Thursday 30 November 2017

Live From The Richard Juhlin Champagne Bar

Thursday afternoon and I am sitting here at Richard Juhlin´s Champagne Bar in the Mood Galleria in the middle of Stockholm.
Drinking champagne of course!

2008 Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs, Bonnaire
The Bonnaire has a fresh, steely nose with notes of lime juice, hand cream, chrushed rocks and oyster shells. Some dry Almonds aromas after a while.
The taste is elegant and racy with notes of lemon peel, sand, chalk and steel, A fine acidity that goes through the long finish. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2017/11)

2008 Clos des Bergeronneau, Bergonneau-Marion
This 100% Pinot Meunier has a fantastic nose, filled with fried nuts, fir wood, red currants, violets, model clay and scorched earth. Very deep, complex and fine.
The taste is dry, mouth coating and intriguing with notes of sandelwood, iron, cranberries, dark gravel and volcanic rock. The finish is long, tight and dry. A great acidity and almost a tannic feeling at the end. This I like!
93p   (tasted 2017/11)

What to drink next?

Wednesday 29 November 2017

A Beginners Barolo - 2012 Barolo Tre Utin, Gagliasso

When I am forced to recommend a bottle of my favourite wine in the world - Barolo - "ordinary" people reactions usually are
a) before tasting one - "ooh so expensive"
b) after tasting one - "ooh so hard (meaning tannic)"
c) and to sum things up "not my kind of wine"...
Most of them wants to keep on drinking things like this.
That´s why I don´t recommend Baroli. But that was before I tasted this.

2012 Barolo Tre Utin, Gagliasso
The nose is soft, round yet generous with notes of plums, smoke, raspberry licorice and some lightly perfumed aromas. Not that deep and complex but friendly and nice with a fine sweetness.
The taste is fresh and forward with notes of strawberries, plums, smoke and a hint of tobacco. It ends on the dry side (which it should) but not in that mouth coating dryness a high tannin wine could. A great match with a spaghetti Carbonara. A wine to talk over rather to talk about, but now and again that is what one needs. This could go down well with the "common people". For 28 Euro, well worth the money. Info here.
86p   (tasted 2017/11)

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Five Baroli From Fontanafredda

These were poured at one of our wine tasting groups monthly get together a couple of weeks back.

2013 Barolo Serralunga, Fontanafredda
Another fine 13 Normale, this sports a earthy, low keyed nose with notes of dried cherries, tobacco, rosehips and model clay. Very good.
The taste is seedy and earthy with notes of ripe lingonberries, dried mushrooms and some coffee notes. Cool and fine. 5+ years.
87p   (tasted 2017/09)

2010 Barolo Lazzarito, Mirafiore
Since 2009 Fontanafredda has revitalized the name Mirafiore. Vittorio Emanuele´s mistress, Rosa (who has given name to the vineyard La Rosa) becamed Countess of Mirafiore, hence the name. So this is only the second vintage under the new label. And this is good!
The nose is tight and polished with notes of spicy cherries, dry licorice, fresh mushrooms and some smoky notes. A very fine depth.
The taste is young, broad and balanced with notes of hard cherry candy, asphalt, bakelite and herbs. A long, lingering finish. Will turn out great with 6+ years in the cellar.
92p   (tasted 2017/09)

2004 Barolo Lazzarito, Fontanafredda
A fine, deep, sweet nose with notes of black cherries, forest floor, asphalt and a touch of mint. Has some tiny mature notes. Very, very good.
The taste is on the verge of maturity with fine notes of dried cherries, violets, mushrooms and asphalt. A fine warmth in the finish and some still to be resolved tannins. Drinking fine today and the coming 8 years.
90p   (tasted 2017/09)

2001 Barolo Lazzarito, Fontanafredda
The 01 Lazzarioto displays a round, mature nose with notes of autumn leaves, dried rose petals, some smoke and a hint of dry chocolate. Very good. Lots of mushrooms with some time in the glass. A tad thin in the middle.
The taste is mature and dry with notes of dried cherries, bonfire smoke, gravel and dry tobacco. Good and worth drinking but has gone a bit too far I think, at least this bottle, a 2001 should be more alert.
86p   (tasted 2017/09)

1996 Barolo Lazzarito, Fontanafredda
A deep, mature, round nose with notes of red currants, dried cherries, forest floor and warm asphalt. Some woody scents.
The taste is dry and linear with notes of dried cherries, forest floor, fir wood and gravel. A tad anemic in the middle. High acidity. Stored badly?
83p   (tasted 2017/09)

Sunday 26 November 2017

The Barolo Boys Visit Parusso, Vietti & Aldo Conterno

Here are some more accounts from The Barolo Boys latest trip to Piedmont. More will come...

We drove away from Parusso with a sense of bewilderment. Why do they do like that? Before the visit I have never heard of their wine making technique.
They dry the Nebbiolo grapes in plastic crated for up to six days before the let the fermention begin. According to them it is an ancient method in Piedmont.
Maybe so, but the result is big, concentrated wines with warmth and that dried grape feeling, akin to a sort of light Amarone style. It may have its followers, but its not for me, even though the Bussia was very good.

2013 Brut
Made by methode champenoise with Nebbiolo grapes. The nose is stony and red fruity with some dried strawberries and earth. Nice.
The taste is light and fresh with notes of raspberries, chalk and earth. Initially a tough mousse but it calmed down in the glass. Good.
85p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Langhe Sauvignon Blanc Rovella
I recently tasted the 2010 Rovella from magnum and was really impressed. The 2016 is almost as good. The nose is smoky and racy with notes of apricots, grass and a touch of bergamot. Very deep and fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of apricots, grilled lemons and hay. A very fine, creamy acidity. Parusso have cultivated Sauvignon Blanc since 1991. They make two different versions and the Rovella see some wood.
90p   (tasted 2017/11)

2016 Barbera d´Alba Ornati
A big, open, frutti di bosco nose with notes of dark flowers, iron, violets and sweet minerals. Very, very good.
The taste is juicy and direct with lots of blueberries and raspberries alongside notes of violets, undergrowth and licorice. A fine warmth. Long.
89p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo
A deep, forest filled nose with notes of cooked cherries, warm gravel, dried flowers and some dark perfume. With more air a cherry liqueur scent appears.
The taste is dry and warm with notes of ripe cherry fruit, gravel and dry licorice. Some bitter tannins in the finish. Good enough but hasn´t got that 2013 energy.
84p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo Mariondino
The Mariondino cru is 13,11 ha big and lies in Castiglione Falletto. This example shows of a deep, tight, warm nose with notes of pickled cherries, licorice, dark soap and a touch of wood.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of ripe dark cherries, violets, dark orange peel and gravel. Long and intense. There is a hint of bitterness in the end of the finish. Very good though.
87p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo Bussia
The Bussia has a deep, open, spicy nose with notes of raspberry licorice, violets, dark gravel and heaps of ripe red and black cherries. A lot of structure but this has managed the 6 days of drying with ease. Very fine.
The taste is dark and concentrated with notes of black cherries, dark flowers, sugared coffee and warm gravel. A long, intense finish with polished tannins. Has a fine potential, give it 6+ years.
91p   (tasted 2017/11)

It is always the charming Mauela that greats ut when we arrive. And Elena shows up a little later and steals the show :-). Always a treat to come here and taste these great wines.

2016 Arneis
A fresh, flowery nose with notes of dry honey, grass and red lemons. A hint of detergent, in a positive way. Snappy and very, very good.
The taste is dry and uplifting with notes of tangerines, grass, gravel and dried up honey. A very fresh mouthfeel. One of the greatest Arneis out there.
90p   (tasted 2017/11)

2015 Barbera d´Alba Scarrone
The Scarrone (and the Vigna Vecchia) are one of my favourite Barbera´s. And the 2015 is no exception. The nose oozes up from the glass with gorgeous aromas of peppered raspberries, licorice en masse, parsnips, smoke and ripe flowers. Very deep and fine.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of raspberry licorice, blackberries, smoke and warm gravel. Very long with a fine acidity. Could be cellared (as the 97 La Crena Elena opened later) but who could keep the corkscrew away?
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

2015 Barbera d´Asti La Crena
The La Crena is denser and more withdrawn than the Scarrone with notes of sweet/sour raspberries, nutmeg, tobacco and forest floor. Tight and fine.
The taste is juicy and rich with notes of blueberries, raspberries, undergrowth, dry licorice and a hint of tobacco. A tight acidity that goes through the finish. Some warmth. Very good.
89p   (tasted 2017/11)

2014 Langhe Nebbiolo Perbacco
A spicy, laid back nose with notes of star anise, red cherries, cranberries and dry licorice. Medium deep and fine.
The taste is tight and fresh with fine lingonberry fruit and notes of rosehips, gravel and dry tobacco. A fine, low keyed energy.
87p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo Castiglione
We tasted the 13 Castiglione in May and was blown away by it then, the best Castiglione I have ever tasted. Now, 6 months later, it has tighten up, the fruit is more withdrawn and the tannins are more present. This needs time. A great wine in the making, give it 7+ years.
91p   (tasted 2017/11)

2011 Barolo Castiglione
Interesting to compare the 11 Castiglione to the 13. The 11 is much more open, with a fine warmth and a nose filled with spicy cherries, sage, earth and rosehips. A fine sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is fruity and fine with a nice tannin backbone and notes of sweet/sour cherries, forest floor, dried roses and fir. A very fine, warm finish. For the shorter term. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2017/11)

2012 Barolo Brunate
Then a bottle of 12 Brunate was opened - thanks! The nose is deep,warm and utterly gorgeous with notes of sweet licorice, ripe red and black cherries, asphalt and fried mushrooms. Very fine.
The taste is juicy, rich and velvety with notes of dried strawberries, cherry liquor, mushrooms and warm gravel. A long, rewarding finish ends this wine. Not for the lang haul but oooh soo good to drink now and the coming 6+ years.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

1997 Barbera d´Asti La Crena
We came in on the subject of the longevity of the wines from Langhe, Nebbiolo is particular. Then Elena went down in the cellar and came back with this bottle.
It has a fine, mature, deep nose with notes of undergrowth, morelles, tobacco and lots of mushrooms. Very, very good. Mature, yes, but this could go on 5+ years to come.
The taste is velvety, round and warm with notes of dried black cherries, mushrooms, tobacco and a hint of asphalt. A very fine maturity. Lovely.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

Aldo Conterno
A visit to Giacomo is always something extra to look forward too. You know that you are gonna have a great time in his company, hearing his forward opions on everything and, of course, taste some of the greatest Baroli out there.
As on our visit in May, we started in the vineyards of Cicala and Romirasco. Theres is something special walking around here and be able to ask Giacomo all you have ever wanted to know about grapes, soil, vintages etc. Truly awesome!

Giacomo in front of the Conterno estate

2015 Bussiador
The 14 Bussiador was more laid back and Burgundian like (and in all honestly, more to my liking) while the 15 is outgoing and rich, with a nose filled of ripe oranges and notes of coconut, mature flowers, matchbox and dry fudge. Big, yes, but it keeps everything in check, it is more a matter of preferences.
The taste is steady and mouth filling with notes of nuts, grilled lemons, fudge and cap gun smoke. There is a welcoming bright acidity in the finish. Very good, no question, but I prefer the 14. By the way, this is 14,6%, the 2014 is 12,5%
90p   (tasted 2017/11)

2015 Barbera Conca Tre Pile
A deep, dark, beautiful nose with notes of ripe blueberries, dark coffee, mature banana peel and moist earth. Just lovely.
The taste is earthy, wide and gorgeous with notes of sweet blueberries, clay, licorice and dark chocolate. Very long and very fine. This is for drinking day after day after day. Giacomo said - "I love this beast". Me too.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

2014 Barolo
Now we got the chance to taste all the bottled 14´s - life is good. 2014 was a difficult vintage with a wet and cold summer but the late autumn - perfect for the Nebbiolo - came with warmth and a glowing sun. And those who waited, and picked thoroughly, got rewarded.
The nose of the 14 Normale is perfumed and fine with notes of hard cherry candy, dry licorice, rosehips and gravel. A fine energy.
The taste is elegant and fine with notes of sweet lingonberries, iron, bakelite and gravel. A fine, cool finish. Refined and cool.
90p   (tasted 2017/11)

2014 Barolo Colonnello
The Colonnello sports a refined, cool nose with notes red currants, roses en masse, earth and a hint of dark fudge. Very pure and fine.
The taste is tight, multi layered and seedy with notes of red cherries, gravel, rosehips and dry licorice. A long, intense finish. A special kind of wine in a light, cherry infused kind of way. Beautiful.
94p   (tasted 2017/11)

2014 Barolo Cicala
A lovely, pure, dark and refined nose with notes of ripe red and black cherries, cool licorice, roses and dry violets. An ever so slight touch of tobacco. Great.
The taste is "the wild thing" as Giacomo said, with stunning notes of ripe cherries, dark licorice, asphalt and undergrowth. A one minute finish with a great grip.
95p   (tasted 2017/11)

2014 Barolo Romirasco
The Romirasco is, as always, what dreams are made of, with a nose filled with dried raspberries, iron and blood, fir wood, roses and some rubbery notes. Intensly complex and multi layered.
The taste is beautifully concentrated and intense with notes of hard cherry candy, dry tobacco, chrushed rocks, violets and dried mushrooms. The finish goes on and on and on. As always, a masterpiece. A truly great wine.
97p   (tasted 2017/11)

2005 Barolo Riserva Granbussia
Always a treat do drink an aged Granbussia. The 05 has a nose that is deep, hedonistic and fine with notes of forest floor, dry asphalt, dried up cherry jam and a hint of dry chocolate. Very balanced and fine.
The taste is ripe, fresh and tight with notes of sweet/sour cherries, dry raspberry licorice, dusty earth and mushrooms. A long, dry, very fine finish. Medium mature and just a lovely drink now. Will go on for 10+ years.
95p   (tasted 2017/11)

The First Report - Visits to Bartolo Mascarello, Giacomo Conterno and Ceretto

Wednesday 22 November 2017

1969 Nuits-Saint-Georges, Claudius Chauvenet

I am familiar with Chauvenet but I have never bumped into a bottle from Claudius Chauvenet.

Nine is a fine ending number in Burgundy when it comes to vintages - 1949 (my favourite vintage (apart from 64 of course!)), 1959, 1969, 1989, 1999 and 2009.

1969 Nuits-Saint-Georges, Claudius Chauvenet
From the get go, the nose is wide open and beautiful mature with notes of ripe red beets, chrushed raspberries, moist earth and a meaty perfumed scent that only aged Burgundy can display. Almost a touch of VA but it keeps it on the right side of things. Very, very fine.
The taste is velvety, rich and lovely with notes of dried strawberries, raspberry vinegar, root vegetables, dried flowers and old leather. The finish is long, dry and refined. Perfectly mature and a perfect drink on this nigth with a grilled chicken and a sallad. Really fine.
93p   (tasted 2017/11)

Sunday 19 November 2017

Lunches & Dinners In Piedmont - Part One

You just don´t drink the greatest wines in this world when you are in Nebbiolo land, you eat the greatest too. My love for Carne Cruda, Tajarin, Plin, Coniglio etc is endless.

Tuesday - La Coccinella
Aaah, back for the fourth time this year, at our favourite restaurant. And the Barolo Boys had great company this evening - Maria Teresa Mascarello.
You can check out the meny and wine list here - La Coccinella

NV Brut, Aubry
A fine, smoky nose with notes of dried apricots, freshly washed clothes, some floral scents and gravelly. Deep and interesting.
Apparently it is a blend of 60% Pinot Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay. Very, very good.
The taste is cool, fresh and lively with notes of wet rocks, cucumber, lime and a passion fruit. A very fine acidity. Long and yummy. This I like!
91p   (tasted 2017/10)

2015 Derthona, Walter Massa
Only the second time ever I drink a wine made from Timorasso. And the second time that I´m not impressed. The nose is nutty and oily with notes of soap, warm rocks and dark flowers.
The taste is a tad heavy with a low acidity and lots of dried flowers, apricots and hand cream. A Viognier style of wine, and that is not a plus in my book.
84p   (tasted 2017/10)

2001 Barolo Pie Rupestris, Cappellano
A very handsome, refined nose with notes of cool red cherries, rosehips, violets, paint and mushrooms. A high, pure nose. Just lovely.
The taste is luscious and velvety with notes of hard cherry candy, rose petals, ripe lingonberries and a hint of raspberry licorice. Very long, refined and gorgeous. Both 01 Cappellano bottles performed on a very high level on this night but there and then I preferred the Rupestris over the Franco. My fellow Barolo Boys had the Franco as the finest. Both stunning wines.
Since the late Theobaldo didn´t want his wines to be scored, I never do   (tasted 2017/10)

2001 Barolo Pie Franco, Cappellano
The Pie Franco is deeper and darker than the Rupestris with notes of ripe strawberries, herbs, a hint of black olives and some balsamic notes, Very deep and fine.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of tapenade, asphalt, ripe rd and black cherries and undergrowth. Very, very long with sandy tannins. Will need more time than the Rupestris, say 8+ years more.
Since the late Theobaldo didn´t want his wines to be scored, I never do   (tasted 2017/10)

1989 Barolo, Bartolo Mascarello
Maria Terese brought this bottle to the dinner. I have never tasted the 89 from Bartolo Mascarello, so it was indeed a special treat. And the wine? This is what dreams are made of, at least mine...
The nose is deep, complex, perfectly mature with stunning notes of decaying leaves, truffles, dried cherries, coffee grounds, a hint of figs and a high spirited scent of the land of Langhe. Truly fine.
The taste is pure, velvety and concentrated with notes of violets, dried cherries and flowers, a hint of tobacco, some dog fur for complexity and masses of autumn leaves. The finish goes on for over a minute, ending perfectly dry. A great wine in great company. Thanks Maria Teresa!
97p   (tasted 2017/10)

Two happy Barolo Boys with Maria Teresa and a fantastic bottle of Barolo  (photo: MK)

Wednesday - Centro Storico
Lunch at Centro Storico! How many times have we done that? Who counts. Always a treat, sliding in, saying hello to Ciccio and order some hearthy food and some wine.

2006 Aubry de Humbert, Aubry
Since the Aubry impressed us the night before we thought we should try their vintage, made out of equal parts of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Note to self - buy Aubry! This is goood!
The nose flows up from the glass with intriguing aromas of ripe oranges, cap gun smoke, lemon curd and a hint of Islay whiskey. Very deep and fine.
The taste is rich and refined with notes of orange peel, smoke, dried up honey, chalk and dried flowers. Long, complex and a with a very fine dryness. Great wine.
94p   (tasted 2017/11)

2016 Langhe Nebbiolo, Burlotto
Light on its feet with fine, floral aromas and lovely cherry fruit. Very, very good. Some additional notes of licorice and undergrowth.
The taste is silky and rewarding with notes of red cherries, licorice, chrushed rocks and violets. Sandy tannins. Really good. Better than the 2015.
89p   (tasted 2017/11)

Wednesday - Osteria Veglio
Osteria Veglio is a really fine restaurant with classic Piedmont food with great flavors. The calf trippa (stomach) I had, see below, was splendid.

We were looking forward to taste the new Jacquesson 740 but it was sold out for the moment so we took the really fine 739 instead.

2013 Barolo Rocche di Gastiglione, Brovia
The 13 Rocche from Brovia performed on the same high level as in May when we tasted it with Alex. Maybe it starting to shut down a bit, the tannins was present a bit more. But what a wine!
96p   (tasted 2017/11)

Friday 17 November 2017

Friday Dinner Barolo - Why Not Three Bottles?

Yes, why not?

2012 Barolo Cascina Massara, Gian Carlo Burlotto
A deep, earthy nose with notes of red currants, violets, smoke and lots of rosehips. A fine warmth. Very young. Hard cherry candy. Needs time.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of ripe lingonberries, dry licorice, paint and warm sand. Long and lingering. Needs at least 6 years. Very, very good.
88p   (tasted 2017/11)

2011 Barolo Bussia, Stroppiana
A very fine, spicy, raspberry laden nose with depth and character, and additional notes of smoke, rose petals, licorice and a hint of asphalt. A very fine, silky nose. A fine warmth. This is going to turn out great with 5+ years.
The taste is tight, seedy and warm with notes of red cherries, raspberries, tar and some tobacco. A long, finely tuned finish with a nice grip to the tannins. A great wine in the making.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

2009 Barolo Monsori, Cascina Tetti
A big, open nose with notes of cranberries, scorched earth, herbs and warm asphalt. Lots of sweet fruit but a tad clumsy.
The taste is mouthfilling, warm and sandy with notes of dried mushrooms, cooked cherry fruit, smoke and dark orange peel. A long finish that ends on the dry side. I don´t think this will get better, just disjointed. Worked well with the accompanying steak though.
83p   (tasted 2017/11)