Sunday 21 August 2016

A 23 Bottle Evening With Some Great Surprises

The tasting season started with a bang. M invited and the weather was on our side, so we could sit outside all evening long, with the grill working in the background, eating and talking about wine!
All wines tasted double blind, except for the one I brought.

NV Prestige Blanc de Blancs, Pierre Gerbais
A new producer for me, this bottle delivers the goods, with fine notes of assorted nuts, white currants, oyster shells and some smoky aromas. Very fine.
The taste is tight and fresh with juicy yellow fruit and notes of freshly cut chalk, lemon peel and flowers. A fine acidity. Really good.
91p   (tasted 2016/08)

2015 Riseling Trocken, Keller
A young, upfront nose with notes of kaffir lime leaves, grey pear and gooseberries. Light and perky.
The taste is young, dry and sprightly with a high acidity and notes of pears, mineral and lime. Very good.
87p   (tasted 2016/08)

2015 Scheurebe Trocken, Keller
A very fine, interesting nose with notes of lime cream, chalk, grapefruit and dried flowers. A very handsome nose. Racy.
The taste is young and dry, and you could almost imagine that this is made out of pressed rocks, not grapes, very stony, chalky and mineral driven. And very, very good. Gonna get me some.
91p   (tasted 2016/08)

2015 Limestone Riesling Kabinett Goldcap, Keller
This beauty displays a focused, intense nose with notes of dry mango, some diesel oil, yellow pears and star fruit. Very complex. Deep and lovely.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of lemon peel, flint, pears and a hint of matchbox. A long, racy finish with a high acidity. Gorgeous, and will get even better with 3-5 years in the cellar.
92p   (tasted 2016/08)

2005 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett, Willi Schaefer
A somewhat mature, broad nose with notes of dried apricots, petrol, earth and a whiff of dried strawberries. Very good.
The taste is mature, dry and fine with notes of dried up orange jam, resin, warm rocks and some grassy notes. Drinking fine tonight, but shouldn´t be cellared longer.
89p   (tasted 2016/08)

2004 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese, Dönnhoff
A big, mature and a bit foursquare nose with notes of dry honey, varnish and dried pine apple. A bitt odd.
The taste is dry and mature with notes of almond paste, blood orange peel, diesel oil and dried flowers. We guessed it to be much older than a 04. Not an ok bottle?
82p   (tasted 2016/08)

2011 Abtserde Riesling Spätlese, Keller
What a wine! A deep, complex nose rises from the glass with stunning notes of spice, sweet lime, lemon curd, chive and chalk. Just lovely. A long, lingering smoky scent comes and goes.
The taste is young, tight and concentrated with notes of ripe lemons and lime, cucumber, summer flowers and sweet minerals. A steely acidity. Great wine!
95p   (tasted 2016/08)

2009 Huber Chardonnay, Diatom
These Diatom´s have been hits or misses through the years. Sometimes they can controle the richness and alcohol into a fine California Chardonnay. Other times it is a alcoholic mess with over sweet fruit. This was however somewhere in between.
The nose is big and blowsy with very ripe yellow fruit and notes of sour milk, sun warm rocks, butter cookies and smoke. A bit of a mess, but not a total one.
The taste is big and broad with notes of cooked parsnips, lemon cream, decaying flowers and warm rocks. The finish is long and very dry, almost like licking on blotting paper. Not my kind of wine.
76p   (tasted 2016/08)

After the whites followed flight after flight with reds - it was a tough work - and the first three was an interesting comparison of styles.
2002 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand
We had this at a vertical of Clos des Epeneaux six years ago, and then I thought it needed just 5-7 years more. Here we are, 6 years later, and what happened? It has entered a dormant stage - according to this bottle anyway - with a deep, warm but restrained nose with notes of root vegetables, moist forest floor, dark liquorice and some wood scents. The nose shouts "wait for me another 5 years". I will.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of dried cherries, beets, earth and rosehips. The finish is long an promising but rather locked up. Judging from this bottle, give this another 5-7 years in the cellar, but I would venture that it will need even more time. Today, a bit angular.
85p   (tasted 2016/08)

2000 Barbaresco Bric Balin, Moccagatta
Aaaaah, right after I dipped my nose in the glass I made one of the foolish promised one could give - "if this isn´t Nebbiolo I am giving up wine drinking"..... fortunately it turned out to be a fine bottle of Nebbiolo :-)
The nose is just entering maturity with lovely notes of red cherries, rose petals, a moist mushroom forest and some dry leather scents. Very, very fine.
The taste is dry and mouth coating with notes of red and black cherries, rosehips, rosemary and asphalt. A long, long, lingering finish with a fine tannin structure. On the verge of maturity, this Barbaresco is a fine bottle to drink now and the coming 10+ years.
92p   (tasted 2016/08)

1995 Tinta Crianza, Teofilo Reyes
This was a curve ball, no one was even close to guessing its origin. The nose is big and outgoing with notes of cooked cherries, sweet liquorice, smoke and lots of warm earth.
The taste is warm yet seedy and rather tight with notes of liquroce, black cherries, warm spices and scorched earth. Long and warm. Very good.
88p   (tasted 2016/08)

The next flight really caught us of guard. Double blind, all of us were sure that we were deep inside Rhone territory, the only thing we were arguing about were if it was 100% Syrah or if all or some were blends...
2013 Saperavi Premium, Askaneli Brothers
Oh yes, I should have noticed the tell tale signs of Saperavi... Anyway, the nose shows a fine, cool, seedy character with notes of freshly pressed blueberries, sun warm rocks and some smoke. Not that deep or complex but very, very nice in a juicy kind of way.
The taste follows the nose nicely and this is a fresh, upfront bottle of wine. Fine notes of crushed black peppers and a hint of rubber in the finish. Very good indeed.
87p   (tasted 2016/08)

2012 Kataro Reserve, Domaine Avetissyan
Lots of letters on this label that I don´t understand...but besides that, this is a serious wine. The nose is broad yet focused with notes of ripening blackberries, dried blueberries, forest floor and a complex note of green peppers. Deep and fine. Really good.
The taste is young, tight and seedy with notes of ripe blueberries, meat stock, undergrowth and a hint of bakelite. The finish is long and balanced. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2016/08)

2010 Karas Reserva, Armavir
I had this pegged as a Hermitage... The nose is deep, warm and concentrated with lots of ripe blueberries and raspberries and additional notes of charcoal, warm herbs and some dark chocolate scents. Sturdy. Really fine.
The taste is big, intense and warm with notes of ripe blueberries, sun warm rocks, herbs and sweet violets. Very earthy in the finish. A very fine structure, this is built to age. Would love to have some bottles of this.
93p   (tasted 2016/08)

After the previous flight we were on our toes - what would come up next? Could it really be a...
1996 Côte-Rôtie, Jamet
A perfectly mature nose with lovely notes of grilled meat, dried blueberries, violet pastilles and old leather. Very deep. Some dark earthy notes. This has matured gracefully. Very, very fine.
The taste is broad, structured and dry with notes of meat stock, blueberries, earth and wood smoke. A long, peppery finish. This is really, really good.
95p   (tasted 2016/08)

2001 Shiraz, Barossa Class
This is obviously made by the students of a Barossa wine school, and they have made a good effort. The nose is large and meaty with notes of blackberries, very ripe flowers, soya and burning table tennis balls (believe me, I know that smell...). Very big but hold things together. Very good.
The taste is mouth coating and almost fiery but there is also a warm, distinct blackberry fruit that are very nice. Pipe tobacco and dried flowers are also noticable.
89p   (tasted 2016/08)

After this pic my phone died so no pis on the bottles that followed
1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reservé, Domaine de la Vieille Julienne
A deep, dark, somehat mature nose with notes of cooked meat, resin, damsons, undergrowth and blood & iron. There is lots to like here. A fine depth.
The taste is entering maturity with a tight core of black fruits and notes of warm herbs, blueberries, dried strawberries and lots of moist fir forest. Long and warm. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2016/08)

After the structured flights above, the more hedonistic part of the evening began, with bottles being opened left and right. With lots of food and laughter, my notes on the wines below are sketchy at best.
2001 Vigna d´Alceo, Castello Dei Rampolla
Vigna d´Alceo is a perennial favourite of mine, the 1999 making the most memorable list of 2015. The 2001 is still on the young side of things and showing of ripe, sweet cherry fruit and a long seamsless finish. Great wine.
93p   (tasted 2016/08)

1998 Côte-Rôtie La Turque, Guigal
Strange and sad, second time this year that the 1998 La Turque has been not-what-one-expects. Last time it was a really good bottle of wine, but not up to La-La standard. This one was just weird, drinkable but with so many great bottles on the table, why should one. Too bad.
?   (tasted)

1998 Messorio, Le Macchiole
Drinking Merlot is always great, when it comes in this kind of package! A stunning bottle, on par with the same wine, tasted three years ago.
95p   (tasted 2016/08)

2010 Private Cellar Shiraz, Hewitson
I brought this one, just bought from a day spent in Copenhagen this summer. A big, steady Barossa Shiraz that keeps everything in check and delivers hedonism, pleasure and some intellectual challenge in one glass. Why did I  only buy one bottle??
93p   (tasted 2016/08)

2006 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Poggio Salvi
The tasting buds are getting quite jaded at this point, but who could resist a fine bottle of Brunello - not me! Bright cherry fruit, lots of sweet rosemary, the haunting smell of warm Tuscan gravel and a velvety mouth feel with lots of polished tannins that show themselves at the end of the looong finish. Really, really fine.
92p   (tasted 2016/08)

Then there was a sweetie from Dönnhoff but to be honest, my notes looks like a drunken ant have crawled over my notebook page, so I refrain from trying to decipher those scribblings...