Monday 13 January 2020

A 14 Bottle Pinot Noir Evening

M invited to a blind tasting. We thought (as always...) that the theme would be Nebbiolo. Turned out we were wrong.
In all, 21 bottles for four tasters, a tranquil evening...
All wines tasted double blind.

Some whites to start the evening:
2018 Scheurebe, Keller
A fine, grassy (at first) nose with notes of cucumber, gravel, white pepper and with warmth a lot of grapefruit. Racy and fine.
The taste is light, refined and pure with notes of white pear, lime and grapefruit. Lots of chrused rocks in the finish. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2019/12)

2015 Riesling Kabinett Limestone Goldkapsel, Keller
A crisp, fresh nose with notes of chalk, starfruit and birch sap. Young, tight and very fine.
The taste is pure and elegant with notes of Seville oranges, chalk and lemon peel. A very fine acidity. Long. Really fine.
92p   (tasted 2019/12)

2003 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling Spätlese, Robert Weil
A finely mature, rich nose with notes of peaches, white raisins, hot grass and a hint of detergent. Round and fine.
The taste is balanced and mature with notes of dried apricots, gravel and dried grass. A fine waxy character. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2019/12)

2010 Chardonnay, Calera
An interesting experience - opens very old and clumsy with notes of burnt butter, old nuts and some apricot aromas. Not good. But after two hours in the glass and at room temperature it turns into a old Chablis kind of wine. Not great but very much better than before.
The taste makes the same transformation as the nose, not good at first but becomes more interesting with air. From a half bottle. Maybe 76p at first but then...
85p   (tasted 2019/12)

2010 Viognier, Calera
Also form a half bottle, this wine (from my last favourite grape) displays a steely, foursquare nose with notes of almonds, old spices and the scent of grass cut by a rusty lawn mower.
The taste is dry and one dimensional with notes of chalk, dry ginger and grass. The acidity lies apart from the fruit.
78p   (tasted 2019/12)

The Pinot´s - Flight I
2009 Pinot Noir Ryan Vineyard, Calera
The six half bottles from Calera displayed very different characteristics and was a interesting lecture in what different soil brings to the wine.
Ryan vineyard (with the Jensen) was the most non Pinot wines. I was leaning to a Langhe Nebbiolo, with its cool, smoky nose with notes of licorice and cherry fruit and a tight, sandy taste with fine grained tannins. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2019/12)

2009 Pinot Noir Reed Vineyard, Calera
The Reed on the other hand showed of a classic Pinot nose, with notes of earthy strawberries, spices and violets. Lovely.
The taste is silky and fine with dried strawberries, earth and violets. A very fine warmth. Very long.
93p   (tasted 2019/12)

2009 Pinot Noir Selleck Vineyard, Calera
The Selleck offers up a deep, open nose with notes of cooked cherries, almonds, spices and moist earth. Big and bold. Very fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of raspberry licorice, earth and fried herbs. A very fine acidity. Very much California Pinot (I thought).
92p   (tasted 2019/12)

2009 Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard, Calera
Mills vineyard has fashioned a stunning Pinot. The nose shows balance and intensity with notes of ripe raspberries, fir wood, Asian spices and forest floor. Very refined.
The taste is long and luscious with notes of raspberry licorice, red beets, spices and earth. Complex and fine. I had this placed in Burgundy.
95p   (tasted 2019/12)

2009 Pinot Noir de Villiers Vineyard, Calera
Next up is de Villiiers, which sports a deep, warm nosew ith notes of raspberry jam, licorice, fried herbs and a hint of wood. Very, very good.
The taste is big and spicy with notes of ripe raspberries with some blueberries tossed in, Finnish licorice and undergrowth. Very long. Intense.
92p   (tasted 2019/12)

2009 Pinot Noir Jensen Vineyard, Calera
Jensen is the one I have tasted most often among Calera´s vineyards, and I have ususally liked it very much. Not the 2009 though. The nose is big and brawny with lots of warm herbs, burnt bread, damsons and hints of dark chocolate.
The taste is big and juicy with notes of dried up cherry jam, fried herbs and scorched earth. Some alcohol in the finish. I had this pegged as a Ch-du-Pape.
87p   (tasted 2019/12)

NV Les Longues Voyes Blanc de Noir V.V., Laherte Frères
As a intermission, this bubbly was poured. A new acquaintance for me, it offers up a distinct, handsome nose with notes of chalk, grey pears, red basil and hints of white chocolate. Very refined.
The taste is cool and tight with notes of white currants, chalk, red apples and lots of minerals. A very fine acidity. Very long and fine. No vintage on the label but it is a 2014. Dosage 4 gr. 100% Pinot Noir.
93p   (tasted 2019/12)

The Pinot´s - Flight II
2008 Bockenauer Spätburgunder Trocken, Schäfer-Fröhlich
A very elegant and just slighty mature nose with notes of mushrooms, red cherries, wild strawberries and asphalt. Very, very fine.
The taste is pure and cool with notes of ripening raspberries, red cherries, forest floor and chrushed rocks. A very fine structure. Hints of maturity. Lovely.
94p   (tasted 2019/12)

2015 Spätburgunder -S-, Keller
A stunner. The nose is refined, earthy and wonderful with notes of rosehips, strawberries, smoke and licorice. Very deep. Comes from 25 year old vines in Morstein.
The taste is racy and intense with notes of wild strawberries, red cherries, fresh herbs and licorice. Very long, high and balanced. Great wine.
96p   (tasted 2019/12)

2008 Bockenauer Spätburgunder `R` Trocken, Schäfer-Fröhlich
The second 08 from Schäfer-Fröhlich is a tad darker than the Bockenauer, with a seedy nose with notes of red beets, licorice and a autumn forest. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of red cherries, iron, earth and a hint of dark chocolate. Very long and fine. As with the Bockenauer, barely mature.
92p   (tasted 2019/12)

2015 Volnay 1er Cru Clos des 60 Ouvrées, La Pousse d´Or
This Monopole Volnay is still very young, with a deep, tight nose with notes of moist earth, a fine mix of straw- and raspberries, Asian spices and tiles. Deep and promising.
The taste is floral and concentrated with notes of cherries, rosehip, minerals and mushrooms. Silky tannins. Needs 6+ years. Very, very fine.
94p   (tasted 2019/12)

2015 Bürgel Spätburgunder GG, Keller
Keller kills it this evening (tasted blind mind you) with these bottles. The Bürgel shows a cool, lively, refined nose with notes of pomegranate, ripe strawberries, licorice and a whiff of black pepper. Very deep and racy. Just beautiful.
The taste is tight and multi layered with notes of fresh strawberry jam, forest floor, minerals and dry licorice. The finish goes on for minutes. Perfectly balanced. Lovely.
96p   (tasted 2019/12)

2015 Frauenberg Spätburgunder GG, Keller 
A high, elegant nose with notes of red beets, strawberries, violets and Christmas spices. Cool and very fine.
The taste is taut and tight with notes of ripe raspberries with some blueberries tossed in for complexity, damson, earth and violets. A very fine acidity. Needs some time. Lovely.
93p   (tasted 2019/12)

2014 Pinot Noir The Contender, Paul Lato
A very deep, willful, energetic nose with notes of fried nuts, wild strawberries, leather and ripe dark flowers. Very handsome.
The taste is broadshouldered yet very elegant and spicy with notes of root vegetables, dark earth, licorice and smoke. A very long, sappy finish. Great wine.
95p   (tasted 2019/12)

2016 Pinot Noir Cuvée Alyce, Walter Hansel
A very fine, perfumed nose with notes of red currants, Asian spices a hint of tobacco and earth. Lively and very fine.
The taste is young, tight and spicy with notes of earth, red currants, mushrooms and tobacco. A fine acidity. Needs a couple of years in the cellar. Very, very good.
93p   (tasted 2019/12)

1995 Quarts de Chaume, Domaine des Baumards
A fat, fresh, intense nose with notes of dried apples, hay, dry fudge, honey and lots of sweet minerals. Some maturity but fresh as a daisy. Lovely.
The taste is pure and racy with notes of smoke, peaches, honey, lavender and chrushed rocks. A piercing acidity. Will live a long, long time. Great wine.
95p   (tasted 2019/12)


  1. Next time we should be fewer people, drinking more bottles of wine. It would be such a pity if we would be dried-up at the end... ;-)

    But I think you forgot one bottle, the 2015 Keller Frauenberg Spätburgunder GG.