Monday 29 January 2018

A Vertical Of Granato 1986 - 2015

1986 & 2015
How often do I drink Teroldego? To seldom I concur after this tasting. At least Teroldego from Foradori.
My friend S arranged this tasting and I was able to contribute the 1986 (the first Granato) and the 1997. It became a tasting to remember.

2006 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett, Willi Schaefer
Two warm up wines. The first has a fine, somewhat mature nose with notes of raincoat, dried apricots, asphalt, hay and lime peel. Very, very good. A fine maturity.
The nose is tight, dry and mature with notes of saffron, oranges, dried honey and hay. Long and fine. A fine acidity.
89p   (tasted 2017/12)

2015 Fontamasanta Nosiola, Foradori
The second has a ahy nose with notes of oyster shells, white pepper, flower water and dry rubber. Interesting but not that good.
The taste is high pitched and dry with notes of hairspray, dry almonds, tangerines and soap. medium bodied. Not for me.
82p   (tasted 2017/12)

Flight I
2014 Sgarzon Teroldego, Foradori
A young, seedy nose with notes of spicy blueberries, iodine, dry licorice, smoke and some metallic aromas. Very, very good.
The taste is dry and cool with a good grip and notes of blueberries, red currants, dried flowers and earth. A long finish with a high acidity. Will need some time in the cellar.
89p   (tasted 2017/12)

2041 Morei Teroldego, Foradori
The Morei is a tad warmer on the nose with notes of warm tiles, cherries, ripe flowers and a hint of dark chocolate. A fine depth.
The taste is cool, energetic and dry with notes of ripening red cherries, gravel, dry licorice and ink. Long and very fine.
91p   (tasted 2017/12)

Flight II
1986 Granato, Foradori
The first vintage of Granato is a vital 32 year old that is full of character and wilfulness. The nose is deep, concentrated and finely mature with notes of spicy cherries, violets, moist earth and a hint of dark orange chocolate. Very deep and fine.
The taste is round, mature and generous with notes of dried cherries, orange chcocolate, earth and violet pastilles. A long, dry, sandy finish with lots of energy still. Really fine.
93p   (tasted 2017/12)

1997 Granato, Foradori
The 97 Granato is a stunner. The nose flows up from the glass with intense aromas of ripe cherries, veal stock, wild boar salami, undergrowth and a hint of paint. Braod and deep yet with lots of finesse and balance. Just a hint of maturity.
The taste is concentrated and rich with notes of dried strawberries, cherries, Christmas spices, smoke and a hint of detergent (in a positive way!). A long, intense finish with still noticable tannins and a refreshing acidity. A gorgeous wine.
96p   (tasted 2017/12)

Flight III
2006 Granato, Foradori
The first wine that actually smelled of pomegranate, from which Granato has got its name. But there is more, fine aromas of dark flowers, pepper, earth and violets arises from the glass. Very fine.
The taste is young and tight with notes of lingonberries, pomegranate, dry licorice and earth. medium bodied with a high acidity and fine purity. Needs 5+ years.
92p   (tasted 2017/12)

2008 Granato, Foradori
The 08 is a tight creature, with a stony, rocky nose with notes of ripening flowers, dark cookie dough, violets and dusty earth. Deep but a tad locked up.
The taste is cool and fine with notes of flowers, red beets, ski wax and ripe lingonberries. A fine balance. Needs lots of time to open up. 7+ years.
90p   (tasted 2017/12)

2009 Granato, Foradori
A handsome, refined nose with notes of cool blueberries, damson, rosemary, flint and - oh yes - pomegranate. Very fine. A lovely structure.
The taste is young, pure and brilliant with notes of ripening cherries, lingonberries, chrushed rocks, violets and spices. A long finish with finely polished tannins and a uplifting acidity. Balanced through and through. 6+ years.
95p   (tasted 2017/12)

Flight IV
2010 Granato, Foradori
Corked! Too bad, it seemed to be a very fine wine underneath.
No rating   (tasted 2017/12)

2013 Granato, Foradori
A young, tight, concentrated nose with notes of red beets, balsa wood, pomegranate, iron and asphalt. A very fine warmth. Ripe and rich. Very, very good.
The taste is lively and potent with notes of cranberries, lingonberries, earth/iron and some meaty notes. Very young and very promising, 8+ years.
92p   (tasted 2017/12)

2015 Granato, Foradori
A deep, smoky and earthy notes with a mix of blueberries and lingonberries alongside notes of damson, violets and undergrowth. High, pure and very fine.
The taste is high strung in a positive way with notes of blueberries, cranberries, smoke, spices and violets. A long, finely tuned finish with a high acidity and polished tannins. Give this beauty 10 years.
But I don´t know if I like the new label...
93p   (tasted 2017/12)

2009 Kreuznacher Krötenphuhl Riesling Kabinett, Dönnhoff
A high, energetic, lovely nose with notes of almond. lemon peel, apricots and gravel. Very fine. A lovely freshness.
The taste is racy and elegant with notes of lemon juice, metal, hay and dry almond paste. The finish is long and racy with a really fine acidity. This is fine.
92p   (tasted 2017/12)

Sunday 28 January 2018

Just Bought

Wouldn´t it be nice with a vertical like the 100 year tasting we had a couple of years ago of Château Montrose?
Montrose originaly derives from the Calon estate, carved out in 1815.

You gotta start somewhere, and why not with the Greatest Vintage Ever...

Saturday 27 January 2018

Drinking Tonight - 2009 Persia, Domaine De Fondréche

2009 Persia, Domaine de Fondréche
I have a long history with this Ventoux estate, drinking and thoroughly enjoying their wines since the middle of the 90´s. Before 2013 they made a blend and three cuvée´s - Fayard, Nadal and Persia. Now they make just the blend and Persia.
Persia is a 90% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre blend from the estates Vieilles Vignes.
The 09 have apparently got a 93 point score from The Wide Advocate and lo and behold - they hit the mark on this one!
The nose is deep, upfront and fine with notes of blueberries, blackberries, dark candle grease, Christmas spices, flowers, violets and some grilled meat aromas. Very, very good. A lovely sweetness to the fruit. A fine depth.
The taste is structured, looong lasting and very fine with notes of spicy violets, blueberries, hot road dust, ink and some dark chocolate. Balanced and very fine. Some finely polished tannins. This is a very fine bottle of wine.
93p   (tasted 2018/01)

Friday 26 January 2018

2010 Anas-Cëttá, Elvio Cogno & 2015 Barbera d´Alba, Giacomo Conterno

A week since I came back from Piedmont - longing back - what to do? Open some bottles of course!

2010 Anas-Cëttá, Elvio Cogno
Second Nascetta in a weeks time! This more mature version shows a round, laid back nose with notes of dried apricots, smoke, birch leaves and warm rocks. Maybe a tad too soft and mature.
The taste is fresher with a good acidty and notes of lemon peel, apricots, warm grass and a hint of white pepper. Medium long and fine.
86p   (tasted 2018/01)

2015 Barbera d´Alba Vigna Francia, Giacomo Conterno
What can one say, Roberto is turning out some impressive juice. I tasted this at the estate a couple of months ago and had to buy some bottles. Equally great today - the fruit, the grip, the acidity, the balance makes this a really fine bottle of Barbera. Glad I have more, lets see if I can keep my hands from them.....for Barbera can age.
93p   (tasted 2018/01)

Monday 22 January 2018

The Barolo Boys Visit Fratelli Alessandria, Francesco Rinaldi & Marengo

Last notes from our November trip to Piedmont. Looking forward to going there again in 71 days time!

Fratelli Alessandria
The evening before our visit to Fratelli Alessandria we had the 2013 Monvigliero and was really impressed. When we drove up to Verduno on Saturday morning we were eager to taste the rest of the wines.
When we arrived and knocked on the door Vittore greated us and showed us the ancient cellars of the estate, which was established in the early 1800´s.
When we arrived we were the only visitors but after one hour or so the tasting room looked more like a crowded subway station during rush hour... Saturday´s are busy, as Vittore said when he poured us the wines before rushing over to another company. An excellent visit and really fine wines across the line.

2016 Langhe Favorita
Favorita is a grape I don´t drink too often. Or at all. Which I thought before I found out that Favorita and Vermentino is the same grape. Ah well, in that case I drink Favorita, mostly from Liguria.
The nose of this one has a light peppery. grassy nose which is pure and fresh. Very good.
The taste is dry and herbal with notes of grass, mineral and a hint of white pepper. A fine acidity.
87p   (tasted 2017/11)

2016 Pelaverga Speziale
An open, genrous, high nose with notes of assorted red berries, white pepper, forest floor and clay. High spirited and juicy.
The taste is cool and spicy with notes of ripe lingonberries, gravel, herbs and clay. Some lightly nibbling tannins. Very, very good. I tasted the 2015 a couple of weeks ago. Very gulpable, nice wines.
88p   (tasted 2017/11)

2016 Barbera d´Alba
The nose is a lovely mix of raspberries and blueberries with some spices, dark oranges and a hint of tobacco added. Very fine.
The taste is tight and balanced with notes of raspberries, licorice, tobacco and Christmas spices. A fine acidity. Very long.
91p   (tasted 2017/11)

Vittore in action!
2015 Barbera d´Alba Priòra
The Priòra is deeper and darker than the normal Barbera. More black the red fruit and on the nose there is lots of Finnish licorice and undergrowth. Very deep.
The taste is dark and seedy with notes of ripe blueberries, forest floor, licorice and dark chocolate. Long and rich. Different than the normal Barbera and just as good.
91p   (tasted 2017/11)

2015 Langhe Nebbiolo Prinsiòt
This is a serious Langhe Nebbiolo, with a deep, spicy nose with lots of fresh cherries, smoke and raspberry licorice. A fine intensity.
The taste is cool and fresh with notes of ripe red currants and raspberries alongside graphite, violets and gravel. Very charming, intense and likeable.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo
The Normale displays a old fashioned Nebbiolo nose with salmiak, pickled lingonberries, earth and dried spices. Some floral elements after a while. Very, very good.
The taste is dry and focused with notes of rowanberries, spices, tobacco and paint. A very fine dryness in the finish. Long. Really good.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo San Lorenzo di Verduno
A fine depth with notes of dried up lingonberry jam, smoke, spices and forest floor. A very handsome, cool nose.
The taste is young, spicy and fresh with notes of ripe lingonberries, raspberry licorice, dusty earth and fine balsamic notes. Silky and salty tannins. Very long and very fine.
93p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo Gramolere
The Gramolere sports a deep, dark nose with notes of licorice, fried herbs, warm sand and ripe red cherries. A very fine depth. Lovely.
The taste is tight and tannic with notes of dried cherries, violets, asphalt and herbs. A long, firm finish with structure and finesse. 8+ years.
93p   (tasted 2017/11)

Francesco Rinaldi
This was my first visit to Francesco Rinaldi, but I have tasted some of their old style Baroli, one that comes to mind is the 1964 that seemed untouched by time at 50 years of age.
Paola Rinaldi spent quality time with us, pouring these fine wines, and talked about the history and future of the estate.

2013 Barolo
Directly from the bottle this is a bit rough around the edges, but with just 15 minutes in the glass and some swirling fine aromas of sweet/sour cherries, earth, violets and paint arises from the glass. Cool, fine fruit.
The taste is sandy and tight with notes of dried roses, hard cherry candy, dried mushrooms and leather. Long and fine with some rugged tannins. Needs at least 6 years.
90p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo Brunate
An old style, deep, laid back nose with notes of violets, red cherries, dried flowers and some coffee. Deep and fine.
The taste is seedy and strong with notes of violets, dried cherries, mushrooms and spices. Salivating tannins in the long, long finish. 8+ years.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo Cannubi
The nose is all about sweet/sour cherries, damp earth, paint, rosehips and ski wax. Complex and fine.
The taste is cool, high and tight with notes of spiced up cherries, violets, old tobacco and paint. A one minute finish with a fine balance and polished tannins. 10+ years.
94p   (tasted 2017/11)

Visiting Marengo is a must and it is always great to taste these fantastic wines with Marco and Jenny.

Disclaimer - the importer of Marengo and Luigi Pira to Sweden - Origo Wines - are friends of mine and co founders of The illustrious Barolo Boys. I however have no financial interests in these wine, I just call them as I see them.

2016 Barbera d´Alba Vigna Pugnane
The Pugnane shows a warm, spicy nose with notes of cooked raspberries, licorice, coffee grounds and asphalt. Very, very good.
The taste is warm and spicy with notes of ripe cherries, raspberry licorice and scorched earth. A fine acidity.
89p   (tasted 2017/11)

2016 Nebbiolo d´Alba Vigna Valmaggiore
A refined, broad nose with notes of dried roses, spices, cherries, earth and dry licorice. A fine depth.
The taste is tight and fine with notes of hard cherry candy, gravel, mushrooms and leather. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo
The 13 Barolo behaved identical as when we tasted it in May.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

2014 Barolo
We tasted the 14´s when we visited in May of 2017. They were good then but the months after May have been kind to these wines, because now I found all to be great!
The Normale has put on weight and at the same time kept the high, energetic character. Really good. 89 p in May, now
91p   (tasted 2017/11)

2014 Barolo Bricco dell Viole
The same with the Bricco dell Viole as the Normale above, more weight yet with balance and focus. 92p then, now
93p   (tasted 2017/11)

2014 Barolo Brunate
The Brunate has got more refined and classy over the the last couple of months. this is a real stunner. Then 93p, now
95p   (tasted 2017/11)

2012 Barolo Riserva Brunate
It is always a treat to taste (again!) the Riserva Brunate. This behaved the same as in May, and that is saying something! World class wine.
96p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo Riserva Brunate
Well, why not finish with a bang! The 13 Riserva Brunate is a stunner. The nose is deep, tight and concentrated with notes of ripe cherries, trumpet mushrooms, tobacco smoke, dark licorice and a hint of truffle. High and intense. Gorgeous.
The taste is young, tight and balanced with notes of sweet/sour cherries, tobacco, asphalt, dried roses and some balsamic notes. The finish goes on and on and on. As with the 2010 Riserva Brunate, a candidate for perfection.
97p   (tasted 2017/11)

Part One - The Barolo Boys Visit Bartolo Mascarello, Giacomo Conterno & Ceretto
Part Two - The Barolo Boys Visit Parusso, Vietti & Aldo Conterno
Part Three - The Barolo Boys Visit Domenico Clerico, Mauro Veglio & Luigi Pira

Sunday 21 January 2018

2014 Langhe Nascetta, Diego Conterno & 2012 Langhe Nebbiolo, Burlotto

Coming back to a snowy, cold Sweden after three days in Paradise, aka Piedmont - what to drink?
Some Langhe wine of course!

2014 Langhe Nascetta, Diego Conterno
I think that my first encounter with Nascetta (at least to my recollaction) was rather recent, at
Il Grecale on The Barolo Boys last trip to Piedmont.
2014 was a wet and cold year (even though it got better in the late autumn, saving, for the most part, the Nebbiolo´s, but that is a later story (I tasted 19 2014 Baroli on my recent trip)) and that´s maybe why this Nascetta is a timid creature. The nose is light and laid back with shy notes of white flowers, wet rocks and a maybe a hint of white peppers.
The taste is light and dry with notes of dry grass, gravel and a diminutive spiciness. Resonable fresh. Good.
84p   (tasted 2018/01)

2012 Langhe Nebbiolo, Burlotto
After meeting Fabio, which I did again this Wednesday, and sitting and talking with him for an hour or so, you just want to drink his wine all of the time. The most gracious, charming and relaxed winemaker and host you could meet.
And the wines he makes! The 14 Baroli are (almost) as good as the 13´s (and in the case of Monvigliero, IMHO, better than the 13...)
But over to this Langhe Nebbiolo from the very good vintage of 2012. The nose is high and delicate with notes of dried raspberries, spices, leather and some balsamic aromas. Very, very good.
The taste is pleasure from the first sip with silky, low keyed tannins and notes of dried raspberries, ceps, road dust amd a hint of dry tobacco. Drink now and the coming 8+ years.
91p   (tasted 2018/01)

Monday 15 January 2018

Two Bottles Of Rioja - 1998 Rioja Reserva, Marqués De Riscal & 2010 Rioja Reserva, Remelluri

1998 Rioja Reserva, Marqués de Riscal
This old estate, established in 1860, has turned out a very good Reserva in 1998. The nose is deep, soft, mature and round with a dried up sweetness from strawberries and lingonberries. There are additional notes of cooked root vegetables, red tea, moist earth and a hint of dry vanilla. Very good. If this was handed to me blind I would have guessed a maturing Burgundy given this nose.
The taste is mature, velvety and dry with notes of dried strawberries, undergrowth, chocolate biscuits and dry licorice. A fine mouthfeel, very smooth and drinkable. Maybe a tad soo, there isn´t much resistence here, no contrasts. But drinking very nicely with a light flavoured chicken dish.
87p   (tasted 2018/01)

2010 Rioja Reserva, Remelluri
The younger Rioja from a much younger Bodega, established 1970, offers up that opposition that I missed in the wine above. The nose is deep and concentrated with notes of black cherries, smoke, leather, violets and mocka. Deep and refined.
The taste is young, focused and very fine with notes of ripe cherries, raspberry licorice, bakelite, smoke and tobacco. Lots of ripe, sweet fruit arund a firm tannin structure. One for aging 5+ years. Very fine. Long and lingering. Fine stuff indeed.
93p   (tasted 2018/01)

Saturday 13 January 2018

The Ten Most Memorable Wines Of 2017

Another year have passed. As always lots of good, great and gorgeous wines.
982 bottles tasted and drunk during the year (204 Baroli...), and it always hard to narrow it down to the ten that have made the most lasting impression on me. But with a glass of 2014 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Village, Domaine des Tilleuls is becomes a tad more easy :-)

Here they are, in vintage order.
A toast to a equally great 2018!

1934 Château Branaire (Duluc-Ducru)
Interesting enough, given the fact that I don´t drink much Bordeaux nowadays, when I do, they seem to make this list every year. Three bottles this year. Go figure...
This bottle was a chance buy, no label and the seller announced it as a Branaire-Ducru from an unknown vintage. I always think that kind of setup is fun, and given the modest price, I bought it.
And glad I did, for this turned out, not only being a 1934, but a perfectly mature Bordeuax from the time when they produced wine for their children, not for drinking right out of the gate. A marvel.
96p   (tasted 2017/03)

1947 Barolo, Marchesi di Barolo
A half bottle of a 70 year old Barolo, what could one hope for? It had a good level and it came from one of the greatest Barolo vintage ever, so I had some hopes.
Did it fulfill them? Oooh yes, and then some. An ethereal, beautiful, complex nose that oozes class, perfect maturity and layer upon layer of the most lovely old school Nebbiolo fruit.
When visiting Marchesi di Barolo this summer I noticed that they had a large stack of this wine but they didn´t wanted to part with any of them...
97p   (tasted 2017/06)

1959 Château Haut-Bailly
Haut-Bailly is one of my favourite Château and given the opportunity to taste a perfectly mature specimen was really a treat. It was tasted blind and I thought it was much younger than a 59.
Bordeaux doesn´t get much better than this. Thanks Peter!
98p   (tasted 2017/04)

"1964 Richebourg, DRC"
This was fun. And a bottle that is hard to forget, even though it was a fake.
Having read all 168 pages on WineBerserkers about Rudy Kurniawan and his forgery business and watching the movie Sour Grapes about him, I thought, how hard can it be? And will my friends be fooled?
It turned out great - I may have a new career ahead of me...
93p   (tasted 2017/08)

1982 Château Laville Haut-Brion
1982 is famous for its red wines, but this example proves that its white wines is a force to be reckoned with. There is a special something special about a mature white Bordeaux, with its deep haunting notes of such things as rubber, Seville oranges, nuts and, in this case, some dried up botrytis. Something really special.
98p   (tasted 2017/04)

1989 Barolo, Bartolo Mascarello
A truly great memory from 2017 - drinking a perfectly mature Barolo from Bartolo Mascarelllo with Maria Teresa over dinner, just her and The Barolo Boys, four of us downing this gem at our favourite restaurant in Piedmont - La Coccinella. Life doesn´t get better than that. Thanks Maria Teresa!
97p   (tasted 2017/10)

Maria Teresa opening the 1989

2007 Syrah Vieilles Vignes, Simon Maye
Two friends arranged a fantastic tasting of the Syrah´s from Simon Maye. Lots of truly great wines, but the one that rose above the others, was the 2007 Vieilles Vignes. Proof that world class Syrah can come from Switzerland. Too bad that they are hard to get hold of. Thanks Mikke and Sverker!
97p   (2017/11)

The next three are from the great Barolo vintage of 2013. Having tasted 112 different Baroli from this vintage, I could say that I have a clue.
After our visit to Piedmont in May I wrote this:
What to say about the vintage then? The one thing that striked us when tasting these wines is that - even though there are minor and major differences between for example the wines from La Morra compared to the ones from Serralunga or the differences between upbringing in old Slavonian oak or barriques (although the major part of the producers that have been using barriques are cutting down on the time the wines spends in them or abandoning them altogether) - all wines showed a racy, energetic freshness.
They are more floral than usual, the red fruits are more forward (especially strawberries - some are almost Burgundian like), there is a sweet/sour sensation to the fruit that is really fine, the tannins are sappy and very silky, and they are very fresh, lively, vibrant and almost gulpable.

Are these wines for the short term then? They will not need as much time as the 2006 or 2010 to come around, but make no mistake, even though they seem almost ligth and airy there are more stuffing to them than are immediate noticable. I must confess being smitten by this vintage and will buy plenty (update - I have...).

After tasting even more bottles on our visit in November I am certain that this is a great vintage across the board, one of those vintages that you could buy without tasting (compared to 2014 where tasting is mandatory before buying).

But on to the ones that have made a long lasting impression.

2013 Barolo Romirasco, Aldo Conterno
An almost perfect specimen that will hit that three digit mark when it have got some bottle maturity. All of the 13 Baroli from Aldo Conterno is stellar but there is something special (as in 12 and 14 as well) with the Romirasco. A breathtaking wine.
99p   (tasted 2017/05)

2013 Barolo Cannubi, Burlotto
Visiting Fabio for the first time was something special and tasting the 13 lineup put a big smile on our faces. The Acclivi and Monvigliero was lovely but the Cannubi towered above them. Tasting it again on New Years Eve confirmed my impressions. Glad that I have some bottles.
97p   (tasted 2017/05)

2013 Barolo Monfortino, Giacomo Conterno
I thought the 2010 was great when we visited in November of 2016, but that Monfortino have to take the backseat to the 2013. Perfection from start to finish, when we tasted the 13 with Roberto we just shook our heads in awe. Too bad the price have gone stratospheric. Ah well, at least lucky to have tasted it on location with Roberto.
100p   (tasted 2017/11)

Romirasco with Giacomo at the estate

Fabio with the great 2013 lineup

2013 Monfortino...

The Ten Most Memorable Wines Of 2016

The Ten Most Memorable Wines Of 2015

The Ten Most Memorable Wines Of 2014

The Ten Most Memorable Wines Of 2013

The Ten Most Memorable Wines Of 2012

The Ten Most Memorable Wines Of 2011