Thursday 31 May 2018

A Bottle Of Bubbly - 2008 Aubry De Humbert

The Barolo Boys tasted the 2006 Aubry de Humbert a couple of months ago and I was eager to taste the 2008!

2008 Aubry de Humbert
From the bat, this feels much younger than the 2006, with a finely tuned, somewhat restrained nose with notes of dried up lemon curd, oyster shells, flint, fennel and candied lemons. Very handsome in a laid back style. Needs time.
The taste is cool, restrained and tight with notes of lemon peel, flint, chalk, cucumber water and some flowery notes. Long, structured and promising, but wait at least 4+ years. Didn´t budge for the two days is was open.
92p   (tasted 2018/05)

Wednesday 30 May 2018

A Mini Vertical Of Rancia, Felsina

This Chianti Classico Riserva has always been a favourite of mine. It usually requires some years in the cellar before really approachable.
The first vintage was 1983. Sadly I haven´t tasted that one but the 1990 was really good a couple of years ago.

The wine is 100% Sangiovese from 3 plots in Podere di Rancia in Castelnuovo Berardenga with various soils. The vinification has changed over the years regarding maturation. In Burton Anderson´s book Best Italian Wines from 2001 the naturation is described as "14-16 months in wood (part in new or once-used barriques ans part in casks)." Nowadays, according to Felsina´s website it is 18-20 months in new French barriques. And there was a different oak touch between the older ones and especially the 2010.
Four fine vintages tasted the other day.

1997 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia, Felsina
This 21 year old displays a deep, round, mature nose with notes of old leather, dried cherries, flower water, tobacco and mocha. Very, very good. With air it resembles a mature Bordeaux. A fine scent of moist forest floor.
The taste is medium bodied, mature and dry with notes of dried cherries, pencil shavings, coffee and granite. A very fine dryness at the end. There is touch of salted black fruit. Very fine. Fully mature.
92p   (tasted 2018/05)

2001 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia, Felsina
There is a hint of maturity on the nose but at the same time copius amounts of fresh, juicy cherry fruit alongside notes of rosemary, ripe flowers, earth, handcream and Tuscan gravel. Just lovely.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of ripe red and black cherries, hard cherry candy, rosemary, sweet lingonberries and bakelite. Very long. A touch of maturity. Aristocratic. Great wine from now and the coming 10+ years.
94p   (tasted 2018/05)

2006 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia, Felsina
The 06 feels a loot younger than the 01. You have to swirl, even with some time in the glass, vigorously to get some notes of ripening cherries, gravel, juniper berries and a hint of violets. A fine depth. Verging on being a tad angular. Need lots of time.
The taste is seedy and upright with notes of red cherries, violet pastilles, chrushed rocks and bakelite. Long and stern. There is fine quality but it feels locked up today. Wait at least 5+ years.
90p   (tasted 2018/05)

2010 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia, Felsina
A deep, intense, balsamic nose with notes of dark cherries, coffee powder, violets, almond paste and a hint of chocolate. You can feel that there is more new oak on the nose on this one compared to the other vintages. But a lovely fruit sweetness takes care of it perfectly.
The taste is young, tight yet vivid with notes of licorice covered cherries, tobacco, earth and new leather. Very long and ample. This has lots of potential, give it 5+ years.
93p   (tasted 2018/05)

Saturday 12 May 2018

Bottles From 1964, 1993 & Some Young Syrah Guns

It was my time to hold our monthly tasting in our tasting group and I opted for some different flights with some additional food with each flight.

Flight 0
2007 Oslavje, Radikon
To get the the taste buds started I poured this bottle. As I was the only one who know what the bottles were I thought I had got the last bottle mixed up with this one, for it has a old, wrinkled, semi dry Sauternes feel about it, with notes of rubber, hay, old lemon/licorice candy and a hint of a sewer in the distance. Not my cup of tea.
The taste is dry, earthy and linear with notes of dry oranges, apricots, decaying flowers and some rubbery notes. Not bad per se, but rather boring and one dimensional.
80p   (tasted 2018/04)

Flight 1
1964 Pommard, Faiveley
An old, layered nose with notes of shoe cream, wet earth, old leather and lots of dried mushrooms. Holds well in the glass. Good.
The taste is earthy and dry with notes of dried strawberries, dried herbs and forest floor. Medium bodied. A fine dryness at the end. Not for keeping longer though...
85p   (tasted 2018/04)

1964 Pommard, M. Javouhey
A deep, fine mature nose with notes of sugared coffee, dried raspberries, mushroom cream and undergrowth. Very good. With air a touch of roses appear.
The taste is compact, big, round and sweet with notes of dried raspberries, old leather, herbs and paint. A long, fine finish. Fully mature but bottles like this would keep for another 5+ years.
88p   (tasted 2018/04)

Flight 2
1993 Brunello di Montalcino, Caparzo
A mature Brunello is hard to beat and coming from the underrated vintage of 1993 it is a sure win-win in the shape of a great wine with a modest price tag. This one has a nose filled with ripe red cherries, sandelwood, rosemary and leather. Very, very good. A very fine sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is warm, comforting and fine with notes of ripe red currants, cherries, herbs, gravel and tobacco. A long, dry, warm, intense finish. Drinking perfect now.
91p   (tasted 2018/04)

1993 Cortaccio, Villa Cafaggio
This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon usually delivers the gods, but this bottle doesn´t reach the heights of other Cortaccio´s. The nose shows a fine wartmth with notes of dried up black currant jam, leather. soya sauce and coffee powder. Fine fruit but a bit compact.
The taste is big, warm and meaty with notes of seared ham, dark violets, leather and moist forest floor. Big, open wide, highly drinkable but a bit all over the place.
84p   (tasted 2018/04)

Flight 3
2010 Bel Villa Syrah, Goedhart Family
A light meaty nose with notes of undergrowth, tar, diesel oil and blueberries. A fine, low keyed sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is medium bodied and peppery with notes of cooked red beets, aspahlt and paint. A fine acidity and polished tannins. For drinking now and the coming 6+ years.
90p   (tasted 2018/04)

2012 Syrah, Stefano Amerighi
A restrained, focused nose with notes of dried flowers, violets, warm gravel and a mix of raspberries and blueberries. Very, very good.
The taste is seedy and cool peppery with notes of red flowers, violets, bakelite and chrushed rocks. Cool tannins. Very fine. Still young. 4+ years.
90p   (tasted 2018/04)

2013 Côte-Roôtie Ampodium, Domaine Rostaing
A deep, exotic nose with notes of cardamom, white pepper, handpounded veal meat, roses and a hint of curry! Intense and really fine.
The taste is balanced and peppery with notes of Lily of the Valley, ripe red currants, blueberries, red peppers and a hint of mosquito repelent. This is goood! Give this 5+ years. A really fine bottle of wine.
93p   (tasted 2018/04)

2014 Syrah Viognier, Clonakilla
Tasted two times last year this is a stunner that I am glad I bougth plenty of. World class wine!
95p   (tasted 2018/04)

Flight 4
1955 Château Rieussec
A great surprise. From a leaking bottle, this 63 year old Sauternes shows a deep, laid back, fantastic nose with notes of dark fudge, burning tires, ripe banana peel and old hand cream. Complex amd fine.
The taste is concentrated and big with notes of candied orange peel, dark almond paste, clay and hot rubber. A very long, viscous finish. I am guessing that a perfect bottle would have made us see stars, but this is no slouch.
91p   (tasted 2018/04)

Friday 11 May 2018

Drinking Tonight - 2010 Casalferro, Barone Ricasoli

2010 Casalferro, Barone Ricasoli
It has been two years ago, since I last tasted the 10 Casalferro. I should drink this more often, because it is a beauty. The nose is deep and gorgeous with notes of ligthly peppered plums, violets, dark coffee, hot Tuscan gravel and some leathery scents. Multi layered and just lovely.
The taste is standing like a rock with notes of ripe dark plums, cigarr ashes, violets, dark chocolate mousse and a hint of asphalt . A very fine minerality in the long, dry finish. Great two years ago and equally great tonight, glad I have more!
94p   (tasted 2018/05)

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Two 1999 Tuscan Wines From Quercia Al Poggio & Rocca Delle Macie

1999 Le Cataste, Quercia Al Poggio
A mature, dark, rugged nose with notes of bonfire, undergrowth, bay leaves and sweet coffee. Hearthy, rich and very good. A fine, mature complexity.
The taste is warm, spicy and rewarding with notes of dried cherries, violets, bonfire and dark chocolate. A long, warm finish with a fine dryness at the end. Fully mature and drinking fine. From 2012 this single vineyard 100% Sangiovese is a Gran Selezione, more info here.
90p   (tasted 2018/05)

1999 Chianti Classico Riserva, Rocca Delle Macie
This shows of slimmer and younger than the Cataste above, with a perky, herbal nose with sweet and sour cherries, rosemary, Tuscan gravel and a hint of tar. Very, very good.
The taste is still rather tight and seedy with notes of forest floor, red cherries, rosemary and some chocolate biscuit notes. A fine, linear finish with a high acidity. A fine refreshing mouthfeel. For drinking now and the coming 6+ years. Info here.
91p   (tasted 2018/05)

Monday 7 May 2018

Ferrari - The Bubbles (Not The Car)...

...although I would be happy driving a Ferrari and drinking Ferrari - but not at the same time of course! :-)

I was invited by VinUnic to a tasting lunch with Alessandro Lunelli, a grandson of Bruno Lunelli, who inherited the company from the founder Giulio Ferrari, who started the firm in 1902.
Alessandro spoke of the family wines and their work in a energetic, down to earth and charming way.
These were the wines we tasted. Info here.

NV Brut
Ferrari makes about 4,5 million bottles annualy and this NV Brut makes up a large part of the production. The nose is nice, light and easy going with notes of oranges, gravel and dry passion fruit.
The taste is light and fresh with some steely notes and a good acidity. 2 years on the less, 5-6 gr of sugar and costs 16 Euro, this is a perfect every day bubble. 100% Chardonnay.
87p   (tasted 2018/05)

NV Organic
The Organic is a more serious wine, all the grapes are owned (the majority of the grapes for the NV Brut are bought, but with very high standards regarding quality), and it stays 3 years on the lees. Again 100% Chardonnay. The nose is tight, stony and fresh with notes of lemon peel, chrushed rocks, dry melon, grass and a hint of cap gun smoke. Very, very good.
The taste is seedy, tight and fine with notes of lime juice, sun warm rocks, dry hay and basil. Long and very fine.
90p   (tasted 2018/05)

NV Rosé
I love Rosé bubbles and this was no exception, with a cool, fine tuned nose with notes of ripening raspberries, almond paste, sweet carrots and warm rocks. Very fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of raspberry licorice, warm sand, oatmeal cookies and assorted herbs. Drinking great now and the coming 6+ years. Made since 1972!
90p   (tasted 2018/05)

2010 Perlé
The Perlé was first produced in 1971 (it happened a lot in the beginning of the 70´s!). 100% Chardonnay, at least 5 years on the lees with 5-6 gr of sugar. This is the real calling card for Ferrari according to Alessandro.
The nose is handsome and refined with notes of yellow apples, freshly baked bread, hay, white pepper and summer flowers. Very fine.
The taste is fine and structured with notes of dried up honey, candied lemons, toasted bread and dry passion fruit. Long and finely tuned. This is gooood! For 20 Euro, a real bargain!
92p   (tasted 2018/05)

2008 Reserva Lunelli
The Reserve Lunelli sees wood, big Stockinger casks with some age, for the first fermention. And it shows on the nose with deep, tight notes of ripe yellow apples, dry caramel, hay and wood smoke. A very fine depth. The oak adds to the complexity when compared to the Perlé.
The taste is multi layered and refined with notes of pan fried bread, red and yellow apples, ripe flowers and a dry crème caramel. A long, fine finish with a cleasing acidity. A lovely wine. 5+ years.
93p   (tasted 2018/05)

2005 Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore
The crème de la crème of the Ferrari lineup, made since 1972, is this single vineyard Chardonnay that stays about 10 years on its lees and gets 2-3 gr of sugar when bottled. The nose is very deep and concentrated, and yet light and refined, with notes of hard lemon candy, violet perfume, ripe yellow apples, sun warm rocks and hay. Expressive and really fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of lemon cream, chrushed rocks, dark cookie dough, earth and ripe grass. The finish is counted in minutes. Just stunning.
95p   (tasted 2018/05)

Tenuta Castelbuono
The Lunelli family also makes wine in Umbria, and Alesssandro in the managing director of this operation. Info here.

2015 Ziggurat
This 60% (the website says 70 but I trust Alessandro...:-)) Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, shows of a upfront, herbal nose with notes of plums, dark earth and some balsamic scents. Very good.
The taste is seedy, warm and round with notes of plums, dry chocolate, rosemary and scorched earth. A medium long, fine finish. Would go great with a grilled piece of meat.
87p   (tasted 2018/05)

2014 Lampante
This Montelfalco Rosso Riserva has the same blend as the Ziggurat but comes from two vineyards in Bevagna. The first vintage was 2008. The nose has a deep, earthy, spicy note to it with additional scents of some barnyard animals in a distance, dark licorice, wood and leather. A tad rustic but in a highly likeable way.
The taste is fruit forward and direct with notes of dark cherries, old balsamic vinegar, a clean stable and coffee powder. I really like this, it has some rustic notes but they are very charming. For the asking price of 17 Euro, I would have bought a lot, too bad it is (yet...) not available.
91p   (tasted 2018/05)

2014 Carapace
The Carapace is a 100% Sagrantino, a special selection of the estate´s finest vines. The first vintage was 2003. From a difficult vintage, this shows of a great nose with aromas of thyme, meat, dark cherries, tar and chrushed minerals. Very deep and fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of ripe black plums, fried herbs, tar and a moist forest floor. Very long and distinct. Needs time. Velvety tannins as the initial impression but there is a firm grip at the end. 8+ years. If the indicated price would be right (not available...) - 23 Euro - I would buy plenty.
92p   (tasted 2018/05)

Sunday 6 May 2018

2016 Vermentino Etichetta Nera, Lunae + Vermentino´s From Summer Of 2017

Early summer is here, at least today, and I get those Liguria feelings going. Here is a bottle of Vermentino and long over due tasting notes of the Vermentino´s of the summer of 2017.

2016 Vermentino Etichetta Nera, Lunae
A fresh, clean nose with notes of grapefruit, white pepper, summer flowers and fine soap. Lively. Very good.
The taste is dry and mouth watering with notes of tangerines, gravel, white pepper and dried up passion fruit. A tingly feeling on the tongue. Fresh and fine.
87p   (tasted 2018/5)

The Vermentino´s of summer 2017 - tasted in Liguria

2016 Vermentino, Laura Aschero
I first tasted the Laura Aschero´s Vermentino - vintage 2012 - in 2013 and found it to be a great bottle of wine. Now time to try the 2016. The nose is charming with notes of ripe lemons, hay, white pepper, fennel and tangerines. A very fine depth.
The taste is finely tuned with notes of tangerines, grass, white currants, gravel and a hint of licorice. A very fine acidity. Long and fine.
90p   (tasted 2017/07)

2016 Vermentino, Terre Bianche
A young, ripe, interestimg nose with notes of yellow plums, grass, herbs and rubber. Nice.
The taste is cool and nice with notes of candied lemons, grass, herbs and warm rocks. Medium long. Very good.
86p   (tasted 2017/08)

2015 Vermentino, Terre Rosse
A fresh, perky nose with notes of grapefruit, dry passion fruit, green herbs, bakelite and chrushed rocks. Very fine.
The taste is dry and fine with notes of sweet lime, passion fruit, white pepper and minerals. A long dry finish with a fine acidity.
89p   (tasted 2017/08)

2016 Vermentino, La Ginestraia
A herbal, vigorous nose with notes of basil, sage, warm rocks and white pepper. Pure and fine. Very, very good.
The taste is dry, fresh and tight with notes of ripe herbs, grass, white currants and sweet lime. Long and fine.
88p   (tasted 2017/08)

2016 Vermention, Enrico D Ario
Young, fresh and fine with notes of grass, white currants, lemon and minerals. Very good.
Light, gulpable and good with notes of dry passion fruit, lemon, gravel and herbs. Very good in a direct, light kind of way.
85p   (tasted 2017/08)

Friday 4 May 2018

2015 Chianti Classico Casanuova Di Nittardi Vigna Doghessa, Nittardi

2015 Chianti Classico Casanuova d Nittardi Vigna Doghessa, Nittardi
Since 2012 the former Casanuova di Nittardi has been a single vineyard wine and consisiting of 100% Sangiovese. It is aged 14 months in tonneaux.
The nose is a bit rugged on opening and it needs some time in the decanter before notes of sweet red currants, raspberry licorice, wheat bread, clean farmyard animals and fir wood appears. Lively and complex. With even more time in the glass, that fine scent of a warm Tuscan gravel road comes forward. Still, of course, very young.
The taste is fresh, tight and graceful with notes of red cherries, gravel, bakelite, dry violets and rosemary. Finely balanced. Has a promising life ahead of itself, and will only become better. Give it 3+ years to start with. I will.
90p   (tasted 2018/05)