Monday 30 April 2018

Dinner With Doug Shafer

A couple of weeks ago I was invited by Vingruppen to a tasting dinner with Doug Shafer. I can´t remember ever having so fun at a tasting. Doug is a story teller by birth and the stories he told us during dinner was high spirited, charming and really, really funny.
And the wines weren´t that bad either...:-)

2009 Rosé, Louis Roederer
To get us going this nice Rosé were poured from a magnum, as it should be! The nose is finely tuned and deep with notes of blood oranges, rosé peppers, chrushed rocks and a fine perfumed scent. Very, very good.
The taste is young, tight and fine with notes of dried raspberries, blood oranges, fried bread and minerals. A very fine acidity. Long.
91p   (tasted 2018/03)

2015 Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay
I have always loved the Red Shoulder Ranch and the 2015 is no exception. A tad warmer and more broad shouldered than the 2014, but is has lots of charm and finesse all the same. The nose is big and open for business with notes of strawberries, grilled nuts, flower water and warm tiles. Deep and fine.
The taste is large scaled although structured and fine with notes of lemon candy, butter biscuits, smoke and warm rocks. Long and mouth filling. Lovely. Would love to gulp down this with a piece of grilled salmon.
92p   (tasted 2018/03)

2015 TD-9
This new wine is named after an old tractor. Apparently every name they came up during the naming process was taken before they thought of that old tractor. Shafer have been making a Merlot since 1983, but, alas, no more, this is the "new" Merlot, the blend is 56% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Malbec.
The nose is deep, dark and plummy with notes of chocolate, black cherries, tobacco and some peppery aromas. Very fine. Really excellent fruit here.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of tobacco, plums, asphalt and licorice. A lovely structure. Great lenght. This is fine! 6+ years.
94p   (tasted 2018/03)

2014 One Point Five
This Cabernet Sauvignon dominated wine shows of a tight, inky nose with notes of blackberries, very ripe raspberries, dark chocolate and forest floor. Rich and rewarding. Very, very deep.
The taste is multi layered and fine with notes of iron, red beets, blueberries and dark chocolate. A long, lingering finish with a touch of lavender. Great wine.
93p   (tasted 2018/03)

2013 Relentless
I tasted the 13 Relentless two years ago and it has picked up pace since then, for this is the real thing. 89% Shiraz, 11% Petite Sirah, 100% Pleasure. The nose is deep, meaty and tarry with notes of ripe blueberries, chrushed black pepper, violet soap and root vegetables. Very deep and complex.
The taste is black, tight and concentrated with notes of ripe rasp- and blackberries, soya sauce, tar and moist black earth. The finish goes on forever with ripe tannins and a great acidity. A great, great wine.
95p   (tasted 2018/03)

2010 Relentless
The 2010 shows a tad maturity on the nose in the shape of chrushed blackberries, soft earth, dried flowers and white peppers. Highly likeable. Deep and fine.
The taste is darker than the nose leads you to believe with notes of overripe raspberries, asphalt, thyme, ink and meat stock. Very, very long. Really fine.
92p   (tasted 2018/03)

2007 Relentless
This 11 year old Relentless doesn´t show more age than the 2010 but it has more forest, wood burning, pepper and tar notes than fruit aromas. Very fine. Scorched earth, tar and dried dark flowers comes along after a while.
The taste is structured, more linear than the 10 but with the same intensity and fine notes of wood smoke, ink, dark licorice, dried blueberries and dark chocolate. Long, long, long. Could be drunk now but I would be confident saving this 8+ more years. Really fine.
93p   (tasted 2018/03)

2013 Hillside Select
Oooh dear, what to say about this wine? Other than I would love to drink this morning, noon and night every day of the week. The nose is pure, tight and laser focused with notes of menthol spiked black currants, warm sand, Valrhona chocolate (64%!), a touch of asphalt and dark forest floor. Very, very complex.
The taste is just brilliant with fruit, tannins, acidity working their magic, a seamless creature with every knot and bolt in the right place. A beauty, now and I am sure, during the next 20+ years. A privilege to taste and drink.
98p   (tasted 2018/03)

Dog Shafer and one happy camper!

Sunday 29 April 2018

Pike-Perch & 2014 Château La Louvière

Tonight I maid a pike-perch dish with a lukewarm sallad of aspargus, carrots, onions and spinach, with a löjrom mayonnaise. A great combination with this white Bordeaux.

2014 Château La Louvière
The estate says that La Louvière is "marked by the Sauvignon Blanc character" and I whole heartedly agree (they don´t reveal the exact blend), with its nose of ripe gooseberries, elderberries, grilled lemons, hot gravel and that sought after, yet tiny, hint of cat pee. Very young and very fine.
The taste is expressive, dry and stringent with notes of almond milk, freshly squezzed lemons, green tea and minerals. A very fine acidity. Long. Really fine. This is one for aging, give it 8+ years, although it has charm in spades right now.
92p   (tasted 2018/04)

Other vintages tasted of La Louvière:
1983, 1990, 1998

Saturday 28 April 2018

Drinking Tonight - 2008 Château Cantenac Brown

Sometimes it is nice to get back to ones roots. in my case Bordeaux. Once upon a time it was all I drank. Times have changed, but it is nice to once in a while open a Bx bottle.

2008 Château Cantenac Brown
When tasted almost 6 years ago I thought it would need some time in the cellar. It still does. There is a hint of maturity now that it is 10 years old but it still on the adolescent side of things.
The nose is laid back and structured with notes of ripening black currants, undergrowth, touch of asphalt and some green pepper aromas. Very good. A fine, budding complexity.
The taste is tight, earthy and linear with notes of red and black currants, dry chocolate, minerals and a hint of coffee. A tad ungainly in the finish. Save this for 10 years and keep you fingers crossed, it may turn out great. I will.
90p   (tasted 2018/04)

Friday 27 April 2018

Ten Chardonnay´s Of Late

2014 Chardonnay Seven Springs, Evening Land
A cool, spicy, smoky nose with notes of cold cream, grilles aspargus, grass and passionfruit. Very, very good. A fine sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is cool and fine with notes of sweet lime, dry caramel, minerals and cap guns moke. Long, cool and fine.
90p   (tasted 2018/02)

2004 Chardonnay Diamond Label, Rosemount Estate
It has survived, barely. The fruit is a bit on the cooked side of things but there still is things to like, with a creamy character and ripe orange fruit.
The taste is flatter than the nose and lacks energy and definition but holds up alright. Nothing to write home about, but still, more alive than I would have thought.
78p   (tasted 2018/03)

2014 Chardonnay by Farr, Farr
A stony, chalky, fine tuned nose with notes of dry passion fruit, lemon juice, dry fudge and hay. Very complex, multi layered and fine.
The taste is dry, refined and racy with notes of mango, smoke, white flowers and chalk. A fine, restrained salty note. Very long. Really classy. 4+ years.
93p   (tasted 2018/01)

2014 Chardonnay Seven Flags, Paul Cluver
Behaved as great as seven months ago. Stunning wine.
95p   (tasted 2018/02)

2013 Meursault 1er Cru Perriéres, Bouchard
A lovely, high, energetic nose with lots of chrushed chalk, candied lemons, fried bread and some creamy aromas. Very, very fine. Still young. Gorgeous.
The taste is pure and handsome wih notes of fresh tangerines, lemon cream, white flowers and minerals en masse. A very fine acidity. Balance and concentration. 6+ years.
94p   (tasted 2018/03)

2015 Santenay 1er Cru Les Gravières, Domaine Jessiaume
A new producer for me and this white Santenay is very nice, with a cool, spicy nose with notes of chalk, basil leaves, tangerines and a hint of lemon licorice. Very, very good.
The taste is light, fresh and elegant with notes of spices, dried flowers, lemon peel and birch leaves. Long and fine. 5+ years.
89p   (tasted 2018/04)

2014 Chardonnay Hildegard Santa Maria Valley, Au Bon Climat
A deep, upfront, sweet nose with a fine concentration and notes of caramel, peach, candied lemons and wet rocks. A very fine depth. Round and generous.
The taste is racy and refined with notes of lemon cream, milk chocolate biscuits, chrushed rocks and dried flowers. Very long and intense. A fine dryness at the end. Really fine. Should evolve well over the coming 5+ years.
93p   (tasted 2018/04)

2014 Macon-Vergisson La Roche, Daniel et Julien Barraud
A fine, chalky nose with notes of white peach, spices. grass and cold butter. A cool, fine feeling about it.
The taste is dry and rocky with notes of lemons, grass and minerals. Still on the young side of things. A fine acidity. 6+ years.
89p   (tasted 2018/03)

2012 Macon-Village Grand Elevage, Verget
An open, buttery, fine nose with notes of dry fudge, flint, dried apricots and a hint of coconut, in a restrained style. Very, very good. A hint of maturity.
The taste is medium bodied and dry with notes of pine apple, smoke, minerals amd lemon licorice. A fine dryness at the end of the finish. For drinking now and the coming 5+ years.
90p   (tasted 2018/04)

2002 Chardonnay, Glen Carlou
Oxidized, with lots of wrinkled winter apples, plastic and old almond paste. Has gone too meet its maker in the sky.
The taste is more akin to a bad sherry than a white wine, without the alcohol.
53p   (tasted 2018/04)

Saturday 21 April 2018

Firing Up The Grill & Two Juicy Bottles

The two last day have changed the weather pattern here in Sweden, all of a sudden you can be outside without the heavy clothing artillery.

Really fine weather today and it was a perfect opportunity to fire up the outside grill for the first time of the season. Some home made burgers with all the usual side dishes was the treat of the day, with these two bottles.

2013 Pas Petite, Landin
I tasted this 2,5 years ago and it has put on some nice weight since then. Only 300 bottles produced, containing 85% Petit Sirah and 15% Zinfandel.
The nose is deep, sooty and fine with notes of smoke, ripe blue- and blackberries and some moist undergrowth, leaning to a hint of maturity. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of bonfire smoke, ripe blueberries, tobacco and cherry candy. Long and lingering with a fine acidity and silky tannins. Will need another 5+ years to hit full maturity. Glad I bought several bottles, will be nice too see where this is heading.
91p   (tasted 2018/04)

2012 The Freedom 1843 Shiraz, Langmeil
Two years since I had this beaty and it hasn´t changed a bit, this will go on for 20+ years. The nose is deep, concentrated and upfront with notes of blueberry pie, overripe raspberries, smoke and rotting flowers. Deep, interesting and very complex. A hint of VA, in a very positive way.
The taste is brilliant, massive yet light and and focused with notes of ripe blueberries, dark cherries, leather, veal stock and a hint of basil. A long, long, structured tasting. One for the ages. A beautiful bottle, but not for the 11% Trosseau drinking crowd.
96p   (tasted 2018/04)

Thursday 19 April 2018

A Friend Turns 50 & Opens Some Nice Bottles - Selosse, Guigal, SQN, Grange & More

Although the Grange wasn´t nice at all. But the rest was - thanks R!
All wines tasted double blind.

We were welcomed with a glass of bubbly.
NV Initial, Selosse
This bottle was degorced 25th of July 2012. The nose is creamy and stony at the same time with fine notes of ripe yellow apples with some maturity, hay, lemon candy and minerals. Very racy. A tad mature. Very, very good.
The taste is crisp, stony and salivating with notes of lemon cream, white currants, cap gun smoke and some grassy notes. Long and fine. A very good acidity. Lovely. 5+ years.
93p   (tasted 2018/03)

1968 Barolo, Mauro Chiado
As a interlude before the first flight we were poured this aged Nebbiolo - that was a given when I put my nose in the glass. Beautiful aromas of a damp forest floor, roses, dry licorice and violets. A really fine maturity. Had been opened and decanted for three hours but it kept on gaining weight and intensity for the hours I had in in the glass.
The taste is mature and dry with notes of dried red currants and cherries, autumn leaves, dried mushrooms and coffee powder. Medium long. Doesn´t end dry at all. A fine 50 year old.
90p   (tasted 2018/03)

First Flight
1995 Côte-Rôtie d´Ampuis, Guigal
This shows some maturity with fine notes of tobacco, dried blueberries, driet meat and a hint of white pepper. A fine depth and maturity.  Very, very good.
The taste is warm and welcoming with notes of dried raspberries, bay leaves, moist earth and violets. Long and rewarding. Drinking beautifully now and the coming 6+ years. Lovely.
93p   (tasted 2018/03)

1999 Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde, Guigal
There is something not ok with this bottle. Start´s out very open and VA like with notes of bonfire, scorched earth and rubber. Wit air it becomes flat.
The taste is tight and dry with notes of salmiak, dark raspberries and lots of smoke and plastics. Very dry. Again, with air, it falls together. Judgement reserved.
80p?   (tasted 2018/03)

1999 Côte-Rôtie d´Ampuis, Guigal
A deep, dark, complex nose with notes of ripe blackberries, chocolate biscuits, roasted coffee, dark flowers and meat stock. A lovely depth and concentration.
The taste is sandy and focused with notes of ripe black cherries, blueberries, moist earth, leather and violets. Very finely polished tannins. Lovely mouthfeel. Very, very long.
94p   (tasted 2018/03)

1999 Côte-Rôtie La Mouline, Guigal
A deep, handsome, perfumed nose with notes of ripe blueberries, dark chocolate, expensive leather, iron and a hint of band aid, which ads complexity and depth. This is what dreams are made of.
The taste is concentrated and massive, yet light and refined, with notes of ripe blueberries, moccha, leather, violets and black pepper. Pure and balanced. Just lovely. Just entering the first stages of maturity. Great wine.
97p   (tasted 2018/03)

2003 Côte-Rôtie d´Ampuis, Guigal
Still young, racy and upfront nose with notes of blueberries, bay leaves, a hint of fresh stables, forest floor and white pepper. Very, very deep and concentrated.
The taste is very pure, very tight, very racy and just gorgeous with notes of lovely black fruits, bakelite, dark bread, black pepper and new leather. Very, very long. Soooo promising. 10 years.
97p   (tasted 2018/03)

Second Flight
1999 Shiraz Winemakers Guild, Neil Ellis
A different kind of nose with notes of green peppers, red currants, gravel, fir wood and Christmas spices. Very, very good in a refined way.
The taste is pure and fine with intense red fruits and additional notes of white flowers, sand and spices. Long and lingering. Very fine.
92p   (tasted 2018/03)

1988 Côte-Rôtie La Turque, Guigal
Almost perfect. I guess that this bottle was a perfect specimen 5-8 years ago, and entering 30 years it is (at least this bottle) slowly on the way down. But the nose, ooh the nose, with its complexity and gorgeous notes of white peppered meat, fresh stables, ripe red currants, old leather and forest floor. Truly fine.
The taste is concentrated, soft yet focused with notes of dried blueberries, coffee powder, meat stock, forest floor, dried flowers and beet roots. The finish goes on for 2 minutes. Absolutely stunning.
99p   (tasted 2018/03)

2002 Just For The Love Of It, Sine Qua Non
Tasted four years ago, this performs on the same high level on this night. Gorgeous deep, sweet, blackberry fruit with some high, intense VA scents and dark floral notes, sweet violets and dark chocolate. Ripe and lovely.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of ripe blueberries, iodine, balsa wood and violets. A long, sweet, intense finish. Mouthfilling in the best sense of the word. Will go on for 10+ years.
96p   (tasted 2018/03)

1998 Grange
Ooh dear. Tasted double blind, all the tasters had this as a bad bottle of wine. There is soya sauce, ink, sugared coffee and dill in a deep, very concentrated style. Ungainly and all over the place.
The taste is very intense, overripe amd overly sweet with notes of violets, rotten flowers, Cherry Heering and scorched earth. Long, long and hot. One could think that this would be a bad bottle, but alas, exactly the same as a bottle tasted 5 years ago...
78p   (tasted 2018/03)

1997 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese, Joh. Jos. Prüm
This was exactly what we needed to wind down after all these structured, ripe Syrah´s. A cool, refreshing nose with notes of dried orange peel, wet asphalt, grass and a hint of ginger. Very, very good.
The taste is dry and fresh with notes of dried apricots, grass, chrushed rocks and lemon grass. A very fine acidity. Handsome. Drinking perfect today.
92p   (tasted 2018/03)

1997 Coteaux du Layon Marie Juby Grain Nobles, Patrick Baudouin
A very deep, concentrated, complex nose with notes of ripe apricots, wet hay, iodine, warm gravel and that rubber carpet you had in gym class. Lovely!
The taste is very concentrated and viscous with notes of dried honey, apriocts, sugared orange juice and hay. Very, very long. A very fine acidity, starts out extremely sweet but ends semi dry. Will probably live forever.
94p   (tasted 2018/03)

Saturday 14 April 2018

1993 Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra, Domenico Clerico

The self procclaimed Cape Crusader of the virtues of the 1993 vintage opens yet another bottle!

1993 Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra, Domenico Clerico
A very fine, mellow, mature and scented nose with notes of dried ceps, rowanberries, asphalt, dry licorice and dried flowers. Very fine. Smells like the hills of Langhe in the autumn. Lovely.
The taste is mature, round and dry with notes of dried cherries, paint, dried roses and some tobacco flavours. A medium long, sandy finish. Drinking great on this night (but I guess it was even more impressive 10 years ago). Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2018/04)

Other 1993 Baroli tasted:
1993 Barolo Vigna D´La Roul, Rocche Dei Manzoni
1993 Barolo, Valfieri
1993 Barolo, Gianni Gagliardo
1993 Barolo, Fratelli Revello & 1993 Barolo Vigna Rocche, Rocche Dei Manzoni
1993 Barolo Vigneti Brunate, Francesco Borgogno
1993 Barolo Vigna Rocche, Erbaluna/Severino e Andrea Oberto
1993 Barolo, Gianfranco Alessandria
1993 Barolo Rocche dell´Annunziata, Paolo Scavino

Friday 13 April 2018

Retasting - 2015 Crozes Hermitage Domaine De Thalabert, Jaboulet

Two months ago I was on location in the Rhone Valley, visiting Jaboulet and having a great time. The 15 Domaine de Thalabert impressed me and when it was released on the state monopoly I bought some (ok, a lot!). Time to test drive one bottle within the calm environment one call home.

2015 Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert, Jaboulet
It has closed down a bit since the last time, or at least that is my impression. The blueberries are almost ripe, and there is a lovely Lily of the Valley scent going on here. Sweet minerals, a hint of iron and violets are also here. Deep and lovely. Needs more time but there is lots of potential here.
The taste is structured, beautifully crafted and seamsless with notes of veal meat, violets, ripe blueberries, black peppers and dried flowers. A fresh, seemingly light finish with intensity and persistence. As with most young wines, at least for my taste, the last sip is the best. Really fine now but will turn out even greater in 10 years. Luckily, I will have bottles to drink then...
93p   (tasted 2018/04)

Wednesday 11 April 2018

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley, Beringer

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley, Beringer
I really enjoyed the 2013 Knights Valley and bought a bunch of bottles. I will not buy the 14. Don´t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this wine, but it doesn´t scratch me the right way.
The nose is bigger, denser and more plummy than the 2013. Some bonfire smoke in the background. More broad shouldered and black but still holds it together. Deep.
The taste is dark, ripe and structured with lots of sweet black fruit, fir wood, chocolate licorice and fried herbs. It ends more backward and restrained than the initial impression leaves you to believe. Long. A tad too rich for my liking but, again, not a bad wine in any shape of form.
88p   (tasted 2018/04)

Sunday 1 April 2018

2008 Barolo Riserva, Giacomo Borgogno

2008 Barolo Riserva, Giacomo Borgogno
Bartolomeo Borgogno established the cellar in 1761. That is a while back. I bet that there were not many American tourists asking what Nebbiolo is (like the last time I overheard a conversation in a cellar in Piedmont...). Better times, or maybe not.
Fast forward to 2008 amd their Barolo Riserva. The nose is, with two hours decanting, very nice with notes of dry licorice, warm gravel, touch of band aid, roses and dried raspberries. Not that complex or multi layered, but it is unmistakable a Nebbiolo, and that is good.
The taste is tight, still on the rather young side of things, with fine notes of dried cherries, dry asphalt and dry licorice - there is lot of dryness here but, also a dried up sweetness of cherry and raspberry fruit. Some dried flowers in the finish and some nice tannins. Drinking fine today but I would wait 3+ years and drink over the coming 8+ years.
88p   (tasted 2018/04)