Thursday 29 September 2016

2004 Chianti Rufina Riserva Nippozano, Frescobaldi

2004 Chianti Rufina Riserva Nippozano, Frescobaldi
Yet another fine Chianti Rufina. This displays a light, on-its-feet Sangiovese fruit with notes of sweet/sour cherries, violets, fresh tobacco aromas and some Tuscan gravel. A hint of maturity. Very good.
The taste is fine boned and seedy with notes of red cherries, dry liquorice, gravel and tobacco. A long, refreshing finish with a good acidity. A fine dryness at the end. Very, very good. For drinking now and the coming 5+ years.
89p   (tasted 2016/09)

Sunday 25 September 2016

1987 Volnay Clos des Chênes, Bitouzet-Prieur

1987 Volnay Clos des Chênes, Bitouzet-Prieur
Opens a bit funky but with some air fine notes of dried strawberries, moist forest floor, Asian spices and a bonfire in a distance, emerges from the glass. A fine underlying driep up sweetness. Very good. Perfectly mature.
The taste is mature and dry with notes of root vegetables, dried raspberries, undergrowth and dry liquorice. A fine dryness in the medium long finish. A nice mature Volnay that went along great with the grilled chicken fillets and a light mushroom sauce.
87p   (tasted 2016/08)

Tuesday 20 September 2016

Fish & Wine

1997 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling Spätlese Trocken, Robert Weil
A nicely matured, refined nose with notes of dried lemon peels, saffron, banana peel and some plastic burning in the background. With air it becomes more mineral driven. Very, very good. A fine maturity.
The taste is mature and dry with notes of dried apriocts, star fruits, minerals and a hint of saffron. A medium long, structured finish. Very fine. Drinking perfect now.
90p   (tasted 2016/09)

2012 Savigny-Lès-Beaune Clos des Guettes, Louis Jadot
A medium bodied, kind of buttery nose with additional notes of yellow plums, tangerines, almond paste and matchbox. Outgoing and good.
The taste is forward and ripe with notes of lemon cream, butter biscuits, warm sand and some smoky notes. A good supporting acidity. Could use2-3 years in the cellar.
87p   (tasted 2016/08)

Monday 19 September 2016

Just Bought

Do I really need more bottles of 1964 Barolo??
Well of course I do!!

Friday 16 September 2016

2006 Chianti Rufina Riserva Vigneto Bucerchiale, Fattoria Selvapiana

2006 Chianti Rufina Riserva Vigneto Bucerchiale, Fattoria Selvapiana
This fine boned Sangiovese shows of a persistent, stony nose with notes of cool red cherries, rosemary, cigarette ash and violet pastilles. Very, very good. A tad restrained, but in a aristocratic, laid back kind of way. Demanding. Splendid.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of hard cherry candy, dried rosemary, Tuscan gravel and a touch of cocoa. A very fine framework. This has a great future ahead of itself, give it 3-5 years. Glad I have more.
91p   (tasted 2016/09)

Wednesday 14 September 2016

One Colheita Port, One Vintage Port & One Sherry

Three fortified wines tasted during the last couple of weeks.

1964 Colheita Branco, Krohn
Its not every day you drink a white port, especially a Colheita from The Greatest Vintage Ever! But this was the day. The nose is open, fat and sugary with notes of old yellow apples, white suryp, plum jam and sweet flowers. Very interesting and fine.
The taste is big and intense with notes of cooked yellow plums, orange blossom honey, almond paste and some detergent. A long, sweet finish. Mature, but this could go on for many years to come. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2016/08)

1994 Dow´s Vintage Port
A deep, seedy nose with notes of dark cherries, damsons, sweet liquorice and some fried nuts. A touch fiery. Still rather primary.
The taste is tight and forceful with notes of dark chocolate covered cherries, liquorice, chestnut cream and warm gravel. A very long, sturdy finish with some alcohol notes in the end. This still needs time in the cellar.
89p   (tasted 2016/08)

NV La Bota 46 de Oloroso "Montilla", Equpo Navazos
This producer source the best sherries out there and bottle them in small quantities. The No 46 has an average age of 25 years and the release was 2.500 bottles. Info on its background here,
The nose is intricate and refined with lovely notes of dades, pine nuts, birch sap, green leaves and a hint of milk chocolate. Really complex and multi layered. Very, very fine.
The taste is deep and full of finesse with intense notes of dried orange peel, assorted nuts, dades and dried herbs. A long, sleek, refined finish. A great Sherry, again!
93p   (tasted 2016/09)

Monday 12 September 2016

Tasting Through The Sortiment From Divine

Last week I had the chance to taste through the sortiment from Divine.
It is a little like cykling through a museum, you don´t really get a good look at the art in question but you do get a short glimpse of it, and can decide if its worth checking out more properly.

I tasted through 40 wines, these were the highlights. Short notes with a approximate score since I spent only one minute or so with each wine.

BlankBottle - first a few words about this idiosyncratic, charming, talkative producer in the shape of Pieter Walser. I could have stand there listening to him for hours, the drive, the energy and the love of his work is so obvious. And the wines! They really have a character of their own, with unortodox blends and single varietal wine, not to mention their names, but in Pieters words - "judge my wines on what´s in the bottle, not the varietal on the label". Read more here.

2015 Moment of Silence, BlankBottle
Very floral and rich with a lovely fruit driven nose. A long, distinct taste with a fine acidity. Really good.
~90p   (tasted 2016/09)

2015 Limbic, BlankBottle
A Neuro you know what that is? Pieter was hooked up to a computer that measured his brain, and in this case the subconscious part of his brain while tasting the different varietals, and the blend was determined by what his brain had reacted positive to while tasting. That´s one way of doing it... Read all about it here.
And the result? A gorgeous wine with a light creaminess, lots of restrained yellow fruit and a refined floral note. The taste is tight, pure and energetic. Mostly Chenin Blanc in the blend. This is goood!
~93p   (tasted 2016/09)

2015 Orbifrontal Cortex, BlankBottle
This was made using the same possibly varietal ingredients as the Limbic above, but the blend for this one was Pieters conscious mind. And guess what, no Chenin Blanc made the blend...
This is more floral and richer than the Limbic on the nose and the taste is broader, dryer and more ample. Very, very good.
~90p   (tasted 2016/09)

2015 Koffer, Blankbottle
On to the reds. This 100% Cinsault shows a cool, earthy nose with tobacco and dirt, and the taste is medium bodied and generous with notes of earth, cinnamon and tobacco.
~89p   (tasted 2016/09)

2015 Familiemoord, BlankBottle
One Swedish minister said many years ago that Norway was the last "Soviet" state in the world. He was wrong, I´m living in it... Because of an amusing story, Pieter has called this wine Familiemoord (Family murder) and what does the Swedish state monoply do? Refusing it. I am sure that the name alone would have lead to the demise of this country if it had been sold to an unknowing public... Cretins!
Anyway, the wine is a interesting blend of Grenache, Pinot Noir and Cinsault. The nose is blueberry rich and open with a warm, dusty aroma. The taste is seedy and dry with a fine blueberry and damson note. Really good.
~90p   (tasted 2016/09)

2015 100.000 Shiraz, BlankBottle
A single vineyard Shiraz, released only in magnums - I´m buying! Not only beacause of that, but beacause this is a gorgeous wine. The nose is spicy and rich with a silky feeling about it, and the taste is concentrated and focused with a deep core of blueberry and blackberry fruit. Great wine.
~93p   (tasted 2016/09)

NV Method Traditionelle, Quartz Reef
A very fine nose with notes of lemon cream and red apples, showing both the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir in the blend. A dry, persistent finish with a fine acidity. Given this blind I´m not sure I would have been outside Champagne in my guess.
~90p   (tasted 2016/09)

2013 Bendigo Estate Pinot Noir, Quartz Reef
An extraordinay Central Otago Pinot from selected parcels, this beauty shows of dark raspberries, liquorice and forest floor on the nose and a silky yet steady grip on the palate. This is a keeper! It was really nice to get to meet and talk to Rudi Bauer from the estate.
~94p   (tasted 2016/09)

2015 Ladois Blanc, D´Ardhuy
A blend of 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Blanc. I have always liked this wine but this vintage is the best yet - spicy, creamy and with a stern core, promising a long, healthy life.
~91p   (tasted 2016/09)

2013 Russian River Chardonnay, Lynmar
This large scaled Chard displays a great stucture underneath the big, sweet fruit. Me like!
~92p   (tasted 2016/09)

2014 Puerta del Mar Chardonnay, Ojai
This behaved just like a couple of months ago - a fine bottle of Chardonnay.
~91p   (tasted 2016/09)

2014 Bannockburn Pinot Noir, Felton Road
A fine, cool Pinot with lots of ripening raspberries, lingonberries and a hint of smoke. The taste is caressing and textured with a medium long finish and a really nice grip.
~91p   (tasted 2016/09)

2014 Russian River Pinot Noir, Lynmar
The Lynmar has a deep, meaty Pinot nose and a warm, spicy, flavourful finish.
~90p   (tasted 2016/09)

2013 Estate Pinot Noir, Melville
A deep, extrovert nose with sweet/sour raspberries, cigarr smoke and bay leaves. The taste shows a great framework and a fine intensity to the fruit. Really, really good.
~93p   (tasted 2016/09)

2014 Shea Pinot Noir, Ken Wright
This gorgeous Pinot oozes up from the glass with finesse and exquisite notes of wild strawberries, tobacco and spices. The taste is pure and concentrated and of pure class. This is a buy!
~94p   (tasted 2016/09)

2015 Tamarius, Mas Cremant
Last but not least, this Syrah/Grenache bargain from Côtes du Catalanes gives you an earthy, deep nose with black fruit and Christmas spices while the taste is young, perky and somewhat rustic in a old school way, for only 15 Euro. A great every day drinker!
~90p   (tasted 2016/09)

Saturday 10 September 2016

Barolo Boys Does (Mostly) Riesling & Nebbiolo - Chapter Two

In which a yellow card is handed out to M because of the three Barbaresco´s in the first flight (only Giacosa Barbaresco is the approved exceptions!), but after that faux pas things shaped up nicely...:-)
All wines tasted double blind.

Flight I
1997 Barbaresco Vigneto Starderi, Spinetta
When the veil was lifted there were som ooohs and aaahs of suprise - could this (in the past) oak monster really have turned into this beautiful aged Nebbiolo? It really has, with a deep, ethereal nose with lovely notes of dried cherries, moist autumn leaves, soya, mushrooms and roses. Very complex and fine. A beautiful maturity.
The taste is mature, velvety yet with some gripping tannins in the end of the finish. Fine notes of sweer/sour cherries, tobacco, undergrowth and asphalt. Long, long and intense. Could go on for another 10+ years but I doubt it will become better than this.
95p   (tasted 2016/08)

2001 Barbaresco Vigneto Loreto, Albino Rocca
Again, a surprise when the bottle was revealed, beacuse this should have been better. A Albino Rocca from this great vintage should have rocked, this one didn´t. Mind you, not a bad wine, but...
The nose is deep, meaty and a tad warm with notes of cooked cherries. moist mushrooms, coffee grounds and dark earth. A tad volatile from time to time. A fine sweetness though.
The taste is big and warm with lots of cooked cherries and noted of dusty earth, coffee and bakelite. A long, warm finish which is a bit angular. Even so, a good drink. Maybe mistreated along the way?
85p   (tasted 2016/08)

2004 Barbaresco Vigneto Rabaja Riserva, Produttori del Barbaresco
This reliable producer has turned out a fine 2004 from the Rabaja vineyard. The nose is deep, cool and finely structured with notes of red cherries, cigarette ash, fresh mushrooms and a hint of bitter chocolate. Very, very good.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of ripe cherries, violets, rosehips and earth. Still on the young side of things. Finely polished tannins, promising this a fine future.
92p   (tasted 2016/08)

Flight II
1970 Barolo, Paolo Scavino
This and the 1990 below were tasted together only a month ago. With wines with this age there can be great differences between bottles, depending on storage and handling over the years. These bottles apparantly came from the same source and thats probably the reason why they were, if not identical, very much alike. The 1970 on this nigth has a tad brighter fruit on the nose and a better finish than the previous bottle.
90p   (tasted 2016/08)

1990 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
The 90 Bric acted more its age on this night than the previous bottle than behaved much younger. Starting to mature with great fruit and focus and the finish os long, sturdy and so rewarding. Great wine now and the coming 10+ years (and the bottle a month ago the coming 20+ years...)
95p   (tasted 2016/08)

2005 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
This youngster sports a deep, meaty nose with notes of ripe black cherries, sweet roses, earth and some wood smoke. Very deep and promising.
The taste is tight and intense with notes of ripe cherries, scorched earth, rosehips amd a touch of melted asphalt. Very long and concentrated. Needs time, I would give it 6-8 years before opening another bottle.
91p   (tasted 2016/08)

Flight III
1990 Barolo, Gianfranco Alessandria
A mature, round nose with notes of dried black cherries, forest floor, Christmas spices and some tapenade scents. A fine maturity. Soft and good.
The taste is mature and a bit sturdy with notes of Cherry Heering, dried spices, moist earth and some tobacco flavours. A fine dried up sweetness and a medium long finish. Fully mature and maybe a tad so.
88p   (tasted 2016/08)

2004 Barolo, Bartolo Mascarello
On our last visit to Bartolo Mascarello I walked past a big pile of 1964 in magnums in the cellar - I begged, I pleaded, I appealed, but to no avail, I guess they are still lying there...
But we move forward 40 vintages and drink the 2004 instead! The nose is deep and satisfying with lovely notes of hard cherry candy, ripe lingonberries, tobacco and red liquorice. Complex and refined. Still very young. Very, very fine.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of ripe red cherries, dry liquorice, mushrooms and a hint of rusted steel. A long, long intense finish. Needs lots of time in the cellar, wait at least 8 years. This is going to turn out great!
94p   (tasted 2016/08)

2007 Barolo Rocche, Brovia
Maybe marked a bit by the year, because this sports a deep, warm, sweet nose with notes of Christmas spices, cherry jam, moist earth and a smoking ashtray. Very warm. Nice though. Lots of violet pastilles after some time in the glass. Very good.
The taste is big, warm and open with notes of cooked cherries, fried spices, earth and tobacco. A long, warm finish with a hint of tootpaste. Very good but a little marked by the warmth of the vintage.
86p   (tasted 2016/08)

Flight IV
2010 Barolo Ravera, Vietti
A Galloni 100p wine. Well, even experts are proned to make mistakes. A really good bottle of Barolo, no doubt, but a perfect one (if that indeed excist (yes it does - 1964 Monfortino for one...)) no way.
The nose is laid back, refined and focused with fine notes of cool red cherries, liquorice, ceps and tobacco. With air a lovely strawberries-cooked-with-Christmas-spices aroma comes forward. Really fine fruit. Very deep and promising.
The taste is young, intense and tight with notes of hard cherry candy, mushrooms, violets and expensive tobacco. The finish is long, refined and shows some neatly polished tannins. Gonna be great but will never (IMHO) reach the three digit score. And ironically, because of Gallonis score, this now cost as much as all the other Nebbiolos on this night combined...
93p   (tasted 2016/08)

2010 Barolo Brunate Riserva, M. Marengo
This however is a candidate for perfection. Its not far from it on this night. The nose is expressive, willful and breathtakingly beautiful with notes of perfectly ripe cherry fruit, raspberry liquorice, a whole mushroom forest and sweet flavourful tobacco. If I just somehow could fit my nose in to the glass! I could sit and sniff this forever. Just stunning.
The taste is a great as the nose, with intense notes of sweet/sour cherries, rosehips, gravel, red liquorice and moist leaves. The finish goes on for minutes and every screw and bolt is in the right place. Great for drinking now and my guess is that it will be even greater to drink the coming 20+ years. This is a must buy!
97p   (tasted 2016/08)

2010 Barolo Cannubi, Comm. G. B. Burlotto
This solid old fashioned Barolo was a perfect finish on this splendid night. The nose is deep, concentrated and rustic with notes of lingonberries, dried spices, iron and cigarette ashes. Very, very good. Almost withdrawn and recluse like, it delivers utter joy to sit and sniff. Great stuff.
The taste is young, tight and a tad foursquare, but the cherry fruit is polished and of the highest quality. Fine notes of dry spices, rosehips, dried mushrooms and some blood & iron. Long, long and structured. Really fine. Should evolve gracefully for 20 years. Loving it!
93p   (tasted 2016/08)

Friday 9 September 2016

Friday Dinner Barolo - 1993 Barolo, Gianni Gagliardo

A lighter kind of Friday dinner - first a bowl of Jerusalem artichoke soup with one, two, three (who´s counting?) glasses of Sherry.
Then a nice cheese platter with an aged Appenzeller, a fine Chevre Mothais and a perky Pecorino La Pecora Vera. And what to pair with them? A Barolo of course - its Friday!

1993 Barolo, Gianni Gagliardo
People must still be reading these outdated vintage charts, beacause I´m picking up 93 Barolo´s left and right, for no money at all. I´m not complaining!
This Barolo Normale from a new producer for me, Gianni Gagliardo, needs some time in the glass to open up and when it does it displays a fine nose with notes of dried rose petals, red tea, fir wood and warm aspahlt. Very good in a structured way. Some cigarr smoke after a while.
The taste is medium bodied with cool, soft tannins and notes of dried mushrooms, red cherries, smoke and dried strawberries. Still alert even though it has spent 23 years in bottle, from what is considered a mediocre vintage...
90p   (tasted 2016/09)

Sunday 4 September 2016

Barolo Boys Does (Mostly) Riesling & Nebbiolo - Chapter One

The Barolo Boys were summoned to M. 22 bottles were opened. There were some hang arounds present, eager to  wait on every command from the Barolo Boys. We had fun.

Chapter One - in which one Champagne, one Rieslaner, two Scheurebe and five Riesling´s are consumed. All tasted double blind.
Some of the Keller wines below can only be bought in Sweden, not anywhere else in the world! Lucky me! :-)

2006 Special Club, Juillet-Lallement
A creamy, smoky nose with fine notes of ripe peaches, soap, lemon cream and fudge. Very, very good. A fine elegance.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of white peaches, chalk, hazelnuts and dried flowers. A long, textured finish with a fine acidity. Very fine.
92p   (tasted 2016/08)

2014 Scheurebe Kabinett, Keller
This has a young, perky nose with notes of red grapefruit, gooseberries and grass. Upfront and with a fine nerve. Really good.
The taste is tight and dry with notes of white currants, grey pear and lots of flint. The finish is long with a fine acidity. Very, very good. A bargain for 19 Euro.
90p   (tasted 2016/08)

2012 Rieslaner Spätlese, Keller
This bottle showed a fatty character and a dried up sweetness that was very different from a bottle tasted a year ago. Judgement reserved.
No rating   (tasted 2016/08)

2014 Felseneck Riesling Kabinett, Schäfer-Fröhlich
This one seems to be made out of pressed rocks, not grapes. Notes of wet stones, crushed rocks, flint, gravel and more... Maybe some miniscule scents of white currants in the background. Very good in its stony way.
The taste is very young and tight with notes of slate, flint, lemon peel and some matchbox. A long fine-boned finish with a high, fresh acidity. A tad to linear for my palate.
88p   (tasted 2016/08)

2012 Nierstein Riesling Kabinett -H-, Keller
A deep, finely tuned nose with notes of passion fruit, kaffir lime, slate and a hint of ginger. Very, very fine.
The taste is cool and high strung in a positive sense, with notes of crushed rocks, lime juice, pickled ginger and a hint of smoke. A crystalline structure. Great wine.
93p   (tasted 2016/08)

2012 Abtserde Riesling Spätlese, Keller
The 2012 Abtserde is as good as the 2011 recently tasted. Both are world class efforts and are must buys.
95p   (tasted 2016/08)

2012 Nierstein Pettenthal Riesling Spätlese, Keller
The 12 Pettenthal Spätlese is a beauty. The nose is deep and cool with notes of grapefruit, smoke, grey pears and chalk. A tad restrained in a beautiful way.
The taste is refined and cool with a lovely framework and notes of grass, grey pears, lemon peel and chalk. A long, lingering finish with a great acidity.
93p   (tasted 2016/08)

2012 Nierstein Pettenthal Riesling Auslese, Keller
The nose is a dream with notes of candied lemons, birch sap, crushed rocks and flint. A very fine underlying sweetness without being sweet. Harmonious. Really fine.
The taste is beautifuly textured with notes of ripe lemons, melon, flint and warm grass. The finish goes on for a minute. Very refined and racy. Just lovely.
94p   (tasted 2016/08)

2013 Westhofen Morstein Scheurebe Beerenauslese, Keller
Something sweet to close chapter one. This has a very deep nose with notes of dry lavender honey, detergent, blood orange jam and some hints of saffron. Very, very good.
The taste is big and creamy with notes of saffron cooked lemons, blood oranges, ripe red apples and clay. Very deep and sweet. Luscious.
91p   (tasted 2016/08)

Saturday 3 September 2016

20 Year Old Palo Cortado Dos Cortados Solera Especial, Williams & Humbert

This English sounding sherry producer was founded in 1877 by Alexander Williams, a sherry lover from England. In the beginning of the twentieth century they invented Dry Sack, a blend of oloroso, amontillado and pedro ximénez, which turned out to be one of the best selling sherries ever.
But on to one of their better wines.

20 Year Old Palo Cortado Dos Cortados Solera Especial, Williams & Humbert
The nose is a dream with deep, concentrated notes of orange blossom honey, hazel nut cream, raspberry liquorice and some burning plastic in the background. Very complex and fine. A pure, high nose. Just gorgeous.
The taste is focused and concentrated with notes of dried up orange jam, fried nuts, dry dades and bakelite. A very long, intense finish with a high acidity. There is structure and finesse here. Lovely. I just want to take sip after sip. A testament to this producers agebility here. And the recurring question arises - why don´t I drink more sherry...?
94p   (tasted 2016/09)

Friday 2 September 2016

Two 2012 Cali Cabs

I was in the mood for some rich, juicy Cali Cab, and I thought that these two would fit the bill. They were paired with fillets of veal with a mushroom sauté and a foie gras sauce. The meat and richness of the sauce really calmed the Cabernet´s down - a great pairing.

2012 Girard Artistry Cabernet Sauvignon
This blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot, 11% Malbec, 9% Cabernet Franc and 8% Merlot sports a upfront, deep, sweet nose with notes of ripe black currants, dark chocolate, new leather and the aroma of a warm, yummy Cherry Pie.
The taste is big, creamy and rich with notes of ripe dark cherries, chocolate biscuits, cocoa and some bonfire notes. Very long, rewarding and very good. There is a some warmth in the back of the finish, and the label points out that there is 15% alcohol in this one. The first twelve sips...are yummy but after that it gets a tad heavy and fiery. If I would have tasted this just for a sip or two I would have rated this higher, interesting enough...
90p   (tasted 2016/09)

2012 Mount Eden Cabernet Sauvigon
This, on the other hand, just keeps getting better and better All Night Long. The nose is big yet firmly structured with notes of cool black currants, dark coffee, mint leaves and some autumn leaves burning in the background. Very deep and complex. With lots of air it becomes more and more Bx like. This is very, very good.
The taste is tight, seedy and concentrated with notes of ripe red and black currants, dark chocolate, warm tiles and Christmas spices. A long, long, intense finish. Utterly gorgeous. There are some sandy tannins in the finish, promising this a long, healthy life in front of it. Great wine!
96p   (tasted 2016/09)