Thursday, September 24, 2009

Summer wines 2009 - the rest

(This picture is pure luck - simply fantastic sudden light - 2 minutes later is was gone)

Here is a small run-down of the wines that didn’t make into a single TN.

I have reached a point of fatigue on taking pictures of wine labels – so you will get some of the other stuff I also use my camera for.

Italian wines

Around mid-summer (and 3 times since) I had the Sangiovese based wine from Bolgheri producer Michele Satta “Cavaliere” from the 2001 vintage. Bolgheri is not known for harvesting Sangiovese, but tend to focus more on the international styles and varieties like; Cabernet, Merlot and even some Syrah wines are found here. For sure the wine is warm-blooded, and not so clinic pure and red berry perfumed, but really nice in fact. Black cherries, dark chocolate mixed with sweet expressive notes, which might be related to oak perfumes, but making fairly good balance. With my last bottle experience here in September, I even sensed emerging notes of new saddle leather. On the palate it still burns some tar elements off, but no way near as much as it did a year ago. I would suspect it enters a really good drinking window in 2 years time. Overall - a good solid wine for basic high-end daily drinking.

At mid-summer, with some friends, I brought the 2001 Camartina from Querciabella (70% Cabernet, 30% Sangiovese). Last time I tasted this wine was in Nov-2008 and the wine has changed to the better side. More defined now – very precise wine in fact, with an utterly slim tongue curl. The nose has the great cool tempered Tuscan herbs, with leather and even black-cherries. On paper I find these Italian IGT blend rather boring and it’s especially the Cabernet doing damage to the Sangiovese grape, but here – even if the Cabernet is primary grape, it’s still rather Sangiovese cut, even if it’s more to the bold side of black cherry notes. But it overall prevails from being rather linear, which I really like. Great wine – which can slowly be enjoyed now, but in 2 years time it should be even better.

(The last light of the day)

Barolo and summer is a song, which I rarely play, but I have had some good memories with the promising winemaker Andrea Oberto. His 2001 Rocche have been rather shy since release, but maybe it was time to take a small sample test. Nice – really, and with 4 hours of decanting it really opened the wine up. It swings between being rather classic cut, with violets, small dozes of menthol and black cherries - but also it’s rather smooth and elegant, making it really pleasurable to drink. I would like the fruit aromas go gain the lovely Barolo dried elements to be perfect – but it require natural cellaring. I think we can be talking 3-4 years here, for that to happen.

I had another Barolo @ Restaurant The Paul in Tivoli, the 2001 “La Serra” from Roberto Voerzio. I have to say, that I was a little surprised to see that the rim of the wine was already starting to show a slightly brownish color – not that it in any way is a minus with Nebbiolo, but I wouldn’t have expected that with Voerzio in the glass. Anyway – the wine is delicious, incredible charming with dried fruits and classic camphor notes. Here are also black fruits of cherries and chocolate flavors. Brilliant stuff.

This wine was however rather disappointing; The 2001 “La Ricolma “ (100% Merlot) from San Guisto a Rentennano. June 2008 (TN in Danish) I last had this wine and it was singing with sweet expressive fruit. Here – almost unrecognizable it has an herbal overcoat which never unfolded. Hard to drink this day and not particular interesting. Strange.

I had another San Guisto a Rentennano wine; 1990 Percarlo in July. I have to say that I had pretty high expectations. I find Percarlo to be a terrific wine and the vintage was not exactly bad either. For sure it was a mistake of mine, not to decant, as it gained strength and gradually improved all the time with air. The fruit is however a bit annoying, even if the intensity was constantly was on the rise. However I adore the red fruit of Sangiovese and here it’s more black cherries and this rather typical Tuscan dusty, herbal side which dominated. It drags the wine down IMHO, as it’s almost too dry and in need of some sort of sweetness. The taste has fairly good strength and Sangiovese curl, but then again – rock hard and the fruit is never really embracing like I wanted it to be. Overall – rather disappointing stuff, almost a dull experience. But as said – I should have decanted it.

Tasted the 2001 Montevetrano again. Performed great once again – my TN from Jan-2009 can be found here

(The very last light - under exposed picture)
German Riesling

My white wine for the mid-summer get-together was the 2007 “Von der Fels” from Keller. It’s outstanding value from one of Germans best dry Riesling wine makers. There is absolutely no fuss here – the wine is cut with great precision and clarity. I can’t find anything negative to say about this wine, other than I only have a few bottles left.

Also had the 2008 “Von der Fels” – enjoyed under very relaxed circumstances as I brought it too a party with some neighbors. A totally different wine compared to the 2007 vintage and in fact far more approachable. 2007 is very linear and tight, but 2008 is incredible lush, rich, mouth coating and has an incredible elastic fruit core. Drinking pleasure is instant, giving and very memorable. For German Riesling lovers, this is a must and its QPR is very hard to beat. It should be noted, that this wine was drunk from a red wine glass, the Riedel Carbernet/Merlot glass and this might have made this more open, rich and approachable feeling. (Thank you for the bottle, Martin)

One evening, home alone and writing about the 2001 Aalto PS and editing the picture, I suddenly felt thirsty. So without decanting, which under normal circumstances is an absolute “no no no” among the most geeky German Riesling drinkers, I poured myself a glass of the 2005 Müller-Catoir, GG “Breumel in den Mauern” (what a title). The last memory I had about this wine goes back to Sep-2007, where it performed rather strangely. Here it was lined up side by side with the monster good 2004 G-Max from Keller and oozed with a bizarre note of shampoo. But now – uh la la, what a transformation and what a wine. Totally divine, incredible slim, precise, but still with enormous depth and concentration. Hard to leave such stuff for day 2 – where it still was brilliant, even if loosing a bit of nerve. One remark though – with warmth in the glass it takes on some boldness, which is almost on the verge of falling out of balance – so drink slightly chilled I would say.

(A corn field not far from my home - take with very low aperture)

Champagne…most of the notes have been uploaded already…but..

You might remember I started uploading a picture of the 2005 “l’Amateur” from David Léclapart, but had a very strange encounter with, what seemed to be a flawed bottle. At first sniff with this new bottle I immediately concluded that the former bottle was indeed off. I want to do a small study of the 2005 Vintage vs 2004 amateur. The 2005 vintage once again confirms that it’s a rounder vintage. I prefer 2004’s – as they are more linear (I have repeated that over and over again). 2005 Amateur still posses a lot of the wines trade mark, such as, a very mineral, slate, salty, and this slim, almost frozen seawater expression. It’s just minor thing that split the two vintages. 2004 seems incredible drinkable and charming and somewhat easier to understand. 2005 holds slight back, caused by this rounder style, but it also holds shyness, even mysteriousness, and this could very well prove to evolve over the years. 2004 seems almost to reveal everything at this stage, which is not a bad thing from a life enjoying perspective. One thing I have learned about the wine from David Léclapart is that – one should really care on predicting and playing Mr. Wise guy, as the wines will go through many phases and transformations…who said authentic wines? If holding this wine – I could be tempted to cellar a bit more, if I was Mr. wise guy ;-).

I have tasted the 2005 Ulysse Colin 2 times during the summer. It’s still great and maturing a bit faster that I would have expected. No need to panic, but it will not be a long distant runner, me think.

Also had the 2006 Infloscence from Cédric Bouchard once again – this time @ restaurant The Paul and served in the Spiegelau Authentis Champagne glass. No way as giving as when served in a White wine glass. Still an utterly beautiful and pure Champagne.

Had the NV Laherte Brut Nature also – in August I believe – tasted over 2 days. It’s holding really well on day 2 – it’s a simple, refreshing and brilliant aperitif Champagne. Don’t expect layers of complexity here – but admire it for its simplicity and drinking pleasure.

Probably had more wines – but this is what I can remember. Bye bye to the summer of 2009…..autumn is next and then the dark horrible winter in Denmark….I hate it…..dreaming of spring already.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Small pause

Need a break - next post 24th of September (summer wines)

Take care....drink good wines and enjoy life.



Sunday, September 6, 2009

1996 Deutz, Cuvée William Deutz Rosé, Champagne

After the rather disappointing “Cicala” experience, I played a safe card – a Rosé Champagne and one of my absolutely favorites.

It has been almost a year since I tasted this brilliant Rosé. I was rather curious to taste it, as I remember having a ridiculous good bottle about 20 months ago, but also had 2-3 rather reserved bottles right after. Also, to my own curiosity; – I have tasted a lot of different rosé’s since and sometimes the whole Rosé thing puzzles me, as some are just red Tutti Frutti stuff and other are aggressive macerated things (if to rudely generalize). This is in short a fantastic Rosé, which really benefits from the unheard high 1996 acidity. It cuts through the wine like a samurai sword and gives a unique balance. The fruit is so creamy, red-berry scented and with the acidity playing along it takes the elegance and nerve almost to perfection. It’s still young and I can easily see it gain more complexity over the years, as fruit, concentration and acidity are of highest quality. Every single glass was pure pleasure and not only does it give credit to this wine, but also once again marks Champagne (for me) as being the worlds best drink.

If to drop one drop of skepticism in the glass, it would be the level dosage (even if I am speculating). The last glass demonstrates that it’s rather sweet or is it? Certainly, that’s how if felt like. Maybe it’s just a mind game for me, as it certainly sweeter than I am used to. I could be wrong and it being just perfect ripe fruit. So if anyone out there knows how much dosage this Champagne has seen, I would be very interested to know.

All in all – a stunning Champagne.

Glasses: Juhlin, Adina, Zalto – everything worked.

2001 Aldo Conterno, Barolo "Cicala", Piemonte, Italy

2001 "Cicala" from Aldo Conterno has been a hurricane since its release. I have had the pleasure of tasting it 4-5 times maybe and it has always been a favorite of mine. It might not be old-school Barolo enough for some with its incredible silky and fruits bomb, sweet cherry awarding appeal, but personally I have found it utterly irresistible. When I opened this bottle and decanted it in the big Riedel Ultra decanter I sensed some of the same young vibrant fruit and was already smiling. But at the table - in the glasses, it was a different wine. It's fairly alright on the nose - for sure it's settling down and going to a new phase (that would be expected) and the cherry notes is starting to become darker and the sweetness is in the background, but also at times almost absent. There is even the lovely violet smell, which I like a lot. The depth and complexity of the nose is however, not impressive - even if it's friendly. But man - I had a hard time with the taste. Painful structure and tannins - lots of bitterness, alcohol burning - not particular pleasing and simply killing the drinking pleasure. Closed - I could suspect so, but I am also concerned, that my palate is starting to suffer from all that bubbly stuff. My wife hated it btw - so the next day we had a Rosé Champagne - now that was a different story.

Glasses: Various