Sunday 25 November 2018

Two Not So Good 2013 Baroli

Having by now tasted 150+ Baroli from the 2013 vintage I could say I have some sort of grip of the vintage. I wrote the following at the beginning of this year when the usual Ten Most Memorable Wines of the last year was named (three 13 Baroli made the list...).

The 2013 Barolo vintage
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).

Well, the are always exceptions from any rule...

2013 Barolo, Fontanafredda
If you swirl vigorously you get some whiffs of damsons, lingonberries, dry almond paste and gravel. Other than that, very shy and withdrawn. And I don´t think that it is more to come, regardless of how long one will wait.
The taste is dry and one dimensional with notes of ripening lingonberries, cranberries and cigarette ash. Doesn´t change from one day to the next. Simplistic. I get that Fontanafredda makes a trillion bottles of this, and that you (almost always) get what you pay for, but I take a great Dolcetto for a lesser price any day of the week.
78p   (tasted 2018/10)

2013 Barolo, Enzo Bartoli
Opens light and simple but gets a tad better with air, and marginaly even better the day after. There are notes of some dried red fruits, earth, old cherry candy and pinewood. A bit superficial but nice enough.
The taste is light and anonymous but not bad per se, with notes of lingonberries, artificial roses, bakelite and gravel. I read somewhere (although that was concerning the 2014) that is was too woody, this isn´t though. Indiferent. Feel like a massproduced item. But stranded on a desert island without any real Barolo, its drinkable with the raw seagull I just catched and gutted...
82p   (tasted 2018/11)

Friday 23 November 2018

2010 Château Bernadotte

2010 Château Bernadotte
A tasting sample from VinUnic. Popped and poured. It opens a bit shy but evolves nicely in the glass over the evening, with a fine, traditional nose (not any over-extraction here) with notes of red and black currants, graphite, a touch of green bell peppers, light smoke scents and some autumn leaves. Very nice with a semi mature feeling.
The taste is finely tuned, medium bodied and refined with notes of dried up red currant jam, cranberries, fresh stables and hints of sugared coffee. A fine, dry finish with silky tannins. Highly drinkable in a low keyed sort of way. The way Bordeaux tasted like 25 years ago when they were young.
Drunk with fillets of veal (the most tender ones I have had in years, from Sweden of course), fried potatoes and a home made béarnaise sauce - a regal combination...
92p   (tasted 2018/11)

Wednesday 21 November 2018

1985 - 2007 Brunello Di Montalcino Poggio Al Vento, Col d´Orcia

It was my turn to host our tasting group monthly get together. I poured this vertical from Col d´Orcia blind and the guessing game began...:-)

1985 Brunello Di Montalcino Riserva Poggio Al Vento
A mature, deep, velvety nose with notes of dried plums, canned tomatoes, dried rosemary, old leather and some dog fur, in a interesting and complex mix. A bit loose around the edges. Fully mature and maybe a tad so.
The taste is warm, dry and mature with notes of forest floor, violet pastilles, dry tobacco and herbs. Initially soft on the palate but there is a very nice backbone in the finish. Very, very good. Only the second vintage ever made, the 1982 (see below) being the first Poggio Al Vento.
90p   (tasted 2018/11)

1990 Brunello Di Montalcino Riserva Poggio Al Vento
The 90 display the virteus of the vintage, with a deep, warm, compact nose with notes of ripe cherries, pinewood, Christmas spices, warm sand and rosemary. High and racy, with a very fine dried up sweetness to the fruit. A lovely maturity.
The taste is deep, balanced and loooong, with notes of sour/sweet cherries, autumn leaves, bitter chocolate with some salt and lots of violets. A very fine structure. Fully mature but will surely keep on this level for 6+ years.
94p   (tasted 2018/11)

1995 Brunello Di Montalcino Riserva Poggio Al Vento
Another stunning Brunello from one of my favourite Brunello vintages. The nose is concentrated and multi layered with notes of ripe black cherries, bay leaves, Zegna leather, sugared coffee and dark flowers. Very deep and very lovely.
The taste is taut and distinct with notes of hard cherry candy, rosemary, sandelwood, violets and Tuscan gravel. Very long and aristocratic. 5+ years from full maturity. A stunner.
96p   (tasted 2018/11)

2001 Brunello Di Montalcino Riserva Poggio Al Vento
A lovely, deep, complex nose with notes of dark oranges, sour cherries, forest floor, fir wood, tobacco and a hint of dried strawberries. There is a lot going on here and its all good! Very fine.
The taste is cool, tight and structured with notes of ripe red and black cherries, balsa wood, some blueberries, rosemary and bay leaves. A long, seedy finish with polished tannins. A very fine warmth. Needs 8+ years. A stunner in the making.
94p   (tasted 2018/11)

2007 Brunello Di Montalcino Riserva Poggio Al Vento
A young, forward, focused nose with notes of tapenade, Finnish licorice, asphalt, blood oranges and earth. Very generous, deeep and seemingly open. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of toasted almonds, black cherries, herbs, tobacco and Tuscan gravel, A long, warm, racy finish. Highly enjoyable today but I´ll think it will perform even better with 5+ years in the cellar.
92p   (tasted 2018/11)

Other vintages tasted from Col d´Orcia:
1982 & 2004 Poggio Al Vento
1975, 1977, 1980 Brunello Riserva, 1985 Brunello (before 1982 the Brunello Riserva was made from the grapes from the Poggio Al Vento vineyard)
1999, 2004, 2007 Brunello
2006 Brunello
2010 Brunello
2012 Brunello

Monday 19 November 2018

2001 Château De La Rivière

2001 Château De La Rivière
From a magnum no less, popped and poured. Right of the bat, the nose is open and inviting with notes of red and black currants, fresh stables, dark bread and fried herbs. Some graphite aromas after a some time in the glass. Very good.
The taste is on the lean side of things with sweet red currants and additional notes of leather, herbs and cold coffee. Long with a fine, dry finish. A very fine luncheon claret.
88p   (tasted 2018/11)

Other vintages tasted:
1989 & 1995

Saturday 17 November 2018

2001 - 2006 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riseling Spätlese, Robert Weil

S invited to a tasting of the famous Spätlese from Robert Weil, a producer of my liking. An interesting tasting indeed.
Tasted single blind.

2001 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riseling Spätlese
A deep, mature, oily nose with notes of peach, rubber, grass and sun warm gravel. A very fine sweetness, though more noticable sweetness than other 01 Spätlese tasted recently. Very fine.
The taste is pure, racy and very fine-limbed with notes of white peach, sweet minerals, linoleum and grass. A very fine acidity. Drier on the palate. I would say that this has hit its maturity plateau and will stay there for 8+ years.
92p   (tasted 2018/11)

2002 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riseling Spätlese
The 02 is tighter than the 01 with notes of gooseberries, ripe lemons, earth and some fine medicinal scents. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of pineapple juice, Christmas spices and earth. A fine acidity. A tad withdrawn. A fine structure. Wait 5+ years.
90p   (tasted 2018/11)

2003 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riseling Spätlese
Not a trace of an hot vintage. The nose is high and lively with notes of lemon peel, white flowers, white currants and chrushed rocks. Lovely.
The taste is pure ans steely with notes of candied lemons, white currants, hay and sweet minerals. A long, intense finish with a cleansing acidity. This is a beauty. Almost mature, give it 4+ years.
93p   (tasted 2018/11)

2004 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riseling Spätlese
A deep, somewhat stifled nose with notes of apricots, earth, lemon olive oil and wallpaper adhesive. Very good but doesn´t have the lift of the 03, interesting enough.
The taste is round and mature with notes of diesel oil, rubber, ripe red apples and earth. Long, soft and lingering. Fully mature. A 04?
89p   (tasted 2018/11)

2005 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riseling Spätlese
A high, fine nose with notes of ski wax, yellow pears, shellfish shell and furniture oil. Mature and open for business. A tad loose around the edges.
The taste is soft and sweet with notes of apricots, petrol, asphalt and dried up apple jam. Very long. The acidity could have been higher with regard to the fruit. Merely good. An off bottle?
85p   (tasted 2018/11)

2006 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riseling Spätlese
A fine, balanced nose with notes of pears, white pepper, earth and chrushed rocks. A fine coolness to it. Very, very good.
The taste is finely tuned and has poise, with notes of tangerines, earth, orange peel and hint of petrol. Just entering maturiy, this will on for 10+ years. Very fine.
92p   (tasted 2018/11)

Friday 16 November 2018

Friday Dinner Barolo - 1988 Barolo Riserva Maggiore, Rocche Dei Manzone

1988 Barolo Riserva Maggiore, Rocche Dei Manzone
A nice, mature drink on this Friday evening. It opens up with a lot of forest floor, warm herbs, dark candle grease, asphalt, bonfire and some dog fur for complexity. Just mature, finely structured and deep. A very fine warmth.
The taste is compact yet silky with a fine maturity and with notes of dried cherries, bonfire, rosehips, dry licorice and cranberries. Long lasting with a fine ending with a dried up sweetness of ripe strawberry fruit. This is wearing its 30 years with ease.
91p   (tasted 2018/11)

Wednesday 14 November 2018

2006 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese, Dönnhoff

2006 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese, Dönnhoff
The 2006´s are ready for prime time drinking. The last couples of bottles have been ready and that is what I have heard from friends as well. This bottle was proof of that particularly pudding.
The nose is wide open and ready for business with nice notes of dried apriocots, rubber boots, wet asphalt, white raisins and hints of ripe strawberries. Very direct and very good.
The taste is cool and fine, a little more restrained than the nose leads you to believe, with notes of yellow pears, gravel, pine apple juice and dried strawberries. A fine, medium high acidity. For drinking now and the coming 4+ years.
91p   (tasted 2018/11)

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Stunning Wines From Podere Forte

I was invited by Brix Wine to a tasting of the wines from Podere Forte at one of our crown jewels of restaurants in Stockholm, Operakällaren.
As we were gathering and enjoying the ambience of this beautiful locality we were poured glasses of
NV Pol Roger Brut (89p) which always bring pleasure and their own NV Cuvée Operakällaren Blanc de Blanc (88p) which was smoky and fine.

Giovanni Mazzoni, Sales and Marketing Director, presented and discussed the wines, and much more, with great enthusiasm, charm and joy.

2013 Riesling Clos des Capucins Cuvée Theo, Domaine Weinbach
For the first course this Riesling was poured. I drink way to little from Alsace, as I say everytime something great like this passes my way. The nose is deep and multi layered with notes of sweet/sour orange candy, rubber, moist earth and mosquito repellent. A high level of intensity.
The taste is refined (which I wrote three times...) and broad with notes of sweet lime, tangerines, grilled onions (!) and wet asphalt. A high, perky acidity that cleans the fat fruit of the palate. Very lively. Great wine. Mature? Feels like it but I wouldn´t be surprised  if this would last 20 years.
92p   (tasted 2018/11)

2015 Petrucino
This 85% Sangiovese and 15% Merlot blend sports an outgoing, deep, handsome nose with notes of red and black cherries, plums, spices, tobacco, autumn forest floor and expensive leather. Very, very good.
The taste is taut and refined with notes of blueberries, sour/sweet cherries, asphalt, rosemary and violets. A long, structured, warm finish with a dry twist at the end. Drinking perfectly with food now but I would wait 5+ years for even more complexity.
92p   (tasted 2018/11)

2008 Petrucci
This 10 year old Sangiovese shows of a seamless elegance with a deep, complex nose with notes of forest floor, ripe cherries, dark chocolate, expensive perfume and fresh rosemary. Very pure and fine.
The taste is cool and refined with hint of maturity and notes of red cherries, leather, dry licorice, Tuscan gravel and a hint of tobacco. Very, very long. Lovely. 3+ years.
94p   (tasted 2018/11)

2013 Petrucci
The younger sibling, and from magnum no less!, displays a deep, focused nose with every screw and bolt in the right place. Lovely notes of ripe red cherries, violets, candle grease, Jerusalem artichokes, herbs and Tuscan gravel. Beautiful.
The taste is brilliant in its precision, intensity and sheer enjoyment. Of course very young but I can see myself taking big sips after sips after sips... Notes of plums, red cherries, leather, earth, violets and some sweet tobacco notes. A one minute finish. 6+ years.
96p   (tasted 2018/11)

2009 Guardiavigna
A high, pure nose with notes of hay, quince, red currants, wet cement and some coffee aromas. Lively and very interesting.
The taste is cool and complex with notes of red licorice, earth, warm tiles and cold coffee. Long and balanced, maybe a tad less focused in the finish compared with the two following vintages. 50% Cabernet Franc, 38% Merlot, 12% Pettit Verdot.
91p   (tasted 2018/11)

2010 Guardiavigna
The 10 has the same blend as the 09 and displays a fantastic, concentrated yet light and refined nose with notes of gravel, ripe red currants, tobacco and milk chocolate. Vivacious and really fine.
The taste is tight and complex with gorgeous fruit, a seamless structure and an ethereal refinement. The finish goes on and on and on. Great wine! 6+ years.
95p   (tasted 2018/11)

2014 Guardiavigna
The youngster shows of a high, pure nose with notes of ripe red currants, wet asphalt, herbs and tobacco. Very deep and fine.
The taste is young, structured and elegant with notes of violets, warm tiles, cranberries and earth. A long, complex finish. Will evolve well, give it 5+ years. 45% Cabernet Franc, 44% Merlot, 11% Pettit Verdot. From 2016 the Guardiavigna is 100% Cabernet Franc, it will be interesting to see what that will do to the character of the wine.
93p   (tasted 2018/11)

Saturday 10 November 2018

Friday Dinner Baroli - 2010 Barolo, Elio Altare & 2010 Barolo Perno, Elio Sandri

What to drink with juicy burgers, cheddar cheese, owen baked tomatoes, truffle sauce & home made fries a la Heston Blumenthal...?

Barolo of course!

2010 Barolo, Elio Altare
The Altare grows in the glass all evening long. It starts of quite floral and red berry fruity and puts on weight as the evening progress, with lovely notes of pine wood, tar, cinnamon, Christmas lacquer and rosehips. Very fine.
The taste is structured and still young, with polished tannins and notes of red cherries, damsons, sandelwood, violets and dried herbs. A long, finely tuned finish. I would wait 5+ years before opening another bottle.
92p   (tasted 2018/11)

2010 Barolo Perno, Elio Sandri
The Monforte wine from Elio Sandri is a more broad shouldered creature with a deep, intense nose with notes of black cherries, paint, incense, hard cherry candy and asphalt. Doesn´t evolve as much in the glass as the Altare. A laid back framework. Very fine.
The taste is taut and structured with notes of bakelite, dried cherries, trumpet mushrooms and a hint of dry tobacco. This has more texture and backbone than the Altare but maybe a tad less charm. I will let my remaining bottles rest for 8+ years.
92p   (tasted 2018/11)

Friday 9 November 2018

1998 - 2011 Loius Roederer Blanc de Blancs

1% of the production. That´s not much, even for a big company as Louis Roederer. But that is volume of the production of the vintage Blanc de Blancs. The other day I was fortunate to taste eight vintages, courtesy of VinUnic.
Thierry Wallaert from Louis Roederer guided us through the wines with charm and deep insights.

NV Brut Premier
We started things of with the Brut Premier from magnum, as all Champagne´s, always drinking better from large formats. The nose is cool, fresh and smoky with notes of yellow plums, freshly washed clothes and day old bread.
The taste is pure and fresh with a salivating acidity and a nice body. A long finish with lots of lemons, smoke and minerals. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2018/11)

Flight I
2011 Blanc de Blancs
The 2011 shows of a really smoky nose, even some Islay feeling from this one. After some swirling additional notes of lime peel, oyster shells and grass emerges. Very fine.
The taste is chalky and racy with a young, stern character with lots of promise. A very fine dry finish. 8+ years.
91p   (tasted 2018/11)

2010 Blanc de Blancs
The 10 is a beauty with a deep, refined nose with notes of white flowers, handcream, ripe lemons and a hint of petrol. Complex and fine, although still very young.
The taste is tight and pure with a lovely balance and notes of grilled lemons, chalk and cap gun smoke. Very, very handsome. 6+ years.
94p   (tasted 2018/11)

2009 Blanc de Blancs
The 09 is the weakest wine in the lineup. Not a bad wine, but not reaching the level of the others. The nose is restrained and a tad hollow with notes of dried up lemon curd, flint and dry grass.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of dry lemons, earth and hay. A good lenght with a fine acidity. Very good but again, not up to par with the rest.
87p   (tasted 2018/11)

2008 Blanc de Blancs
Aaah, another stunner from the 08 vintage. The nose is deep and rich with notes of tangerines, smoke, lemon licorice and a fine, salty aroma. Very fine.
The taste is regal, racy and refined with a gorgeous yellow fruit, a crisp acidity and a structure that promises a long life. Great wine. 6+ years.
94p   (tasted 2018/11)

Flight II
2007 Blanc de Blancs
The 07 reveals some maturity on the nose with notes of shellfish shell, sage, lemon cream and a hint of tobacco. A bit soft but a fine intensity never the less.
The taste is round and generous with notes of passionfruit, dry lemon, grass and smoke. Medium long. Very, very good. Drinking fine now.
90p   (tasted 2018/11)

2002 Blanc de Blancs
The nose is a beauty with a hint of maturity, but the depth and concentration is of the charts. Stunning notes of chalk, grilled lemons, sandelwood, salt stone and dry milk chocolate fudge. Just lovely.
The taste is tight and complex with a fabolous intensity, persistence and lenght. An utter joy to drink. A beatiful wine that just entering the first stages of maturity. Will go on for a long time.
96p   (tasted 2018/11)

1999 Blanc de Blancs
A fine, dry, somewhat mature nose with notes of dry caramel, birch sap, lavender and dried flowers. Very fine.
The taste is chalky and dry with notes of oyster shells, clay, dried lemons and grass. Long and juicy. A hint of maturity but I would wait 3+ years for the next bottle.
92p   (tasted 2018/11)

1998 Blanc de Blancs
This 20 year old bubbly sparks things up with a deep, refined and high nose with notes of white currants, light tobacco, chalk, lemon cream and the scent of morning fog on a the late summers day. Very vital.
The taste is multi layered and sappy with notes of dry biscuits, lemon cream, chalk and flower soap. The finish goes for a minute with a gorgeous structure and crisp acidity. This will go on for 10+ years. Great wine.
94p   (tasted 2018/11)

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Six Bottles Of Châteauneuf-du-Pape

From our latest tasting group gathering. Thanks Håkan!
Tasted double blind.

2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Chantee Le Merle Vieilles Vignes, Bosquet des Papes
A somewhat mature, round, warm nose with notes of ripe red berries, dark almond paste, violets and scorched earth. Very good in a open, direct way.
The taste is generous and warm with notes of spices, birch sap, rubber and cooked red currants. A long finish with dry tannins and a fine warmth. For drinking now before the fruit gets drier.
87p   (tasted 2018/11)

2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine de la Vieille Julienne
A backward, shy nose with some notes of bonfire smoke, earth, bakelite and dry leather. Not much fruit to be found.
The taste is tight and inky with notes of dried blueberries, road dust, rust and violets. A good lenght but it ends foursquare and on a hot note. Can´t see this getting any better.
84p   (tasted 2018/11)

2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Reine des Bois, Domaine de la Mordoreée
A fine, spicy, peppery nose with notes of ripe red peppers, smoke, blueberries and dark perfume. Very deep and fine.
The taste is concentrated and balanced with notes of violets, red currants, dried raspberries, black pepper and a slight touch of mint. Long and complex. Very fine. Entering maturity, this could surely keep for 10+ years.
92p   (tasted 2018/11)

2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château la Nerthe
A cool, earthy nose with notes of blueberries, minced meat, herbs and violets. More undergrowth with air. Very good.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of ripening blueberries, chrushed rocks, bakelite and dry herbs. More monlithic on the palate. Could use some years in the cellar.
87p   (tasted 2018/11)

2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château de Beaucastel
A fine red berry, smoky nose with notes of fresh stables, Christmas spices and dried strawberries. Round and fine. Entering maturity.
The taste is darker and meatier with notes of bakelite, fried herbs, cooked raspberries and undergrowth. Long and lingering. 5+ years.
90p   (tasted 2018/11)

2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reservée Des Deux Frères, Pierre Usseglio
A very fine, deep, open nose with notes of herbs, red currants, sealing wax, violets and a lovely perfumed aroma. Very fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of red plums, herbs, undergrowth, pine wood and a hint of mint. Long and lovely. For drinking now and the coming 8+ years.
92p   (tasted 2018/11)