Friday, 20 January 2017

Five Bottles Of Le Clos & One Bougros

Our last monthly tasting group get together was devoted to - through Jacques - to Chablis. Six decanters were placed on the table and the guessing game began.
All tasted double blind.

2014 Chablis Le Clos, Domaine Pinson
A young, fresh, apply nose with additional notes of grey pears, sun warm rocks and summer flowers. Pure and fine.
The taste is young and tight with notes of ripening yellow apples, lemon peel and gravel. Young and fresh. Give it 3+ years.
88p   (tasted 2017/01)

2012 Chablis Le Clos, Jean-Marc Brocard
A fine, deep nose with notes of grilled lemons, matchbox and crushed rocks.S till young. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and fresh with a fine, high acidity and notes of candied lemons, wet asphalt and some grassy notes. Long and fine.
90p   (tasted 2017/01)

2011 Chablis Le Clos, Domaine Laroche
A young, seedy nose with notes of dry lemons, grass, gravel and star fruit. A bit laid back. Very good.
The taste is stony and tight with notes of hard lemon candy, earth and dry grass. A fine acidity. Medium long.Very good.
88p   (tasted 2017/01)

2011 Chablis Le Clos, Joseph Drouhin
A young, deep, tight nose with notes of sour/sweet lemons, cap gun smoke and summer flowers. Very pleasant. A fine depth. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and fine with notes of ripe lemons, gravel and dry fudge. Very long and fine with some blood orange notes. Really good.
91p   (tasted 2017/01)

2010 Chablis Bougros, William Fèvre
A really fine, deep nose with notes of ripening melon, model clay, seashells and warm grass. Complex and fine. Very deep.
The taste is steely and refined with notes of ripe lemons, dried flowers, clay and smoke. Very long and finely structured. This is fine.
93p   (tasted 2017/01)

2009 Chablis Le Clos, Joseph Drouhin
A large, warm, slightly unfocused nose with notes of lemon jam, hot earth and damp wool. Deep but a tad too warm.
The taste is warm and seedy with notes of grilled, almost burned lemons, warm gravel and decaying flowers. Marked by a hot year. A nice enough drink, but nothing to cellar.
84p   (tasted 2017/01)

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Dolceacqua - Here We Come!

The tower in Dolceacqua
It is no surprise that I love the Rossese di Dolceaqua wines. Last time we stayed in Liguria over the summer - three long years ago! - I wrote three reports of the wines I tasted:

The Rossese Report - Part I
The Rossese Report - Part II
The Rossese Report - Part III

Now its time to return! We have just booked an apartment just a few miles from Dolceacqua. And to get the real Liguria feeling going, why not open a bottle of Rossese!

2013 Rossese di Dolceacqua Superiore Poggio Pini, Tenuta Anfosso
A deep, warm, spicy nose with notes of dark strawberries, rosé pepper, hot gravel and rosehips. A tad warm, but with good concentration and focus none the less. Very, very good.
The taste is big, outgoing and warm with notes of red beets, dried strawberries, gravel and spices. A long, warm finish with some fine, light tannins. For drinking now and the coming 5+ years.
89p   (tasted 2017/01)

Saturday, 14 January 2017

1985 & 1990 Château La Tour Martillac

What could go better with a juicy fillet of beaf, fried potatoes and a home made bearnaise sauce, than two bottles of mature Bordeaux? Nothing!

One of the fun parts before opening a bottle is rummage through all the wine literature to see what the esteemed wine critics have written.

Here is one example - "..continues to represent a straightforward, mediocre wine that usually have some correct cherry fruit. Even in opulent vintages like 1982 and 1989, it has a compact, simple, undistinguished character. I know of no recent red wine vintage that did not require consumption within the first 7-8 years of their life"
Guess who? Ours truly know-it-all lawyer from Monkton... That should mean that these bottles would be best poured down the drain by now.
Ah, well...

Another writter, Stephen Brooks in his book The Complete Bordeaux book, describes La Tour Martillac as "never heavy-handed, nearly always beguiling in its fruit, and velvety in texture".
A different view.

But your own palate is always the best judge. Lets open these bottles!

1985 Château La Tour Martillac
This opens with whiff of red peppers and dusty gravel, and with air nice notes of dry tobacco, dried black currants and dark candle grease flows up from the glass. A soft, fine maturity. Very good.
The taste is medium bodied and dry with notes of red and black currants, dry autumn leaves, chewing tobacco and gravel. Fully mature but not overly so. Very good.
87p   (tasted 2107/01)

1990 Château La Tour Martillac
The 1990 is another creature. Michel Rolland apparently took over as a consultant in 1989. It has a open, deep nose with notes of ripe black currants (with a whiff of some unripe berries chucked in), warm tiles, bonfire and tobacco. A fine sweetness to the fruit. Mature, but just so. Very, very good.
The taste is dry and tight with a fine black currant fruit and notes of tobacco, leather, tiles and some stable notes. Long and fine, with that velvety texture. Could still be kept for 3+ years.
91p   (tasted 2017/01)

Other bottles tasted:
1999 Château La Tour Martillac

La Tour Martillac is more known for its white wine and I have tasted two older versions:
1982 Château La Tour Martillac
1939 Château La Tour Martillac

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Drinking Tonight - 1995 Brunello Di Montalcino Prime Donne, Donatelli Cinelli Colombini

After a few days work after two weeks vacation over Christmas and New Year, and recovering from a cold,  I am exhausted and in need of a bottle of wine, and some Italian delicatessen to go along.

1995 Brunello di Montalcino Prime Donne, Donatelli Cinelli Colombini
A dense, somewhat mature nose with notes of rich black cherries, rosemary, Tuscan gravel and a whiff of dark chocolate. A fine maturity. A very fine sweetness. Round and rewarding, Really good. Some smoky scents after a while, and a dark perfumed aroma.
The taste is velvety, warm and almost mature with  fine dryness and firmness, alongside sweet black cherries, violets, tobacco and chocolate covered raspberries. Soft, juicy tannins. Long and fine. Drinking perfectly tonight.
91p   (tasted 2017/01)

Other Donatelli Cinelli Colombini Brunello´s tasted:
1998 Prime Donne
1999 Riserva
2001 Prime Donne

Saturday, 7 January 2017

The Barolo Boys In Piedmont - Part Four

The fourth and final chapter of The Barolo Boys last tour to Piedmont.

Disclaimer - the importer of Marengo and Pira to Sweden (Origo Wines) are friends of mine and co founders of the illustrious Barolo Boys. I, however, have no financial interests in these wines, I just call them as I see them.

M. Marengo
2015 Dolcetto d´Alba
A warm, spicy nose with a bit more depth and vigour than you average Dolcetto, more dark cherries, bay leaves and smoke.
The taste is juicy and fresh with a mix of wild strawberries and red currants and a fine dryness at the end of the medium long finish. Very, very good.
88p   (tasted 2016/12)

2015 Barbera d´Alba Vigna Pugnane
An open, fruity nose with notes of liquorice, raspberries and some autumn scents. A fine spicy aroma.
The taste is young and tight with a very good acidity and lots of chocolate covered cherries. This is good!
90p   (tasted 2016/12)

2015 Nebbiolo d´Alba Vigna Valmaggiore
A earthy, somewhat reductive nose with notes of ripe lingonberries, smoke and rosehips. A fine depth.
The taste is tight and rather stern with notes of hard cherry candy, spices and mushrooms. Almost ascetic, but in a very fine, laid back way.
90p   (tasted 2016/12)

2012 Barolo
The 12 Normale shows of a finely perfumed nose with notes of strawberries, Christmas spices and liquorice. Very, very good.
The taste is young and seedy with notes of ripe red cherries, raspberry liquorice and crushed rocks. Long and fine. This have a nice potential, give it 5+ years.
92p   (tasted 2016/12)

2012 Barolo Brunate
The Brunate has a deep, dark, spicy nose with notes of ripe cherries, dark almond paste, forest floor and liquorice. Very fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of sweet red cherries, Christmas spices and lots of minerals. Very finely polished tannins. A great wine in the making, give it 6+ years.
94p   (tasted 2016/12)

2013 Barolo
The 13 Normale has a warm, focused nose with notes of spicy cherries, some bonfire scents and boatloads of rose petals. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of ripe cherries, asphalt and roses. Seedy, with broader tannins than the 12. Needs some time. Very, very good.
92p   (tasted 2016/12)

2013 Barolo Bricco Viole
The Bricco Viole is a charmer, with a deep, refined nose with nose of ripe strawberries, violets (!), dark flowers and a fine spicy scent. Really fine.
The taste is pure and balanced with notes of ripe red cherries, liquorice, violet pastills and mushrooms. A long, fine finish with polished tannins. Lovely.
94p   (tasted 2016/12)

2013 Barolo Brunate
The Brunate is darker and deeper than the Bricco Viole, with nice notes of black cherries, forest floor and blood and iron. Roses after a while. Very, very fine.
The taste is tight and intense with notes of dark cherries, some balsamic notes, forest floor and iron. Very long, tight and fantastic.
94p   (tasted 2016/12)

The 2013 had been bottled in july but not, of course, released yet. The 2014´s below were tasted from barrel.

2014 Barolo
The 14 Normale has a young, open nose with notes of cool cherries, mushrooms, sun warm rocks and road dust. A very fine warmth.
The taste is young and tight with juicy tannins and notes of freshly pressed cherries with some raspberries mixed in, some smoky notes and liquorice. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2016/12)

2014 Barolo Bricco Viole
This is a beauty with a young, handsome nose with notes of chrushed cherries, liquorice, sweet minerals and, of course, lots of violets. High and fine.
The taste is elegant and fine with notes of ripe red cherries, sun warm rocks, violets and forest floor. A very fine structure, This will turn out great.
93p   (tasted 2016/12)

2014 Barolo Brunate
A deep, spicy nose with notes of cool meat, liquorice, hot cherries and some balsamic notes. Big and very fine. Some animalic notes. Ripe.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of very ripe cherries, dark liquorice and undergrowth. Some rugged tannins in the finish. Very long. Give it time.
92p   (tasted 2016/12)

2014 Barolo Brunate Riserva
The Riserva version has a higher, deeper and more pure nose with a fine spiciness and lots of cool liquorice. This is really fine.
The taste is seedy and lovingly firm with notes of dark cherries, forest floor, a whiff of tobacco and rosehips. Very, very long and intense. A great wine in the making.
95p   (tasted 2016/12)

Luigi Pira
2015 Dolcetto d´Alba
The Dolcetto is young and vibrant with notes of almond paste, cool strawberries and some violets. Very nice.
The taste dry and fresh with notes of red currants, almonds and herbs. Sappy and fine.
87p   (tasted 2016/12)

2014 Barbera d´Alba
The 14 Barbera sports a tight, dark nose with notes of ripe raspberries, scorched earth and smoke. Rich and good.
The taste is young, tight and warm with notes of juicy raspberries, cherry pips and forest floor. More restrained than the nose leads you to belive. A very fine acidity.
88p   (tasted 2016/12)

2014 Langhe Nebbiolo
This shows a cool, refined nose with notes of ripening wild strawberries, mushrooms and some animal aromas in a distance. This is really good.
The taste is seedy and young with notes of sun warm roses, red cherries and moist mushrooms. Fine, structured tannins. Give it 3+ years. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2016/12)

2012 Barolo Marenca
A deep, open nose with notes of spicy strawberries, rosehips and forest floor. Tight and very fine.
The taste is young and sturdy with tons of liquorice and sweet red cherries. A long, intense finish with sweet minerals. This is good!
93p   (tasted 2016/12)

2012 Barolo Vigna Rionda
The Vigna Rionda is a stunner, with a refined, deep nose with notes of wild strawberries, Christmas spices, autumn leaves and asphalt. Complex. Really fine.
The taste is tight and intense with lots of red berries - raspberries, wild strawberries, red cherries. The finish is long, long and long. Sandy tannins. Great wine.
96p   (tasted 2016/12)

2013 Barolo Serralunga
A dense, tight nose with notes of a mix of rapsberries and blueberries, some model clay and undergrowth. Very, very good. Deep and fine.
The taste is young and steady with notes of red cherries, rosehips and tar. Very classic and fine. A long finish with cool tannins. Drink in 5+ years. All 2013 Barolo will be bottled in January 2017.
92p   (tasted 2016/12)

2013 Barolo Marenca
A deep, beautiful nose with notes of cool tobacco, hard cherry candy, forest floor and dried flowers. Very lively and fine.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of ripe red cherries, dark minerals, rosehips and fir wood. Some finely polished tannins in the long, long finish. Impressive.
95p   (tasted 2016/12)

The new bottle line from Pira! :-)

My scribbling notes through Vigna Rionda!

2013 Barolo Margheria
The Margheria is a beauty. It has a deep, high, fantastic nose with notes of ripe black cherries, rose petals, dried strawberries and a hint of coffee powder. Concentrated. Very, very fine.
The taste is pure and refined with notes of strawberries, iron, earth and some dried meat. Tight and aristocratic. Very long. Just lovely. 7+ years.
95p   (tasted 2016/12)

2013 Barolo Vigna Rionda
A very cool, tight and withdrawn nose that requires a lot of swirling to get some aromas out of the glass. But then some forest floor, black cherries and mushrooms rises from the glass. Very deep and promising.
The taste is very tight, intense and structured. There is more potential here than pure enjoyment right now. But you can feel that the parts for something really great are there, just give it 7+ years.
94p   (tasted 2016/12)

Gianpaolo Pira & Marco Marengo

Thursday, 5 January 2017

The Ten Most Memorable Wines Of 2016

Here I am yet again! The yearly struggle to pinpoint the ten wines that have made the most lasting impression on me during the year. I force myself to think hard and go through all my notes, with a glass of 2006 Pol Roger in my hand - its a tough job...:-)
Here they are, in vintage order.
A toast to an equally great 2017!

1945 Château d´Armailhacq
Considered to be one of the best vintages ever, we were lucky to taste 11 bottles of Bordeaux from 1945. All were not up to par, but the best of the bunch was this one, the closest I will ever get to the 45 Mouton-Rothshild...
95p   (2016/11)

1986 Puligny-Montrachet Champ-Canet, Etienne Sauzet
White Burgundy can be pure magic when it gets some age and comes from on of the masters, in this case Etienne Sauzet and the great 1986 vintage. We had many fine bottles at this tasting dinner, but this shone the brightest.
97p   (tasted 2016/10)

1990 Barolo Granbussia Riserva, Aldo Conterno
The Barolo Boys had a planning dinner in October before our trip to Piedmont. Among other things we drank four bottles of Granbussia Riserva, and the 1990 was, on this night the shining star.
Other than these four Granbussia´s I had the good fortune to taste the 1999 and the 2006 and 2008 this year. I can´t complain...:-)
98p   (tasted 2016/12)

1999 Barolo Percristina, Domenico Clerico
I love the Percristina from Clerico. The 1996 is a perfect creature, and the 1999 is not far behind. There were many fine 99 Barolo´s at this tasting, but the Percristina was the best, alongside the Rupestris from Cappellano (but I never score the wines from Cappellano).
98p   (tasted 2016/01)

2002 Comtes de Champagne, Taittinger
Comtes de Champagne is a recurrent item on the-ten-most-memorable-list, and the 02 is a beaty. And this is why I don´t make my list until New Years Eve is over, because great bottles usually appears on that evening. Tasting note here.
97p   (tasted 2016/12)

2006 La Ricolma, San Giusto a Rentennano
A 100% Merlot from Tuscany makes the list with a stunning expression of this grape. I fell instantly in love and got hold of more bottles of this nectar. Tasting note here.
97p   (tasted 2016/08)

2010 Barolo Brunate Riserva, M. Marengo
Barolo. Brunate. Vintage 2010. In the hands of the capable hands of Marco Marengo. And the result? Just a stunning expression of a vibrant, in-ten-years-time-perfect Barolo specimen.
97p   (tasted 2016/08)

2010 Barolo Rocche dell´Annunziata, Paolo Scavino
As I wrote in this Barolo Boys report, when you are faced with perfection, words escapes you, or at least me. But trust me, this is a perfect wine.
100p   (tasted 2016/12)

2012 IX Estate, Colgin
As I wrote in February, this would make my most memorable list. And it did. Expensive - yes, worth the tariff - oh yes!
100p   (tasted 2016/12)

2012 G-Max, Keller
There is no tasting note to be read on this one, since I have lots of notes backed up. Miran had a dinner in November and this was the shining star of that evening, although lots of other fine bottles were poured, notes are on there way...
Is there a better Riesling out there? I doubt it.
98p   (tasted 2016/11)

The bottle in the background almost made the list...

The Ten Most Memorable Wines Of 2015
The Ten Most Memorable Wines Of 2014
The Ten Most Memorable Wines Of 2013
The Ten Most Memorable Wines Of 2012
The Ten Most Memorable Wines Of 2011

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

The Wines Of New Years Eve

New Years Eve with friends, good food and some nice wines. All drunk with food and non blind, but I jotted down some impressions of all wines non the less. The Barolo´s got some air time, all the other bottles were just popped and poured.

2002 Comtes de Champagne, Taittinger
We started of really well. One of my absolut favourite Champagne´s, the Comtes de Champagne always delivers the goods. The nose is deep and complex with notes of ripe oranges, white flowers, chalk and a beautiful smoky scent. Really, really fine.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of almond paste, hard lemon candy, chalk and minerals. A long, structured finish with a lovely acidity. This is stunning now but will surely get even better with 6+ years in the cellar.
We had this bottle with a apple- and foie gras capuccino and a seafood sallad.
97p   (tasted 2016/12)

2007 Meursault Genevrières, Bouchard
We drank the two following bottles with a lobster gratin, the most yummy dish of the evening. The Bouchard sports a deep, seedy nose with notes of sweet/sour lemons, rubber, elderberry soap and smoke. Very, very good.
The taste is forward and pure with notes of grilled lemons, gravel, dark fudge and dried up vanilla ice cream. Long and fine. Some maturity. From a half bottle.
92p   (tasted 2016/12)

2006 Corton Charlemagne, Faiveley
A wonderful, concentrated and pure nose with notes of lemon cream, tangerines, cap gun smoke and sweet minerals. Very handsome. Rich and refined. This is gooood!
The taste is just brilliant in its intensity, focus and concentration. The finish is very long and full of grapefruit, sweet/sour lemons and dried flowers. Great wine!
96p   (tasted 2016/12)

30 Años Oloroso, Victoria Regina
The next course was a celeriac soup and I opened this Sherry to go along. It was a fine match but I also had some left in a bottle of 1968 Verdelho, Blandy´s, which was opened almost a year ago, and that was an ever greater match with the soup.
The Sherry showed a deep, nutty nose with notes of dark liquorice, cooked wheat, nougat and masonite, Interesting and complex.
The taste is mature, broad and dry with notes of fried nuts, bakelit, candied orange peel and dried up coffee. Long and intense. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2016/12)

1964 Cuvée Speciale Rosé, Domaine Ott
How about throwing in a 52 year old Rosé? A spur of the moment buy and even if it comes from The Greatest Vintage ever this wine was not great...
The nose is old and wrinkled with notes of dusty mature red apples, undergrowth and gravel. Rather thin, but still hanging in there, which must be recognized.
The taste is dry and rather short but manage to show of some notes of old apples, dry tobacco and road dust. Still alive, but barely so.
70p   (tasted 2016/12)

1999 Morey-St-Denis 1er Cru Aux Cheseaux, Domaine Arlaud
Next up was a dish with pancetta, goat cheese and beet roots, and we drank two bottles of Burgundy with it.
The first one has a deep, dark, old fashioned nose with notes of plums, ripe strawberries, moist forest floor and even some meaty aromas. Very, very good. Deep and dark.
The taste is deep and ripe with notes of stables, wild raspberries, asphalt and warm rocks. Long and warm. An oldtime fashion of a wine. Drinking great today.
92p   (tasted 2016/12)

2002 Corton Clos du Roi, Domaine de la Pousse d´Or
The Corton opens a bit shy but keeps on evolving all night long. The nose is young and seedy with notes of ripe lingonberries, fresh herbs, forest floor and with a low keyed, yet intense perfumed aroma. Very, very fine.
The taste is tight and taut with notes of hard raspberry candy, gravel, beet root and rosehips. A long, stern, focused finish. A lovely acidity. A keeper.
95p   (tasted 2016/12)

1964 Barolo, Giuseppe Sordo
The three Barolo´s complimented a white truffle risotto and then a saddle of venison with salsify, mushrooms and a Madeira sauce.
The 64 from Giuseppe Sordo has a deep, round, mature nose with notes of dried cherries, manure, dried mushrooms and old wood. Some rosehips with more time in the glass. Very, very good. A fine maturity.
The taste is soft and mature with notes of dried cherries, fir wood, rosehips and warm tiles. A long, almost velvety finish, although the presence of some rugged tannins at the end of the finish. Has kept well over the years.
89p   (tasted 2016/12)

1978 Barolo Riserva, Giovanni Sordi
Giuseppes son, Giovanni is responsible for the 78, and he has done a great job, for this is a stunner. The nose is deep, racy and complex with notes of sweet/sour cherries, ceps, sweet root vegetables and lots of liquorice. Very deep, almost meaty, yet refined. Great!
The taste follows the taste with a combination of elegance and a deep, old fashioned farm feeling. Lots of dried cherries, undergrowth, tobacco, gravel and more. The finish is over a minute long with some still sturdy tannins. Would love to have more bottles if this. Could go on for 20 years.
94p   (tasted 2016/12)

1993 Barolo Vigna Rocche, Erbaluna/Severino e Andrea Oberto
There were some debate over which Barolo was the best on this night - the 78 Sordo or this one. I could not make my mind up, sip to sip they each had their own, fine virtues.
Here is another stunner from the overlooked vintage of 1993. But hey, more bottles for me! The nose is more lively than the Sordo wines and with lovely notes of ripe cherries, rose petals, warm hay, tobacco and a hint of dark caramel. Very, very good. A fine nerve to it. Some maturity.
The taste is focused, semi mature and pure with notes of red and black cherries, salmiak, hard cherry candy, rosehips and sunwarm rocks. A very long, fine finish. Again, wish I had more bottles.
94p   (tasted 2016/12)

2009 Grande Réserve Brut, Michel Genet
To end this evening we opened this bottle as a refresher and to watch 2016 turn into 2017. It has a fine, round, outgoing nose with notes of fudge, candied lemons, Lily of the Valley and a hint of tobacco. Very good.
The taste is fresh and dry with notes of dried up lemon curd, smoke, dried flowers and hard lemon candy. A fine acidity. Drinking good now and the coming 5+ years.
90p   (tasted 2016/12)