Sunday 13 November 2016

An Odd Bottle Tasting

You know those odd bottles you have in the cellar? Some are destined for that tasting that never will come together, some are spur-of-the-moment buys and when they arrive you wonder - why did I buy these, and some you don´t even remember byuing - where did they come from?
Anyway, I thought I would pick out some of these odd ones and have a tasting. Here is how it went.

1976 Grande Cuvée Venus, H. Germain
This turned out to be a nice surprise. When I bought it, it was listed as a NV from the 80´s. But when the cork came out with a tiny whisper, it said 1976 on it. Now ny expectations rose.
The nose is mature and finely tuned with notes of pickled orange peel, nuts, dry fudge and stale bread. A very fine maturity with a nice dried up sweetness. Very, very good.
The taste is round and velvety with tiny, tiny bubbles and notes of orange peel, coffe and milk, dry fudge and a fine earthy note. A very good acidity. Drinking very well.
90p   (tasted 2016/10)

1959 Muscat, Nicolas Charenton
Some two years ago I had a 1964 Muscadet that was stunning. This 59 wasn´t. A big, oxidized nose with notes of moist mushrooms, old honey and undergrowth.
The taste is dry and liniar with some mushrooms, saw dust and dried up grass. Ah, well, old bottles...
62p   (tasted 2016/10)

The first flight consisted of three bottles from the 1976 vintage. Heard from one of the tasters - "if the middle wine isn´t a Burgundy, I need to go a wine course"... I wish him luck in his future training :-)
1976 Beaune Clos des Mouches, Chanson
A fine, soft, spicy nose with notes of dried strawberries, autumn leaves, rosehips and some animal scents. Very, very good. All bottles popped and poured but this kept on growing momentum for some hours. Christmas spices and dried blood. Really good.
The taste is mature, seedy and medium bodied with notes of dried raspberries, forest floor, dried herbs and some dog fur. A fine, dry finish. Again, got better with air. Drinking great on this night.
90p   (tasted 2016/10)

1976 Royal Gran Reserva, Bodegas Franco-Espanol
A nice, outgoing, mature nose with notes of raspberry liquorice, ripe red currants, smoke and a hint of vanilla. Very good. Since I knew what it was I thought it had some tell tale seashell and vanilla scents, but the others who tasted blind thought that all three were Burgundies. Blind tasting is great! :-)
The taste is mature, soft and round with notes of sweet red currants, raspberry liquorice, chocolate biscuits and wood smoke. A fine warmth. Long and lingering. Very good. Still alive and kicking.
88p   (tasted 2016/10)

1976 Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru Les Murgers, Domaine Paul Misset
A tight, withdrawn, mature nose with notes of red currants, dark spices, warm tiles and iron. Much sturdier than the two previous wines. Has a firm backbone. Earthy. Very good.
The taste is tight and warm with notes of red currants, red cherries, dusty earth, Christmas spices and smoke. A long, rigid finish. Very good but a tad foursquare. Has kept very well.
87p   (tasted 2016/10)

For the second flight I had "found" three bottles of Bordeaux from the great vintage of 1989. All decanted one hour before the first pour.
1989 Château La Tour de Mons
Opened like a mature Bordeaux with tell tale signs but soon enough some dusty, earth cellar notes took over. Not an ok bottle, sadly.
Not rated   (tasted 2016/10)

1989 Château Lanessan
I have not tasted many bottles of Lanessan over the years, but now I will seek out more mature bottles. The nose is tight and focused with fine notes of ripe black currants, cherries, graphite and some dog fur, to add to the complexity. Very, very good. Still on the young side of things.
The taste is tight, medium bodied yet feeling rich and concentrated, with notes of ripe black currants, expensive leather, undergrowth and a tad inky. Very, very long. Reaching its plateau of maturity, this will go on for a long time.
92p   (tasted 2016/10)

Calf kidneys to go with mature Bordeaux

1989 Château d´Issan
A deep, mature, creamy nose with notes of ripe black currants, fresh stables, chocolate biscuits and some fine leathery aromas. More and more autumn leaves comes up from the glass with air. Very, very good. Perfectly mature.
The taste is mature, dry and yet velvety in that great mature Bordeaux kind of way. Fine notes of ripe red and black currants, sugared coffee, dusty earth and tobacco. The finish is long and generous. This has matured into a very fine bottle of mature Margaux.
92p   (tasted 2016/10)

A flight of Riesling´s was up next.
1995 Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese, Reichgraf von Kesselstatt
A wonderful, spicy, almost fully mature nose with notes of Kaffir lime, oranges, minerals, liquorice and bergamott. A very fine nerve. Deep and beautiful.
The taste is medium dry, intense and somewhat mature with notes of candied lemon peel, dried pears, spices and crushed rocks. A very fine acidity. Long and balanced. Really, really fine, should stay on this level for another 5+ years.
94p   (tasted 2016/10)

1997 Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese, Reichgraf von Kesselstatt
The two year younger version of the Scharzhofberger has a deep, spicy nose with notes of dried apricots, almond paste, white flowers and wet asphalt. Complex and fine. Feels a little sweeter and denser than the 95.
The taste is rich and intense with notes of dried apricots, rubber, sweet/sour lemons and spices. A long, finely tuned finish that borders on medium sweet. A very good acidity. This is goood! Could still evolve, give it 5+ years.
92p   (tasted 2016/10)

1999 Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, Reichgraf von Kesselstatt
A deep. sweet, spicy nose with notes of rubber, dried pine apple, moist earth and a light touch of curry. Sweet and fine.
The taste is big, sweet and concentrated with notes of spicy yellow fruit, rubber, dried flowers and lemon candy. A long, high finish with a good acidity. A tad light in the middle flavour, but very good all the same.
88p   (tasted 2016/10)

As a sweet ending of the evening I opened a mature Sauternes and served some Cantuccini with it - these almond biscuits goes extremely well with mature Sauternes.
1986 Château Rayne-Vigneau
A deep, focused, rich nose with notes of dried apricots, glue, beeswax and a good portion of botrytis. Very, very good. Some dried up vanilla ice cream. Full bodied. A lovely maturity. This is really fine.
The taste is big, sweet and concentrated with notes of dried apricots, matchbox, linoleum, candied tangerines and botrytis. Very long and intense. In a perfect place.
92p   (tasted 2016/10)

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