Sunday 31 January 2021

The Ten Most Memorable Wines Of 2020

2020 goes down in modern history as the pandemic year. Which has mean, of course, less tasted wines, less tasting dinners and less wine travels. 
652 wines tasted. Many young wines makes the list this year. And only four Baroli! :-)

A toast to a better 2021! 

1997 Bourriquot, Havens
Two California bottles with some age makes the list. This Cheval Blanc look a like showed a perfect maturity with seamless fruit and that great character of aged Cabernet Franc. 
95p   (tasted 2020/06)

1997 Profile, Merryvale
The label looks like leaf gold and in all fairness a bit tacky, but what´s in the bottle is pure gold, a gorgeously mature Cabernet Sauvignon with everything in place.
95p   (tasted 2020/08)

2000 Château Pichon-Baron
Aaah, Bordeaux, my first love, and tasting a great specimen like this makes my spine tingle. This beauty showed why Bordeaux is one of the worlds greatest wines.
97p   (2020/03)

2001 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldcap, Joh. Jos. Prüm
Even a leaking bottle from Prüm makes the list of the most memorable bottles tasted, so great are these wines. But I will restraine myself from open another for at least 10 years...
97p   (tasted 2020/11)

2001 Barolo Pajana, Domenico Clerico
Great Barolo needs time. Even with 19 years under the cork this Pajana needed lots of hours of breathing before really open up. With a cheap pizza it delivered the goods.
95p   (tasted 2020/08)

2009 Volnay Clos de la Bousse d´Or, Pousse d´Or
Summer, a great chicken dish (as I recall) and a awesome Burgundy - life could be worse,  sitting outside on a warm evening, finishing this bottle of.
97p   (tasted 2020/07)

2010 Barolo Rocche dell´Annunziata, Paolo Scavino
This wine made The Ten Most Memorable list of 2016 with a perfect score. On location in Langhe, eating a great meal with friends at Il Centro, it didn´t reach that height but almost, just give it 10+ years.
97p   (tasted 2020/02)

2016 Barolo Vigna Rionda, Luigi Pira
One of the few highlights of this miserable year was The Barolo Boys visit to Grandi Langhe in January. We also had time for a few visits. Tasting the 2016 Barolo from the hands of Gianpaolo was a real treat, with the Vigna Rionda a sure candidate for perfection.
99p   (tasted 2020/01)

2016 Barolo Romirasco, Aldo Conterno
Another candidate for perfection is the 16 Romirasco. Spending some hours with Giacomo is really the best of times.
98p   (tasted 2020/01)

2016 Côte-Rôtie La Mouline/La Turque/La Landonne, Guigal
A little cheating here - three in one! Three worlds class wines that I had the privilige to taste over a splendid lunch with Philippe Guigal present through Zoom. If I was forced to choose I would pick La Turque today but who knows what my pick would be in 10, 20 or 30 years time...
97/98/98p   (tasted 2020/10)

Friday 29 January 2021

2015 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert, Jaboulet

2015 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert, Jaboulet
Almost three years since I tasted this wine. On this night it displays a refined, low keyed nose with notes of blueberries, damsons, blue ski wax, violets and road dust. Very fine, even delicate. Very young still.
The taste is cool, multi layered and fine with notes of a dried up blueberry pie, violets, dried meat and Lily of the Valley. Silky tannins. Long and fine. Not as expressive as on the previous occasions. Needs time, lets say 8+ years.
92p   (tasted 2021/01)

Tuesday 26 January 2021

1993 Barolo Arione Sôrì Dell´Ulivo, Gigi Rosso & By Now Wines From 106 MGA´s Tasted

1993 Barolo Arione Sôrì Dell´Ulivo, Gigi Rosso
This -93 Barolo offers up a deep, mature nose with notes of dried black cherries, forest floor, iron and violets. A very fine dried up sweetness. Velvety and fine.
The taste is harsher than the nose leads you to believe. Some rough tannins still. Notes of hard cherry candy, asphalt, violets and gravel. A bit unbending. A good length. Fully mature.
89p   (tasted 2021/01)

Gigi Rosso has owned the vineyard since the 60´s but started to bottle it as such in 1974, after Bruno Giacosa who made Arione famous in the early 70´s. The last vintage from Gigi Rosso was 2014. Roberto Conterno (Giacomo Conterno) bought the Gigi Rosso´s part of Arione and made his first Arione in 2015. The only other producer that bottles a Arione is Enzo Boglietti.

There are 170 official MGA´s (Menziono Geografiche Aggiuntive). I have gone through my Barolo tasting notes and I seemingly have tasted wines from 106 of them. Furthermore there are 26 MGA´s from whick no wines are made, at least with that name on the label. 
That leaves 38 MGA´s left to taste wines from. The hunt is on!

Sunday 24 January 2021

Two Bottles Of Chardonnay, One With Bubbles

NV Blanc de Blancs, Ruinart
Last drunk with Giacomo (Conterno, from Aldo Conterno), this is a great Blanc de Blancs with a spicy, nutty nose with notes of lemon peel, vanilla fudge, birch leaves and summer flowers. Very deep and fine.
The taste is tight and racy with lovely notes of grilled lemons, assorted nuts, grass and spices. Very long. A very fine acidity. 
93p   (tasted 2021/01)

2015 Chardonnay Mate´s Vineyard, Kumeu River
Drunk three years ago and it hasn´t budged at all. Still refined and gorgeous with a lovely grilled lemon character and a palate cleansing acidity. Great wine. 6+ years.
94p   (tasted 2021/01)

Saturday 23 January 2021

A Bottle From The Greatest Vintage Ever & A 1974 Barolo

These two bottles was drunk yesterday with a great dish - red beets with a goat cheese cream, sallad and a herb vinaigrette.

1964 Valdepeñas Tinto Especial, Bodegas Morenito
A deep, soft, mature nose with notes of dried strawberries, old leather, autumn leaves and some hints of VA. But still with a fine vigour. A very good dried up sweetness.
The taste is dry and elegant with notes of earth, dried strawberries, leather and tiles. A fine dried up warmth. Medium long and balanced. Very, very good.
88p   (tasted 2021/01)

1974 Barolo Riserva, Guasti Clementi
This needed a couple of hours to come around, and even then is showed some restraint, with a deep, cool nose with notes of hard cherry candy, rosehips, mushrooms and shoe cream. A fine depth. Not fully mature.
The taste is structured with a fine warmth and notes of cherries, damsons, dried flowers and tobacco. A long, taut finish with some sturdy tannins. 5+ years. Very fine.
90p   (tasted 2021/01)

Friday 15 January 2021

1978 Barolo, Ang. Cappa & A Desert Island Album

1978 Barolo, Ang. Cappa
After some hours in a decanter this Barolo wakes up and offers up a fine, mature nose with notes of undergrowth, cold coffee, tobacco and rosehips. Gets better and better. A fine scent of dried up raspberry jam. Very, very good.
The taste is medium bodied and dry with notes of raspberry licorice, mushrooms, tobacco and dried flowers. A fine warmth in the finish. Not at least dry. Bottles like this will go on for 8+ years. Another fine bottle from the great 1978 vintage.
90p   (tasted 2021/01)

Stained Class / Judas Priest / 1978
I would want to take the whole Priest discography to a desert island but forced (by myself...) to choose only one, it has to be Stained Class from 1978. 

I love all songs on the album but one of the greatest - Better By You, Better Than Me - is a coverr originally made by by Spooky Tooth, and the song that got Priest in a American lawsuit (where else...) when two boys allegedly was influenced by the song and made a suicide pact. Priest were acquited.

On this, there fourth studio album Rob Halford, aka The Metal God, sings like the god he is.
Info about the album here.

Tuesday 12 January 2021

A Glass Test With 2013 Antikythera Pinot Noir, Antica Terra

One on the most visited post is this one, where I tasted a Barolo from different glasses. Here is a follow up with a Pinot Noir. The reason was that I was lended a glass from a fellow wine afficionado.

A very ugly glass. But the curiosity got the better of me, so I lined up five glasses, drew the cork and got on with it.

The wine - 2013 Antikythera, Antica Terra - a great Pinot from the capable hands of Maggie Harrison.

The glasses and how they performed:

The ISO glass: If you not are forced, why would anyone taste wine from this sub par glass? A light, red fruited nose with some spicy elements. A medium bodied taste with raspberries and herbs. From this glass this is a good wine but it definitely doesn´t show its true character (88p).

The Riedel Vinum Burgundy glass: Much better! A deep, balsamic nose with ripe raspberries, licorice and fresh herbs. The taste is tight and focused with a fine acidity, ripe raspberries and a smoky note (92p).

The Riedel New World Pinot glass: Even greater! My favourite glass for Nebbiolo. This glass takes this Pinot to another level. A deep, complex and generous nose with wild raspberries, fresh herbs, clay and licorice. Crisp and very fine. The taste flows over your palate with great harmony and lovely fruit. Very fine (94p).

The Riedel Sommelier Pinot glass: I use this big, big glass more seldom. The nose is more fleeting but with very good fruit and depth. The taste is better with a fine intensity and great fruit (92p)

The Riedel Wings Pinot glass: And what about the new kid on the block? Again, very ugly, but very, very good. The impressions are the same as for the New World Pinot glass but the fruit appears a tad darker and richer. Not better, bit slightly different. A very good glass, but I´m not buying (94p).

Riedel Wings Pinot

Saturday 9 January 2021

2013 No 2 Syrah, Andremily


2013 No 2 Syrah, Andremily
When popped and poured it was all over the place with a grain alcohol touch in the finish (15,2%). But after six hours in a decanter, the beast has turned into a beauty. The nose is deep, taut and complex with notes of blackberries, freshly laid asphalt, violets, geranium, hard toasted bread and iron. Very fine. A lovely sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is packing a punch but a elegant one, with notes of a blueberry pie, tar, smoke, flower water and a balsamic touch. Very, very long with a fine warmth. Structured. Just lovely. Great wine. 6+ years. 89% Syrah and 11% Mourvedre.
97p   (tasted 2021/01)

Friday 8 January 2021

2019 Langhe Nebbiolo, Paolo Scavino

2019 Langhe Nebbiolo, Paolo Scavino
This will be a tough job. It seems that this halfbottle is avaible in 143 state monopoly stores all over the country. Well, I just have to tank the car full and start driving...
For 10 Euros a half bottle this is an extreme value, one of the top Langhe Nebbiolo´s ever tasted. The nose soars up from the glass with gorgeous notes of ripe red currants, red cherries, violets, incense, raspberry licorice and leather. High and pure. Just great.
The taste is fresh as a daisy with great character and notes of cherries, violets, licorice, spices and a fine peppery note. Silky, perky, caressing tannins. Impossible to resist, drink this now and the coming 10 years. 
93p   (tasted 2021/01)

Wednesday 6 January 2021

2012 Dogliani Superiore, San Fereole


2012 Dogliani Superiore, San Fereole
A deep, somewhat mature nose with notes of damsons, dry blueberries, cured meat, rust and  bonfire smoke. Rustic. Very good.
The taste is restrained and foursquare with notes of Christmas spices, damsons, dried blueberries and iron. Very good but not a charmer. A tad to barnyardy and rustic for my delicate palate... 
I prefer the Dogliani´s from ChionettiAnna Maria Abbona, Pecchenino & Luigi Einaudi.
87p   (tasted 2021/01)

Monday 4 January 2021

2017 Bussiador, Aldo Conterno

2017 Bussiador, Aldo Conterno
Its always a treat to taste the Bussiador from Giacomo, but for the last couple of years I have been used to do it on location in Monforte with Giacomo. Not so this crazy year...
Right out of the gate this beauty is wide open, with notes of grilled nuts, butter biscuits, ripe oranges, matchbox and dried mango. There is also a fine green note, like a blooming birch tree. Very fine.
The taste is ripe and steady with notes of lemon fudge, orange peel, matchbox and almond paste. A long, lingering finish with a very good acidity. In style similar to the 2015. Very, very good.
92p   (tasted 2021/01)

Earlier vintages tasted:

Sunday 3 January 2021

1975 Barolo Montanello, Tenuta Montanello & A Desert Island Album

1975 Barolo Montanello, Tenuta Montanello
When Sabotage was relesead - 28th of June 1975 - the grapes of this wine was maturing on their vines. When opened 45 years later it needed a couple of hours to blow away the bottle funk, but then is starts to sing. 
A deep, still potent nose with notes of rosehips, dried up cherry jam, dried flowers, black olives and roses. Very much still alive. Evolved in the glass all evening long.
The taste is mature and velvety with notes of violet pastilles, hard cherry candy, tobacco and olives. Silky tannins. Very long. Bottles like this will go on for 10 more years. Very fine.
In 1975 there was only one producer of the now MGA Montanello. In 1986 the Monchiero family left and started their own label and now there is two producers of Montanello. 
92p   (tasted 2020/12)

Sabotage / Black Sabbath / 1975
I hold Sabotage as the strongest album in Sabbaths discography, with Master of Reality as a close second. Their two first albums - Black Sabbath and Paranoid - usually tops all charts. 
But I am in good company! :-)

The crunching riff in Symptom of the Universe is one of the most heavy in metal history. The lyric on the other hand is...well cheesy. In this clip, playing Symptom of the Universe, Iommi looks like a happy hamster at 0:28
All info about the album here.

Friday 1 January 2021

Wines of New Years Eve

This horrible year ended great though. Only yours truly and my better half, with great food and some decent wines... 

12 Ans de Cave, Gosset
First some info - 49% Chardonnay and 51% Pinot Noir. 12 years on the yeast, 7 gr sugar and the base year is 2006. On to the wine then. The nose is deep and delicate with notes of toasted bread, red currants, dry fudge and fennel. Very salivating, as great Champagne´s should be.
The taste is cool, dry and still young with notes of oranges, grilled lemons, red currants and bread. A creamy finish with a fine acidity. Very fine. 4+ years.
93p   (tasted 2020/12)

2018 Saint-Aubin La Princée, Hubert Lamy
Ooooh boy, this has potential but is soooo young today. The nose is racy and steely with notes of lime peel, white flowers, lemon licorice and hints of cap gun smoke. Just waiting to unfold. Very, very good.
The taste is young and concentrated with notes of unripe yellow apples, lemon peel and loads of chrushed rocks. A very fine acidity. Sweet minerals. Give this 6+ years and be amazed. Glad I have more.
92p   (tasted 2020/12)

2012 Barolo Acclivi, Burlotto
Last tasted summer of 2019, it behaves more or less in the same fashion - a lovely Nebbiolo for drinking now and the coming 6+ years.
92p   (tasted 2020/12)

2012 Barolo Cannubi, Burlotto
I write these tasting notes the day after I opened these bottles and the Cannubi has really gained of the extra air overnight. Yesterday the nose was deep and promising but closed. Now it  soars from the glass with lovely notes of ripe black cherries, violets, hard cherry candy, iron and tar. Almost a Serralunga touch to it. Really fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated even with 24 hours airing, displaying notes of rosehips, hard cherry candy, forest floor and iron. The finish goes on and on. Silky, yet firm tannins. Great wine. 8+ years.
95p   (tasted 2020/12)