bargain.
87p   (tasted 2016/05)

2015 Només Garnatxa Blanca
A flowery, rather big nose great you when you put your nose in the glass, with additional notes of strawberries and dusty earth. Very good.
The taste is open and broad with notes of summer flowers, assorted red berries, gravel and a hint of butter. Very good when cold, but lost some of its freshness when it gets warmer in the glass.
85p   (tasted 2016/05)

2015 GR-174
This is a big seller in Sweden, I have not tasted it before but I can see why - the nose is big and open with a herbal warmth and notes of plums, chocolate biscuits and liquorice. Lacks depth and complexity but is very likable.
The taste is big and warm with notes of dried cherries, plums, chocolate and herbs. A medium long finish with a soft ending. Gulpable but not really my cup of tea.
84p   (tasted 2016/05)

2012 5 Finques Reserva
The name derives from the 5 single vineyards Perelada owns in Emporda and this wine is made out of grapes from the young vines from these sites. It is a blend of Garnatxa, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Samso, Monastrell and Ull de Llebre. The nose is big and open for business with fine notes of scorched earth, plums, meat stock and fresh herbs, Very, very good.
The taste is big, warm and forward with notes of plums, chocolate, bonfire and fried herbs. A long, distinct finish with a fine warmth and some earthy tannins. For drinking now and the coming 5+ years.
88p   (tasted 2016/05)

2011 Finca La Garriga
There was something wrong with this bottle and there were no replacement so no judgement. Too bad, I liked the La Garriga most of the three single vineyard bottling when I tasted them in Spain last year.
No rating   (tasted 2016/05)

2012 Finca Malaveïna
This one shows of a fine, warm nose with notes of ripe blueberries, hot earth, bakelite and dry tobacco. Very good.
The taste is big and seedy with notes of spicy plums, cigarette ashes, earth and bay leaves. Long and warm. Very good. A blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 13% Syrah and 7% Garnatxa.
87p   (tasted 2016/05)

2013 Aires de Garbet
This 100% Garnatxa wine has spend 12 months in used Bordeaux barriques before bottling. It displays a deep, dense nose with notes of ripe blackberries, chocolate biscuits, warm gravel and some peppery aromas. Very fine. A dark perfumed scent.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of blueberries, bonfire, gravel and crushed peppers. A very long, sandy finish with some sturdy tannins. Wait 3+ years. This will turn out great.
90p   (tasted 2016/05)

2011 Gran Cruor
Moving over to Priorat for the next two bottles. The 2011 Gran Cruor is a 100% Carayena wine and shows of a spicy, warm nose with notes of peppery black fruits, meat, dark flowers and hot earth. Very good but a tad on the warm side.
The taste is big, tight and intense with notes of blackberries, sweet violets, meat stock and hot gravel. A long, warm finish. More restrained on the palate. Needs time. Very, very good.
88p   (tasted 2016/05)

2010 Gran Cruor
The one year older Gran Cruor is a blend of 70% Syrah, 15% Carayena and 15% Garnatxa, and also a much better wine. The nose is deep and concentrated with notes of peppery blueberries, bay leaves, warm tiles and a fine perfumed note. A lovely nose.
The taste is dark and dense with notes of blue- and blackberries, fried herbs, violets and lightly peppered meat. A long, long finnish with a fine tannin structure. Wait 5+ years and you will have a stunning bottle of wine.
92p   (tasted 2016/05)

2007 Finca Garbet
The Finca Garbet was the only one of the better wines I didn´t taste at my visit to Castello Perelada. I bought the 2006 but haven´t done the deed yet, so it was interesting to get to taste the 07 now. And boy, what a wine! This 100% Syrah delivers the goods! The nose is fantastic in its intensity and focus yet displaying lightness and layer upon layer of seductive black- and blueberries with some ripe black cherries tossed in. There also are fine notes of sweet violets, dried flowers, dark chocolate and a gorgeously perfumed scent. Really, really fine.
The taste is big and bold yet elegant and delicate with notes of ripe blackberries, violets, veal stock, bay leaves and dried flowers. The finish goes on for over a minute and there are plenty of tannins beneath the gorgeous fruit. Give this 5-7 years and it will flirt with perfection. I would love to put this into a line up of fine Côte-Rôtie´s and see what would happen. Great wine!
96p   (tasted 2016/05)

Saturday 18 June 2016

Two Outstanding Bottles Of Cabernet Franc

I bought the Le Roi just on chance, byuing a case of different bottles in the 15-20 Euro price range for everyday drinking. And stumbled on a truly fine wine for virtually no money at all. Then I had to order the big brother, the "Fool", and that was not a mistake...

This domaine is almost new, the owner, Philippe Proché, bought the estate in 2004 and the first vintage produced was the year after. More info here.

2010 Le Roi, Domaine de Rocheville
An open, eager, focused nose with lots of red and black currants alongside notes of warm tiles, green peppers, smoke and road dust. Opens up beautifully in the glass. Deep and refined. This is really good. 100% Cabernet Franc that has spent 15 months in 5000 liter French oak casks.
The taste is tight and expressive with notes of black currant leaves, warm grass, fresh herbs and sun warm rocks. A long, balanced finish with lovingly polished tannins. This is goood! For even more enjoyment, cellar this for 5+ years. For 17 Euro, this is a must buy, by the case.
91p   (tasted 2016/06)

2011 Le Fou du Roi, Domaine de Rocheville
The "Fool" has spent 18 months in French barriques and shows more oak aromas on the nose than the wine above, but since I´m not a oak wimp, it doesn´t bother me. It adds an extra dimension to the ripe black currant fruit and additional notes of graphite, fried green peppers and some dark coffee. Very, very good. Still very young.
The taste is big, seedy and tight with notes of cool, mature black currants, warm tiles, charcoal and some blueberries. Very long and with a fine warmth. Needs time. Great structure. Very, very promising. This 31 Euro wine will deliver even more pleasure in 6-8 years time. Buying!
92p   (tasted 2016/06)

Friday 17 June 2016

Friday Dinner Barolo - 1975 Barolo, M. Marengo

I opened this to go along a dish with pasta, dove and winter truffle, its friday after all.

1975 Barolo, M. Marengo
One of the many Marengo families, this La Morra producer have delivered some fine bottles through the years, with the 58 and 64 (of course!) as highlights if memory serves me right.
The 75 has a big, warm, round nose with notes of dried mushrooms, balsamico cooked rhubarbs, rosehips and chewing tobacco. A bit loose around the edges but it still got charm and that distinguishing scent of old school, mature, ripe Nebbiolo. Very good.
The taste is round, mature and warm with notes of rose petals, old liquorice, asphalt and root vegetables. A long, warm finish with fully resolved tannins. Drinking well on this friday but in all honesty, this was surely better 10-15 years ago. Went well with the food though.
83p   (tasted 2016/06)

Thursday 16 June 2016

1949 Nuits-Saint-Georges, P. Misserey

1949 Nuits-Saint-Georges, P. Misserey 
This negociant bought some good wines in 1949, according to this bottle. The nose is ripe, big and brawny with notes of brown sugar, figs, damsons, cooked root vegetables and damp forest floor. No wimpy strawberries here! An impressive structur given its age. On the nose it doesn´t feel like there are some "foreign" grapes (aka Rhone varietals) blended in, it smells like a old school, mature Pinot from a distant great year. Especially wines from 49 have behaved like this. Really good, even though it doesn´t have heaps of complexity.
The taste is big, sweet and concentrated with notes of red beets cooked in port wine, moist autumn leaves, damsons and pipe tobacco. The finish is long, warm and not in any way dry or hollow. There must have been some really ripe grapes that have gone into this wine. It actually keeps things together better than the nose. There are even some tannins in the end of the finish. Very impressive. Old bottles is always a gamble but when they play out like this there isn´t much that is more rewarding.
89p   (tasted 2016/06)

Thursday 9 June 2016

Sweden Rock Festival - Day Two

Second day at Sweden Rock Festival and it is wine day! Yesterday we saw Diamond Head and their signature song Am I Evil (this clip is from Sweden Rock in 2005 and I can be spotted in the public....).
We also got to see Blind Guardian, one of my all time favourites.
Tonight I am looking forward too SlayerKing Diamond & Soilwork

2014 Joven Roble, Pago de Los Capellanes
The 14 vintage of Joven Roble has a deep, forward, black nose with notes of dark plums, asphalt, moist earth and tobacco. A fine warmth. A fine depth. Very good.
The taste is young and tight with lots of ripe blueberries and notes of warm tiles, tobacco and bakelite. Some sturdy tannins in the long finish. Needs time. I remember the 2013 as somewhat more harmonious at about the same stage in its evolution. Very good.
89p   (tasted 2016/06)

Tuesday 7 June 2016

Three Bottles Of Pommard

Pommard. My regular go to bottle for daily Burgundy drinking, with lots of character, agebility and they won´t cost you an arm and a leg.
These were drunk during the last couple of weeks.

2002 Pommard Les Arvelets, Yves Chaley
A big, open, rustic nose with a mix of red and black berries with additional notes of clay, forest floor and dried flowers. Old school wine making, Deep and fine.
The taste is tight and forward with notes of dried blue- and raspberries, moist earth, dry liquorice and some peppery notes. A good length with a fine, sturdy warmth. Very, very good. Should evolve nicely for 10+ years.
90p   (tasted 2016/05/

1988 Pommard, Robert Ampeau
Ampeau is maybe more known for his mature, late released white Burgundy´s, but this is a nice example of his reds. The nose is broad and ample with a fine warmth and notes of boiled root vegetables, dry raspberry jam and assorted spices. A fine maturity. Very, very good.
The taste is mature, dry and rich with notes of dried raspberries, chewing tobacco and forest floor. A long rugged finish that is very much Pommard. Fully mature but should keep on this level for another 3-5 years
88p   (tasted 2016/05)

1953 Pommard, Calvet
Corked beyond belief! I have had this bottle for 5 years and before that it has dwelled somewhere for 58 years, only to be poured down the drain. Bloody corks! :-(

Saturday 4 June 2016

Masterclass With Adam Tolmach

It was 12 years since Adam Tolmach visited Sweden (and that was then his first visit). Lucky enough I also got to meet him then (see which wines we tasted then below).
Adam is a down to earth, charming man with a - to qoute himself - "meandering way to progress"
Divine invited, I went, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

2014 Kick On Ranch Riesling
I tasted this just two weeks ago and it behaved identical today.
91p   (tasted 2016/06)

2014 Puerta del Mar Chardonnay
The nose is cool and lightly smoky with notes of ripening mango, gravel and lemon cream. A fine nerve. 
The taste is young and tight with notes of flowers, mango and almond paste. A very good acidity. Long and delicious.
91p   (tasted 2016/06)

2014 Solomon Hills Chardonnay
The Solomon Hills is a beauty, with its deep, focused nose with notes of dry apricots, pears, grilled lemons and a touch of rubber. Complex and fine. Broader than the Puerta del Mar.
The taste is creamy yet with a tight core om lemon and pear fruit with additional notes of matchbox, almonds and grass. A very fine, taut acidity. Long. This is really good.
93p   (tasted 2016/06)

2014 Pinot Noir
The 14 Pinot Noir is all about a upfront, juicy charm. The nose is fresh and flowery with notes of cranberries, lingonberries and some funky earth scents. Very lively and good.
The taste is young and tight with notes of lingonberries, dried flowers and forest floor. A very good acidity. Gulpable and very good.
90p   (tasted 2016/06)

2012 Bien Nacido Syrah
This Syrah displays a slight angular nose with notes of dusty blueberries, Asian spices, dark earth and a touch of mint. A tad restrained on the nose. Needs some air to open up.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of damsons, dried herbs and asphalt. A long, liniar finish with young tannins and acidity. A touch foursquare today. There are fine fruit here that needs time to blossom.
88p   (tasted 2016/06)

2008 Presidio Syrah
From a magnum. A large scaled, opulent, rich nose with lovely notes of ripe blueberries, damsons, veal meat and some dark chocloate. A potpurri of Christmas spices rises from the glass after a while. Impressive. A hint of maturity. Really, really good.
The taste is broad and complex with stunning notes of blueberries, charcoal, leather and frsh herbs. A long, long finish with some peppery elements. Ends dry with a wonderful balance. Perfect for drinking today and probably for the coming 8+ years.
96p   (tasted 2016/06)

Wines tasted in 2004:
2000 Pisoni Pinot Noir   (87p)
2001 Clos Pepe Pinot Noir   (89p)
2001 Bien Nacido Pinot Noir   (92p)
1998 Bien Nacido Pinot Noir   (92p)
2001 White Hawk Syrah   (88p)
1998 Roll Ranch Syrah   (93p)
1997 Roll Ranch Syrah   (91p)
1996 Roll Ranch Syrah   (90p)
2001 Bien Nacido Syrah   (92p)
1998 Bien Nacido Syrah   (92p)
1997 Bien Nacido Syrah   (90p)
1996 Bien Nacido Syrah   (93p)

Thursday 2 June 2016

Red Room Hedonism - Two Old Montrose & One Young Canon

Since we moved I have stored my wines at Magnusson Fine Wine, a storage facility in the middle of Stockholm. They also have some nice tasting rooms where you can drink your wines and order meals to go along. Me and Peter met yesterday and shared some Bordeaux in the Red Room, as seen to the right in the pic below.

1962 Château Montrose
We couldn´t go through every vintage of Montrose at the 100 year tasting, so we continued with these two. The nose of the 62 starts of very old, with lots of VA and cooked plums, but with some time in the glass it freshens up and present itself as a old gentleman still with a sparkle in the eye. Notes of wet tobacco, autumn leaves and soya sauce meets the nose. On the nose alone, this has gone to far.
But that is not the case when you taste it! It is a lot fresher on the palate, with notes of dried black fruits, autumn leaves, cedar and good red wine vinegar. Medium long, soft but with a fine prescence. Went really well with the food.
87p   (tasted 2016/06)

1979 Château Montrose
This 79 is a great bottle caught in a perfect moment. Not the greatest year, but Montrose, as Latour, have a solid track record of making fine wine in lesser years. The nose is full of crushed leaves from a black currant bush with additional notes of tobacco, warm tiles and candle grease. Very, very good. A very classic, cool Bordeaux nose.
The taste is medium bodied, cool and mature with lovely notes of red and black currants, cedar, gravel and autumn leaves. The finish is long and velvety. Drinking perfect today and shows that there isn´t something like great vintages, there are only great wines.
93p   (tasted 2016/05)

2006 Château Canon
From a half bottle. Compared with the previous two, this is a fruit bomb! But when you concentrate on the wine in question you get fine notes of ripe plums, dark chcoolate and a great floral scent on the nose. Deep and rich but keeping everything in check.
The taste is deep, concentrated and juicy with notes of sweet black currants, plums, crushed rocks and some pipe tobacco. A long, warm, multi layered finish. This will need 5+ years in the cellar even though it is very yummy today.
91p   (tasted 2016/06)

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Live From Gaston Wine Bar

I have been on a tasting with Adam Tolmach from Ojai (notes to follow) and I am going to another tasting later, but I have an hour or two to kill in between, so why not slip into the wine bar an NK for a glass?

Looking through the wines on glass I spot a Spanish wine from Madrid made out of Albillo and Macabeo. On asking what´s the story I´m told it is a natural wine, and my natural... instinct is to back away. The staff notices my facial expression and says that is a "light" variant of a natural wine and offers me a sip.
Actually rather nice, so I order a glass. On the speakers there is jazz playing, so here I am, drinking natural wine and listening to jazz - mark my words - the end of the world as we know is here...

2014 Navaherreros Blanco, Bodegas Bernabeleva
It has some light chichen farm notes in the background but at the forefront there are nice aromas of apricots, grilled lemon and herbal soap. A fine depth. Very good. Some summer scents of grass and flowers.
The taste is dry and a bit viscous but is backed up by a fine acidity. There are notes of dry mango, grilled lemon and gravel. A medium long finish that ends a tad warm, but other than that a fine effort.
87p    (tasted 2016/05)