Wednesday, November 28, 2007

1997 Antinori Tignanello IGT, Tuscany, Italy

A slow starter at first, but after a while the wine started to open.Came back with, black currants, roasted coffee but a little too much earthy style. The cabernet takes too much away from the Sangiovese (93)

Tasted October 2003

1997 Antinori Tignanello IGT, Tuscany, Italy

My recent Tignanello experiences (the ’90 and ’95) did both show low complexity and a way too commercial styled wine with simple blackcurrant and roasted coffee notes. Regrettably this 1997 follows that path; these dull notes is however more low toned. Besides the blackcurrant, roasted coffee – there is dust, leather, and an overall rustic and shy nose. When I say shy, my first thought was that the wine was in a dull phase, but it showed no real evolvement in the glass. I was desperately seeking for some sort of nerve or soul, but never found it. The taste is fair, innocent and “plain vanilla” (88)

Tasted Apr-2006

1997 Antinori Tignanello IGT, Tuscany, Italy

Mainly inspired by my recent encounter with the 1997 Rancia from Felsina, I decided to pull the cork from another ’97, to see if similar beneficiary evolvement had set in. The 1997 Tignanello puzzles me – it’s still very shy, but again I have to be a bit concerned about its profile. The nose is again very rustic; smoke, dust, leather, herbs / thyme and wet forest. There are very little fresh fruit and berry sweetness signs – it’s all about this rustic dusty nose. Over the 5 hours the bottle was open there was no change at all in the glass. On the positive side, the nose is fair on classic appeal and not in any way commercial with designed fruit appeal. The taste is on the first sips okay, but analyzing it a bit further it drops a bit funny – first it dries out the first part of the mouth, then gliding on the back palate, but dividing itself on the sides, leaving very little on the middle where minerals and structure often presents itself. So – a fair wine and it worked alright with the food, but it’s constant dusty profile is either a sign of major dull phase or it will come back in 5-6 years time. I have my doubts. (90?)

Tasted Nov-2006

1997 Allegrini Amarone, Veneto, Italy

Very nice wine with polished fruit; chocolate, seven up aromas and the classic Amarone plum picture. Taste is round, soft and well made. But the wine made no emotional impact on me – too smooth, too polished – no edge and soul (for me).

1997 Aldo Conterno, Barolo Gran Bussia, Piemonte, Italy

Good seductive nose, but I had a hard time with the taste. Lacked focus and acidity.

1997 Albino Rocca, Barbaresco Vigneto Brinch Ronchi, Piemonte, Italy

Decanted directly from my friends cellar and served blind to me. I guessed Italy, but then couldn’t pinpoint it. Even if I was giving clues like 97pts from Parker and the vintage – I was back to my usual self in blind guessing. The wine simply had so many herbal elements – spices, thyme and black fruits. With air it gained some sweet zone, but never ever could I have guessed it to be a Barbaresco. The taste was firm and strong with a lot of rough edges – very hard to drink without food. The last few drops was the best – more complex zone, it will need a lot of decanting if you choose to have it now. (91-93?)

1996 Ornellaia, Ornellaia IGT, Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy

I think it has been about three years since I last tasted this wine. Back then a quit violent wine with rough edges, strong tannins and never a real crowd pleaser. Now a much more balanced wine, having benefited from cellaring and has entered its drinking window. Blackcurrant, cigar box, chocolate and liquorice emerging from the glass along with a refined strawberry perfume. Had this wine been served in a blind tasting, I would have guessed Pauillac. Taste is well founded with mouth coating blackcurrant and well defined closing. On the last drops there is a little sign of bitterness. A nice wine for sure, and still if Bolgheri is an International grape zone, I had a naïve hope to find some warm blooded Italian spirit. (93)

1996 Ornellaia Masseto, Tuscany, Italy

A dark red colour with with ripe fruit combined with smoke and chocolate. I decanted it for 3 hours and it got better all the time in the glass. Raspberry and cherry revealing itself after a while and it was all very elegant. The taste is powerful - balanced with a 45sec. finish. The wine is very dry with firm tannin and has a long life ahead. Very nice. (94)

1996 Mauro Molino, Barolo Vigna Concha, Piemonte, Italy

Finally the summer heat took a break, allowing us middle age alcoholics to get a glass of red wine. I made a pasta dish with fresh chanterelles and decided to have a Barolo. Wild nose with kirsch liqueur, dirt, smoke and a sizzling mid-core glycerin/camphor combo – simply great. At first, I was concerned about the glycerin taking control of the wine and making it become alcoholic dominant. But the vibrant kirsch combined with the rustic smoke more than added to the overall profile and made it balance. The taste is great, lots of Barolo acidity and sensational Italian warmth and plenty of life left. (94)

*Glass: Riedel Sommelier Burgundy Grand Cru.
*In this case this glass was fantastic – I tried an alternative glass, but no where near the same experience.

1996 Le Macchiole, Paleo, Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy

(85% CS, 10% SG, 5% CF)

This wine turned out to be a real positive surprise. For the first time during this vertical I can finally write the notes: Minerals and Tuscan herbs. My two favourite components in Italian wines and I can almost smell the rosemary bushes again even if I am still in Denmark and it’s freezing cold outside. The wine is dead charming – has overload of structural balance and elegance wrapped in this mineral/herbal glove that gives it so much character. Taste has great balance and the concentration is focused and cooled perfectly by these lovely minerals. (93+)

Glass: Riedel Sommelier Bordeaux Grand Cru
Details: Paleo Vertical 1992-2002

1996 La Spinetta, Barbaresco, Vigneta Gallina, Piemonte, Italy

Camphor, black cherries and herbs. The wine is a bit shy and at this stage and it might be closed down. The taste is defiantly youthful with tons of dry extract and the fruit has very little space to show anything at this stage. 91

1996 La Spinetta Barbaresco Vigneto Starderi, Piemonte, Italy

Truffles, Forrest and red fruit with a killer mixture, where a high alcohol is present, but it’s so well balanced and delivers and utterly classic pure Barberesco nose. Taste reveals youthful structure – with tannin grip and again a great balance. A pure enjoyment drinking this wine – we immediately ordered a second bottle after the first was ended. (95)

Tasted 18th of May 2005 at the Cagnaught Restaurant in London.

1996 Isole e Olena, Syrah, Tuscany, Italy

Very distant and tame. Blackcurrant with dust, but extremely reserved with lack of fruit. The taste is metallic and a bit awkward. Initially I scored this higher, but I have to lower it somewhat. I love the wines from Isole e Olena and I have tasted this Syrah offering before (not in this vintage) and it’s totally unrecognizable. Maybe an off bottle? (84?)

1996 Elia Pasquero, Barberesco Sori Paitin, Piemonte, Italy

Back to something classic. A extremly elegant wine...for you Burgundy fans out should try this. A subtle touch of Cherry, Truffel, herbs, and tobacco...everything is so delicate and feminine. (91-93) Served this with chanterelle risotto and in Riedels big "Sommelier Burgundy Grand Cru" glass...I very rarely use these glasses...but wow..what a joy.

1996 E. Pira, Barolo, Cannubi, Piemonte, Italy

While we where sipping on the Spottswoode I fetched another bottle from the wine cabinet. I immediately decanted it in my biggest Riedel Decanter – The “Ultra” Magnum. The wine was the 1996 E. Pira, Barolo, Cannubi, Simply stunning definition of Barolo and singing more and more as warmth and air hit the wine. Roses, smoke, cherries and so well sealed and vibrant from the glass. The taste is classic Barolo, dry – high defined acidity, not for everyone, but for me it’s more and more becoming evident that the treasures from Piemonte are the greatest reds in the world. (95-96)

(Tasted Sep-2006)

1996 E. Pira, Barolo, Cannubi, Piemonte, Italy

I served this wine as a bonus wine to this flight. I didn’t take any notes other than stating that it’s still a great glass of Barolo. The nose was a bit shyer this time, but the taste still awesome with lots of potential. (94-95)

(Tasted Dec-2006)

1996 Ceretto, Barolo Bricco Rocche Brunate, Piemonte, Italy

Smoke and gun powder comes from this very closed Barolo. Despite this tight shield there is some elegancy underneath the surface. In the mouth the wine lands with hard acidity attack on first part of the mouth, with Barolo-bite , ripe fruit and herbs and leaves very little for the rest of the palate. It’s obvious that it’s way too young. After 7 hours on the decanter more happened, but it was only on day two that you could sense truffles mixed with menthol and alcohol. Thinking back on the great 1967 Ceretto – Barolo I enjoyed in December last year I will not touch my remaining bottles for 7-10 years from now. (88) for now.

Tasted 21. January 2005. Glass: Riedel Sommelier Burgundy Grand Cru

1996 Castello dei Rampolla, Vigna d'Alceo, Tuscany, Italy

My experience with the wines from Castello dei Rampolla tells me that they are built for long lasting. Maybe their wines have the best aging potential of all in Tuscany. But I simply had to taste this as I recently tasted the 1996 Paleo and maybe this wine had evolved some of the same charming features as the ’96 Paleo. Nope – the wine is not ready for drinking. The nose is shy, with blackcurrant, coffee beans, black fruits and you can almost feel that’s the is a tar-bath waiting for you in the taste. But – the taste is actually a little more open – Bordeaux signs, cappuccino feeling, but very tight fruit core still with a bitter finish. I re-tasted the wine on day 2 and 3 and it was still a very tight wine, but showing some more purity in the nose. I am returning again in 6-8 years time. (92+)

1996 Argiano, Solengo, Tuscany, Italy

Back to the 96' which has a ruby red colour. On the nose the wine is very open and mature. Showing roasted coffee and blackberries but a very dusty profile. In the mouth there is a lack of concentration and the wine is medium bodied. It worked great with the food, but still nothing special (88)

1996 Aldo Conterno, Barolo Vigna Cicala, Piemonte, Italy

So again we have a “Cicala” in our flight. Forest, dirt, dust and cherries. Taste has a rough acidity confirming the youth of the ’96-vintage. I think I liked it better than the crowd as I appreciate these young Barolo tannins. (93+)

1996 Allegrini Amarone, Veneto, Italy

The-96 is by far the most evolved out of the recent 4 vintages. Has far more port on the the nose and less blackberries. If you like this classic style the 96' is great (94)

1995 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia, Masseto, Tuscany, Italy

This wine was served in a flight with the 1999 Scrio. At first hand comparison the wine was tame and shy and defiantly lacking behind. It quickly gained its character and proved to be a rather elegant wine with deep sensual core of chocolate fruit with mocha. The taste is warm, deep and sensual. A bit more nerve is needed to score higher and as with many ’95 there was a bit of dry extract on the closing. Still a seductive and overall elegant wine, with great drinking pleasure. (94)

1995 Soldera, Case Basse Intistieti, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

To be served after the 1990 Riserva is a tough task, but I think the 1995 did very well. The 1995 joins the camp of the more rustic Case Basse versions with smoke, herbs and spices on the nose. The wine is despite its profile extremely well defined and it’s certainly expressed when you taste it. Massive taste - almost sedative, with Italian warmth all over the palate. Still the wine had the Case Basse magic touch. The 1995 has great aging potential. (97+)

1995 Sassicaia, Tuscany, Italy

Blackcurrant and it opens up with beautiful maturity nose. This is the fifth time I taste this wine and It’s peeking now and I think it will do so over the next 5-6 years. What has happened is that the wood is better integrated now with lovely structure, cherry, roasted coffee and it’s so much more harmonic. Classic of its kind (93)

Tasted 11 of March 2005. Glass Riedel Sommelier Bordeaux Grand Cru

1995 Sandrone, Cannubi Boschis, Barolo, Piemonte, Italy

A totally different wine compared to its CNDP flight revivals 1995 Pegau and La Nerthe. The fruit seems less evolved, with a boosting confidence of; liquor, prunes, sweet lush overripe cherries and even some dried fruits to supplement the balance factor – very nice. The weight of this wine is indeed impressive. The taste is not a disappointment and drives lots of fruit towards the palate and the delicate berries from the nose is contained. The closing is lively and vibrant. Not in any way “1995 dry”. (94)

1995 San Giusto a Rentennano, Percarlo, Tuscany, Italy

Tuscan herbs - thyme and rosemary, with pencil, white pepper, plum and black cherries. The fruit pattern is on the dry side, maybe not fully mature yet, but defiantly nice to smell. Taste has classic sangiovese bite, but with many rough edges. Drinking a bit better on day two – rounder, but not the most sensual and lush Percarlo. (92)

1995 P Antinori, Tignanello, Tuscany,

Mature fruit, with raspberry, dust, Forest. The taste is soft and can at first seem slender but it’s rounded out nicely with sangiovese bite. After two hours the wine opens more up and the Cabernet picture is more present : chocolate, herbs – mint but also drier and more roasted. (90+)

Tasted 14/1-2005, Glass: Riedel Sommelier Bordeaux Grand Cru

1995 Le Macchiole, Paleo, Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy

(85% CS, 10% SG, 5% CF)

Much deeper fruit than the previous vintages. Saddle leather, smoke, blackcurrant, tobacco, but at the same time a bit backward. Taste is very nice, has lots of warmth and plenty of tannin bite, but somewhat dry in the closing of the wine. Almost every single wine I have recently tasted from the 1995 has been dry – and this is no exception (90)

Glass: Riedel Sommelier Bordeaux Grand Cru
Details: Paleo Vertical 1992-2002

1995 Le Macchiole, Messorio, Tuscany, Italy

This is the fourth time I taste the 1995, but it’s been almost 6 years since my last visit. WOW – what a stunning nose. Plum, prunes, deep, fat lush cherries, dark fruits and really mysterious. After 20 minutes the prune note calmed down and being replaced by; spices, liquorice, forest and porcini mushrooms. As you can see this is seriously a multidimensional wine – let’s taste it. Ahhrrr it can’t follow the path of the nose – it get’s cut of half way to wonderland. Still very nice with superb extract, just not filling a full palate (95 pts)

Messorio Vertical - Sep-2006

1995 Il Palazzino, Grosso Sanese, Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy

Served with a antipasti plate and with that it worked so great. The wine is evolved, with great purity and seductive sweet plum fruit. What a surprise (91-93)

Tasted November 13th.-2004 .Brief Thoughts

1995 Falesco, Montiano IGT, Lazio, Umbria, Italy

I have drunk all of my own ‘95s a year ago. The fruit is alive and mature now. Still mineral and the blackcurrant are still there, with a bit of cherry flavours. Very elegant a also seductive, but loosing nerve and layers in the finish. (90) Tasted August 2005.

1995 Clerico, Barolo Pajana, Piemonte, Italy

It’s one of those wines that on the objective scoring board not necessarily gain the highest score. However this wine was drunk in company of good friends and food - ravioli with ricotta cheese and spinach – and the drinking pleasure was supreme. I have tried it 3-4 times now, but I think it’s has been almost five years since my last experience. The wine has now entered its peak drinking window and comes across with a Burgundy resemblance of purity and sweetness, though the cherries are somewhat darker and there is a touch of classic Italian warmth with raspberries perfumes. Taste has its fair amount of dry particles, but very classic and pleasurable to drink with or without food. (93)

1995 Castello dei Rampolla, Sammarco, Tuscany, Italy

Bordeaux notes with Italian charm. Tobacco, cherry/strawberry combo with mild plum scent. It’s very elegant and drinking superbly now with classic touches. (93)

Tasted 11 of March 2005. Glass Riedel Sommelier Bordeaux Grand Cru

1995 Castello dei Rampolla, Sammarco, Tuscany, Italy
(TN from memory)

Smoke, leather, dust, buttermilk, dark berries with a mild cherry touch. It’s a great combo of Bordeaux likings and Italian Charm – classic cut and with no flawed designer IGT moves. If anything the wines is rather dry, with need of a fruit overcoat – but its structure and rustic charm saves it. The taste is dry – bitter tannins, Tuscan herbal afterburners, but structural very good with superb bite (93)

Glass: Riedel Sommelier Bordeaux Grand Cru
Tasted Dec-2005

1995 Biondi Santi - Tenuta Il Greppo Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Tuscany, Italy

Not served in a Burgundy glass by the sommelier, so we all went for other guesses, but nobody nailed it to be a BdM. At first I liked it a lot as it came with more fresh fruit than the two previous Burgundy wines. It also had some cherry scents and smoked meats. The taste is at first alright with velvet milk chocolate fruit. However; as I analyzed it a bit further there where simply no complex notes. The wine seems very simple and with very little character and what at first sight look was a nice wine slowly transformed into a simpler and lesser wine. Disappointing. (84)

1995 Antinori, Solaia, Tuscany, Italy

I don’t know what I had expected from this wine, but the first hand impressions were certainly positive. Solaia came out of the glass with strutting confidence and luxurious fruits. Mid-core of the wine had an oozing glycerine note, which gave wildness, character but also on the verge on taking alcohol control. As time passed the alcohol pitch lowered, but the lovely black fruits with warm Tuscan earth and black cherries luckily stayed intact. The taste is nice – classic, a bit on the dry side and doesn’t live up to the high expectations the promising nose gave. (94)

1995 Angelini, Val di Suga, Vigna de Spuntali, Brunello, Tuscany, Italy

A contrast to the shy diluted Isole e Olena in the opposite glass. Extremely charming nose with; raspberries, rubber and Burgundy flirting, but still preserving the Italian soul. Taste is not as charming, but still god. It bites back with firm tannins and the lovely raspberries get almost burned up in tannins. It sounds a bit dramatic, and the overall impression is still a very lovely wine. What a nose, wow. (94)

1995 Aldo Conterno; Barolo, Piemonte, Italy

Lovely red fruits, with dried herbs and forest leafs. The taste is a bit rustic, but still very nice with these dried fruits. This is not a particular concentrated and complex wine, but it has great drinking pleasure (91).

1995 Aldo Conterno, Barolo Vigna Cicala, Piemonte, Italy

Forest, smoke and medicine. Taste is with raspberry flavours and fair purity – nice, but doesn’t have the needed concentration to score higher. (90)

1994 Soldera, Case Basse Riserva, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

The ’82 might have had the most seductive nose of this flight, but the 1994 was for me the best wine. The nerve is better and it’s very Burgundy like, with cherry/strawberry, minerals and super pure. The taste is elegant, round and lush and only the final refinement keeps it from scoring higher (95)

1994 Paolo Scavino, Barolo Bric del Fiasc, Piemonte, Italy

Shy nose at first with very little to offer. Later – smoke, red toasted fruit, herbs, metal and dark fruits in bitter chocolate. The taste of the wine is its force with harmony, elegance and nice length and tannin-acidity-Barolo-bite (91) I have a hard time in judging the future of this wine, and my guess is that the fruit will not evolve so much more, but the high acidity will stay intact.

Tasted February 12th. Glass: Riedel Sommelier Burgundy Grand Cru

1994 Le Macchiole, Paleo, Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy

(85% CS, 10% SG, 5% CF)

At our last small Paleo vertical back in 2000 the 1994 was not showing well. In fact it was by far the lowest rated wine at the tasting. My hopes where not high this time as the ’94 Vintage in Tuscany is very soft. The nose is not all that bad. It has elderly signs – mature, yes indeed – but not dead. Refined sweetness of strawberry jam, gooseberries and light – but delicate berries. Taste is somewhat dry missing a fruit overcoat but still it’s elegant as has personality. (87)

Glass: Riedel Sommelier Bordeaux Grand Cru
Details: Paleo Vertical 1992-2002

Monday, November 26, 2007

1994 Barbi Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

Buttermilk, mature – not so deep and complex. Taste a bit neutral

1993 Soldera, Case Basse, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

Again a more rustic wine enters, with a spicier picture and with almost “Barolo smoke”. Sweetness is slowly added to the wine, but still overall infused in the smoky character. The taste is where the treasure is buried for the ’93 has Lots of potential, with warm tannins and massive structure. (93+)

1993 Soldera, Case Basse Riserva, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

Corked. Not much, but when you have detected it, it’s impossible to ignore. (NR)

1993 Le Macchiole, Paleo, Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy

(85% CS, 10% SG, 5% CF)

A completely different wine than the 1992. The berries are much darker and the nose seems more rustic, dusty with leather and some dirt. It’s has more concentration as well as acidity in the taste. The taste is also a bit rustic and the tannins are notable and turn out to be rather bitter in the closing. (86)

Glass: Riedel Sommelier Bordeaux Grand Cru
Details: Paleo Vertical 1992-2002

1992 Sassicaia, Tuscany, Italy

struggled, bad vintage

1992 Le Macchiole, Paleo, Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy

(85% CS, 10% SG, 5% CF)

Almost everyone at the table thought that this one was dead. But – we where all very positive surprised in the first nose dive. A great floral tone of light berries, blackcurrant, vanilla and a refined sweetness from a strawberry tone. Even some prunes comes forward as the wine spent more time in the glass. The taste is however with very low structure and grip. If anything it suits the wine as it’s delicate and light. There is again a tone of sweetness combined with dirt and forest in the closing of the wine. I was set to score this wine higher, but I let a tiny portion rest in my glass as it was poured directly from the bottles. The wine slowly looses concentration and dies somewhat in the glass over time, but still I was surprised by its performance (84)

Glass: Riedel Sommelier Bordeaux Grand Cru
Details: Paleo Vertical 1992-2002

1991 Soldera, Case Basse Intistieti, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

Tough vintage and it’s a wine with very little fruit left. The nose is a bit unclear, with dirt and peppers. The taste is also disappointing, but drinkable. (80)

1990 Soldera, Case Basse, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

A wine which divided the panel. The parallels to the 1997 is clear, but the underlying concentration and nerve of the 1990 was IMHO clearly superior. Extremely intense nose; liqueur, prunes, almonds - simply breathtaking and highly complex. Great taste also, a bit bold at times, but again where the 1997 fails in a dull landing the 1990 has at least 5-6 turbo chargers to wipe out the word; dull. The 1990 fails to deliver an elegant element, but it’s difficult to ignore its concentration. (96)

1990 Soldera, Case Basse, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

Phenomenal and as good I remember it at the big vertical in nowember 2006. A ravishing sweetness with fabulous red sangiovse fruit

(Tasted Apr-2007)

1990 Soldera, Case Basse Riserva, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

Perfection is a sensible word, but in this case it almost seems to be a limitation. A supernatural wine and among the five best wines I have ever tasted. The nose is to die for and tells the story of how complex and mind-blowing Sangiovese can be. It has some of the same ingredients I have highlighted during this tasting, just better defined with master precision. The red fruit of the Sangiovese is the first classic note you come across, then an out of this world sweet perfume of a raspberry note, Burgundy like and again super pure. The second I smelled it I knew it was perfect and a legend. Taste can only disappoint compared to the nose, but it doesn’t. The fairytale continues and the wine manifest itself with perfect Tuscan warmth, minerals, rubber, sweetness in a long vibrating finish. It has everything you could hope for, and it’s almost pathetic to write the world pure again and to highlight the perfect acidity. (100)

1990 Sassicaia, Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy

Really great nose with; mocha, cedar wood, tobacco and warm blooded fruit with small nuances of dried red fruit. Taste is really elegant, polished – but have the needed bite. An incredible charming wine.

1990 P. Antinori, Tignanello, Tuscany, Italy

This was my last bottle of 1990 Tignanello. Have tasted it 7-8 times before and I am glad that I didn’t keep all of them this long. Ruby red. Plums, prunes, dust, port. The nose is not that bad – you can tell that it has some age and if you like those kinds of scents it’s ok - but it’s getting worse. I decanted all of the bottles 3-4 hours before but with the Tignanello it only spent 30 minutes in the decanter. That turned out to be a good plan. The wine simply dies on the palate and slowly the same thing start happening to the nose. It’s short hard and tannic and not pleasant at all. Drink up (78).

Tasted 11 of March 2005. Glass Riedel Sommelier Bordeaux Grand Cru

1990 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo

For me a major disappointment. This wine really needs serious decanting time – the orange peel note, blended with the alcohol took too much focus.

1990 Bartolo Mascarello, Barolo, Piemonte, Italy
(From a magnum bottle)

Very old school Barolo – first peppery, orange, prunes and the mid-cores gives out scents that could resemble rubber/latex or raincoat. The taste is stunning with an overwhelming concentration and persistent finish. (96)

(Tasted Feb-2006)

1990 Altesino, Brunello di Montalcino, Montosoli, Tuscany, Italy

The wine puzzles me. I used the François Audouze slow decanting technique. The bottle was opened at 4 pm and poured in the glass at 8 pm. The first impressions had a lot of peppery, liquorice, overripe cherries and wet cellar. If blind guessing on this one could easily guess on a wine that has spent more than 25 years in the bottle. I must admit it was a breathtaking nose as it had a lot of Italian charm. It didn’t make it any worse that I served it with pasta with homemade basil-pesto with loads of Parmesan cheese. The acidity did the perfect Sangiovese job and cut trough the rich pasta texture - lovely so far – we are in the mid nineties for sure. But there is a problem – the nose turns out to be rather one dimensional. Without the paste the acidity becomes more focused on the front palate and only glints of fruit is transacted to the back palate. Why does it puzzle me? – On the nose the wine held up its appearance even if it never was able to produces new layers. Still it never gave up and held its concentration – however the acidity and taste of the wines dries out somewhat and is in need of some fruit. Also - it’s a bit hard to drink without food. My conclusion – if holding this wine I would drink it now. (92?)

1990 Altesino, Brunello Montosoli, Tuscany, Italy

Old socks and fart, slowly fading and more fruit present. The wine divided the group and I was on the path of the more positive. The taste is beautiful with perfect structure and bite – nothing old here. After the old socks; raspberry, sweet liquorice and pepper fruit. Very nice (95)

Tasted 1st of April 2005 - Era Ora

1990 Allegrini, Amarone, Veneto, Italy

Alcohol, pepper, mint and much wilder version of an Amarone. VS it’s rival the - 1990 Allegrini, you have much more vibrant fruit core. The taste is a bit heavy and the alcohols level is recognizable. It evolved enormously in the glass but I and Amarone have a thing that will never lead to marriage. (93+)

Tasted 1st of April 2005 - Era Ora

1989 Bruno Giacosa, Barolo Faletto Riserva, Piemonte, Italy

Brick red. Red earthy fruit with truffle, salami and cherry. Besides a great purity the nose also offers loads of complexities. The taste is awesome with the classic Barolo structure and firm acidity. (95)

1988 Soldera, Case Basse, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

For some reason I have always liked the 1988 vintage in Italy. From Piemonte to Tuscany – I have so many good memories from this vintage – and now I can add another one. Striking good wine and the only one so far with an animalistic tone of wet fur. There is also; leather, raspberry perfumes and with an almost arrogant mineral and purity pitch – divine. The taste is magnificent with killer perfumes of delicate sweet berries, structural precision. The ’88 is for me not about massive fruit, but purity, elegance and world class structure. (97)

1986 Soldera, Case Basse, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

Distant nose, rustic with dust and peppers. With air, some sweeter components enter – strawberry perfumes, but they are still secondary in the somewhat backward nose. The taste has a bit more acidity bite compared to the ’82, but the same mid-hollowness. (89)

1985 Soldera, Case Basse, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

We are back in purity land again after a clumsy 1997 performance. Liquorice, rubber, cherries and a touch of iron, which is nice, but also take a bit away from the refinement. The taste however is right on track and here the iron component transforms to mineral overload and perfect acidity. Drinking pleasure is superb. (94)

1985 Borgogno, Barolo Riserva, Piemonte Italy

Fart, very old smell, oxidized wet cellar and is just on the edge of being too old. Taste is worse – the acidity and fruit is gone and the old oxidized components from the nose is being fully transported to the taste. 75

1985 Allegrini Amarone Fieramonte, Veneto, Italy

WOW!. Before Allegrini decided to discard his single vineyard Fieramonte and only make one Amarone. Gladly he produced it in 1985..damn this is good stuff. The nose is awesome with prunes i sweet cherry sauce, port like. The taste i also great with great purity. My last bottle (97)

Tasted May 2003

1983 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia, Tuscany, Italy

A rather “strong” nose with prunes, blackberries, tar and a vegetable green cabernet note, which dominates the nose too much giving the wine a somewhat unbalanced look. Taste is surprisingly more refined, dirt and dusty, but better than expected. This wine would not benefit from further cellaring. (89)

1983 Soldera, Case Basse, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

Again a super pure wine, clean cut with crushed stones and a distinctive sweet component with resemblance of icing and baked bread notes. Taste has good Tuscan warmth, but places itself to much on the front palate, leaving too much bitterness on the finish line. (92)

1983 Soldera, Case Basse Riserva, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

The 1983 is all about balance. Each component has a saying and everything is subtle toned with high class refinement. The red fruit has a sublime deep zone where complexity and sensual fruits emerge from. It’s simply awesome and a balance masterpiece. The taste is incredible with almost a dry mineral attack on the palate, every spot get a doze of this heavenly liquid. It could age graceful easily another 10 years. (99)

(Tasted Nov-2006)

1983 Soldera, Case Basse Riserva, Tuscany, Italy

Compared with the 1990 it has a lesser degree of sweetness, but for me it’s a fraction better with tons of red berries and the overall balance of the wine is to die for. One of the best wines in the world.

(Tasted Apr-2007)

1983 Case Basse Riserva

This wine gives me Goosebumps. I have been lucky to taste it three times the last year, and once again - I am amazed. Liquorice, herbs, rosemary, shoe pollish and leather infused with red Case Basse fruit. The taste – ahhh man…this is a lesson in what Sangiovese acidity is all about. The strength of this wine is indeed impressive. I have to add; that Case Basse once again proved to be a fantastic food wine – served with lamb, rosemary and swiss chard – I was close to tears.

(Tasted Sep-2007)

1982 Soldera, Case Basse, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

What a nose and what a start to the tasting. The most delicate berry scents with strawberry and raspberry perfume. With air a touch of liquorice is added, bringing the nose to an even higher level. With high expectations it’s time to taste it – unfortunately the level of the nose is not same of the taste. The wine takes the fast lane in the middle of the wine with too much hollowness. Still a very elegant wine, with a killer nose. (92).

1978, Giovannini Moresco, Barbaresco, Piemonte, Italy

I have tasted many of these old “Moresco’s”, where the 1971 version is by far the best. This 1978 is beautiful captured in the glass with cheery edge and pepper fruits and of course older scents. Incredible pure, but lacking the final nerve to come higher. But damn it’s a pleasure to drink this wine. (93)

Tasted 1st of April 2005 - Era Ora

1974 Giacomo Conterno, Monfortino, Piemonte, Italy

A brilliant wine with smooth deep berries scents, but also a lot of dark powerful deep and lush fruit emerges from this ravishing wine. The taste was out of this world with sublime acidity bite and elegance moves. A magnificent wine.

Monday, November 19, 2007

1974 Aldo Conterno, Barolo Granbussia, Piemonte, Italy

I believe it was the first ever Granbussia. The wine is showing signs of its age with moulded berries scents, prunes and moor water. The taste is fair and it’s still drinkable, but it’s now or never.

(Tasted Jul-2007)

1964 Enrico Serafino, Barolo Riserva, Piemonte, Italy

Orange peel, caramel and a very old raisin smell with pepper. Taste is fair – the fruit is well protected, but the purity is not at best.

(Tasted Mar-2006)

1945 Aldo Conterno, Barolo, Piemonte, Italy

The wine which got me hooked on wine. Perhaps the best wine I have ever tasted. So delicate, refined and magical. I will never forget it.

(Tasted in 1995)

2004 Vietti, Barbera, La Crena, Piemonte, Italy

Decanted 4 hours and tasted over 2 days) Full throttle on the nose, with a hurricane of young irresistible fruit. Lots of glycerine from each new pour – otherwise the dominant notes are; sun mature black berries, liquorice, vanilla and marzipan. There is a still dominant influence from new oak here, which takes some of the deep seeking intellectual pleasure off. But if you weight the surplus of the fruit core and this oak influence there is nothing to worry about. On the palate you get significant confirmation and even a brilliant tickly mineral bite and dark berries on the closing. On the last sips there is still a fair amount of bitterness and the last oak perfumes, which will require 2-3 years to come fully together. Overall I liked it a lot.

(Glass: Riedel Sommeliers “Tinto Riserva” / Tasted Jul-2007)

1995 Ornellaia, Tuscany, Italy

I think it’s my last bottle and so far this 1995 six-pack has never let me down. The nose is simply delicious; leather with evolved red fruit and raspberry perfume. It oozes like the rosemary bush and the breathtaking Tuscan landscape with blackcurrant and immensely intimate purity. Had this wine been served blind to me, I would easily have guessed Bordeaux left bank, but the herbs and warm Tuscan soil gives it away. The taste – ahhhrrrr – unfortunately it doesn’t live up to the nose, but definitely much better than the general dry 1995 Vintage. Back to the taste – juicy fruits on the first kisses and “she” is again beautiful and pure. But the magic evaporates on mid-palate and it’s once again confirmed in the finale with too much bitterness and lack of the same juiciness from the nose and the first touch. However, it delivered plenty of soulful drinking pleasure and once again a great wine.

(Tasted Aug-2006)

1999 Moet & Chandon, Dom Perignon, Champagne, France

1999 Dom Perignon was extremely young. Could have been mistaken for a bubbly Puligny-Montrachet. Not given much other than; flowers, lime and citrus. Good acidity and pure feeling. Rest it for a loooooooong time. I would add that it was not tasted in proper glasses.

(Tasted Mar-2007)

1999 Louis Roederer, Cristal, Champagne, France

Very much apple notes with minerals and beer flavours. At first a bit weird, but slowly balances in the glass. Youthful, but of course – but I was desperately searching for the seductive soft/creamy mousse, which I so much appreciate in Cristal. The taste impression is strong and intense, but is almost cut off halfway as the mousse is a bit rough at this stage. (92+)

(Glass: Juhlin Brief TN from a dinner with friends. / Tasted Feb-2006)

1999 Louis Roederer, Cristal, Champagne, France

(Tasted at a restaurant – business dinner, impression only)

There are two, sometimes three good things about writing a TN. Firstly it brings back good memories, like a great picture. Secondly it’s educational and the sometime third reason is when you get the chance to alter your first impression. This TN is such a case and luckily it’s on the positive side. This bottle of Cristal showed a lot more freshness compared to my last encounter. Still I found the apple flavours, but not infected with a dull beer flavour, but a nutty component with graceful tones and enormous intensity. The complex layers are building for each nosedive. The taste is indeed impressive with a forceful but extremely pure finish. It’s extremely young and has massive potential.

(Tasted Jan-2007)

1999 Bollinger, Grande Année Rosé, Champagne, France

Simply stunning Rosé. As many pink Champagnes there is an element of a rustic tone, but the complex layers of this wine is impressive. Really red fruit, with almonds, strawberry, cinnamon and popcorn. The taste is immensely concentrated with muscular mousse, strawberries again and the overall rustic afterburners adding to the complexity and giving a great body warmth. There is plenty of cellar potential here. (95)

(Tasted Jan-2007)

1999 Bollinger La Grande Année, Champagne, France

A bit more Chardonnay in this ”GA” (37 %) and it shows in a very positive way. You still have the classic Bollinger dark glowing fruit with dark bread, but they are secondary here with lots of lily flowers, lime and lemon. Really crisp baby even though the more bold Bollinger style came forward to time and warmth in the glass it never ever lost its upright posture. The best young GA I have ever tasted.

(Tasted Jul-2007)

1998 Vilmart & Cie, Coeur du Cuvée , Champagne, France

It’s been a while since my wife and I have had a “Friday-Champagne”. My amount of work is slowly starting to ease back and there is more energy and lust for Champagne. I have little experience with 1998 Champagne – in fact this one and the 1998 Dom Perignon is the only two I have tasted. In comparison this is far better and I can only salute Richard Juhlins comment “…one of the most beautiful and harmonic ‘98 that has been released in France. It’s a stunning Champagne. Tight at first with citrus, lime and crushed stones – then slowly flowers, butter, and an outrageous anise tone; adding to the wines personality and complexity. Taste is great, strong at first with this liquorice almost warming up on the back palate like tannins from a red wine. Gradually this also smoothens, but still preserving the anise warmth, like a white Burgundy. Awesome stuff. (95)

(Tasted Nov-2005)

1998 Vilmart, Coeur de Cuvee, Champagne, France

Butter, flower perfumes, dark bread, fromage frais, citrus and vanilla. Very lush, superb balance, lovely white Burgundy profile. The Taste is bold, still young with good intensity – with some warmth and vanilla in the closing. In the regular Champagne glass the wine was much tighter and shy. Still good balance in the champagne glass, but the flowery components and level of vanilla was far better enhanced in the Barolo glass. (94+).

(Tasted Aug-2006)

1998 Vilmart & Cie, Coeur du Cuvée , Champagne, France

Third time I have tasted this spectacular offering. I knew the problem would be that one glass was not enough time to let the baby flower. Still I chose it because I wanted to introduce some of the guest to the Vilmart universe. Also the Champagne is fresh and we needed something crisp to get us started. Fair to say that I did it’s task fine, but for those who saved a sip or two in their glasses they got a glint of what are waiting for them if they cellar it 5-6 years. Served with Noma’s wonderful snacks.

(Tasted Feb-2007)

1998 Dom Perignon, Möet and Chandon, Champagne, France

1998 Dom Perignon. A higher level than Ruinart, but a slightly disappointing Dom P. The nose is alright. Still excused for its youth ness, but charming with classic moves. But the intensity and vibe is missing and it’s too light. The taste seems first concentrated, but missing final precision on the back palate as the mouse gets stuck on the mid palate. A pleasant drink at this stage, but way below the level of the hyped ’96. (88)

Glass: Riedel Vinum Champagne (New Years 2005) Sketchy notes from memory

1996 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame, Champagne, France

Disappointing. Lack of freshness with lots of dark fruits and sour dough. With time almost strong liquorice came forward.

(Tasted Apr-2007)

1996 Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne, Champagne, France

There is something magical about 1996 Champagne. It seems to be “the” vintage” and I must admit that my expectations are high every time I decide to test drive a new one. I had this Champagne with my girlfriend and as I am usually by far the most eager drinker there should be plenty of time to follow the evolvement from the opening. However she was pretty hard to keep away from the new pours. I served it with a little 3 course dinner - small snacks of parmesan and goat cheese (picture), Dorade with Mediterranean fantasies and pasta with fresh seafood. With all three courses it cut through with laser precision – and who says that Champagne isn’t the best food matching wine in the world. What a divine Champagne – my girlfriend remarked that it was the purest Champagne I had ever served to her – and she was spot on. White Burgundy with bubbles, tons of flowers, butter, vanilla, pastry, lime/lemon zest and even a burned element to give it some warmth. The taste is fantastic – deadly sharp and the mousse explodes in the mouth with all the lovely flowery perfumes in a killer soft palate attack. The mineral balance is unheard and combined with the high level of purity it makes it a magical combination. And yes – it’s way too young, but do try one now and experience the freshness and first glints of a flower slowly starting to unfold. (97)
(Glass: Juhlin - Tasted Jul-2006)

1996 Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne, Champagne, France

Of the three served Champagnes, this one impressed me the most. It’s so well defined, pure and flowery. It’s really a white burgundy with bubbles. Extremely firm and crisp with tons of lime acidity and minerals. I can only confirm my first TN of this baby (97)

(Tasted Sep-2006)

1996 Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne, Champagne, France

I am so glad that my initial thoughts and appreciation of this wine is still intact – even if we where to taste and even wilder Champagne in the following glass. 1996 Comtes de Champagne is all about definition. The notes in this Champagne are very primary, but the focus and tallness of this wine is beyond many of its rivals. The nose has the precision like a samurai sword with green apples, flowers, lime and tickly mousse rising in crystallized particles from the glass. The taste is insanely fresh which is on of the trademarks of the 1996-vintage, but still a long mineral coated finish. (97)

(Tasted Feb-2007)

1996 Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne, Champagne, France

Fourth time I taste it. It’s out of this world good. A masterpiece in focus and precision. So fine and sharp – fabulous to try now, but it will be so much better in 10 years.

(Tasted Apr-2007)

1996 Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne, Champagne, France

One of the best ’96s out there. It’s so defined and razor sharp. It’s about to close down so hurry up.

(Tasted Jul-2007)

Friday, November 16, 2007

1996 Philipponnat, Clos des Goisses, Champagne, France

Unbelievable nice. Dark glowing mysterious fruit. Already fun to try out with lots of dark bread.

(Tasted Jul-2007)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

1996 Roederer, Cristal, Champagne, France

Tasted twice shortly after release in 2001. Simply outstanding - extremely delicate and crisp. Almost perfect. Can't wait to taste it again.

1996 Pol Roger, Winston Churchill, Champagne, France

Also outrageous good, there is something magical about the 1996 Vintage in Champagne. Close behind Comtes de Champage – more concentrated.

(Tasted Apr-2007)

1996 Pol Roger Vintage, Champagne, France

High profiled 96' acidity, with citrus and lime bite. Not so much dark bread notes to pursue. That leaves out some for the complexity hunters, but the wines has lots of character as the acidity gives good hope for the future. Come back in 4-5 years (88+)

Tasted 26th March 2005 : Glass Juhlin

1996 Pol Roger, Vintage, Champagne, France

Lively, fresh, malt, some beer flavours. Very nice champagne that manages to combine the somewhat heavy beer/malt flavours with minerals and a crisp undertone. As with many ‘96’s it will benefit from 5-6 years of cellaring. (92+)

(Tasted Apr-2006)

1996 Pol Roger, Vintage, Champagne, France

Fireworks, citrus, flowers, breadcrumbs and overall elegant. Taste is charming with an elegant flowery style, but doesn’t bite back perfectly. The somewhat tight nose suggests that the wine has shut down since release. (91+)

(Tasted Nov-2006)

1996 Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque, Champagne, France

I can only confirm my first TN (93pts) on this wine...a very feminine Champagne. I served it with a small appertizer plate with fresh scollop marinated in lime, olive oil, mango, spring onions, chilli, sesame and basil. Also smoked tuna with grilled squash. A perfect marriage.

(Tasted Aug-2004)

1996 Perrier Jouet, Belle Epoque, Champagne, France

I chose Belle Epoque for its citrus, crisp and feminine style. I wanted the first Champagne of the night to get the awareness of the taste buds and match the food freshness and acidity. The Belle Epoque accomplished its mission and showed such graceful and feminine moves. Little bubble flow in the glasses, but nothing to worry about, the mousse is well integrated in the wine and regains life on the palate. Nutty flavours emerge with lemon, lime, olive oil and again fresh. Taste is delicate, light – with beautiful acidity. Still (93) for me

(Tasted Jun-2006)

1996 Perrier Jouet, Belle Epoque, Champagne, France

have drunk this Champagne many times before. Overall the 1996 are suitable for long term aging, but in the case of Belle Epoque, there a defiantly good current drinking pleasure. There is as always very little bubble flow in Belle Epoque and it’s very charming with its soft flowery appeal. There is a great note of anise with some butter, but this time I really missed the citrus aspect. The taste is creamy, but again the soft mousse of the limited bubbles flow, gives a somewhat too creamy palate bite. Every time I drink a Belle Epoque I always bare in mind the feminine appeal, but I missed some definition - an edge, which at least could give some hope for its future evolvement. I have probably drunk 9 out of my 12 bottles and the Champagne has really changed since my first glass. It’s bar far one of the most evolved ‘96s and I don’t fell confident about its future even if it’s tracking record says otherwise. Initially I scored it higher, but considering what happened later in the evening I will have to degrade it somewhat. (89)

(Tasted Dec-2006)

1996 Moet & Chandon, Dom Perignon, Champagne, France

The third Dom Perignon of the day – served in a better glass and revealing what it’s all about. Though again I have to say that I think it’s not bringing out the vanilla components so much as it did on release. I think it’s about to close down. (95)

(Tasted Sep-2006)

1996 Moet & Chandon, Dom Perignon, Champagne, France

Melon, white Burgundy notes, clean and fresh. Taste gains its points on its precise acidity, but needs extra layers in complexity and fruit to score higher. The wine closes with a burned warm element. (91)

(Tasted Jun-2006)

1996 Moet & Chandon, Dom Perignon, Champagne, France

I have taste it so many times now. It’s still great – but more reserved since release. I would rest it 3-5 years.

(Tasted April 2007)

1996 Moet Chandon, Dom Perignon, Champagne, France

It's a stunning champagne, but very young. It comes with a lot of dark bred notes mixed with a small touch of vanilla, butter and a god portion of Porcini mushrooms. Young yes. But still deep and complex, but not so balanced yet. Someone at the table said it smelled of ”fart” in a positive way , but the mushrooms are certainly there and reveals that the champagne needs more time to come together.. The taste is medium to full-bodied but the finish is very long. I left a little portion for later and eventhough the mousse had evaporated it was still very complex like a white Burgundy. (95) for now but it can go higher.

(Tasted September 2004 vs Belle Epoque 1996)

1996 Moet Chandon, Dom Perignon, Champagne, France

Much more tight than the first time I taste it at Ensemble in September 2004. Lime, lemon peel, flowers and a monster long pure finish. As it sits in the glass it develops mere white burgundy flavours. Hide it away for a loooong time (95-96)

(Tasted 31/12-2004, Glass: Juhlin)

1996 Moet Chandon, Dom Perignon, Champagne, France

This is the third time I taste Dom 96’. My two previous encounters have been very different in style. This bottle was closer to my latest New Years experience. The nose is extremely fresh with lemon / lime zest, flowers and honey. Very burgundy look-a-like with Mersault flirting. Again this time the wine is very youthful and bubble aficionados would probably still argue that it’s way too young for drinking. True – but the crisp and fresh appeal this baby delivers is already worth seeking out; however more secondary complexities are waiting for the patient taster (95).

Tasted 18th of May 2005 at the Cagnaught Restaurant in London.

1996 Möet & Chandon, Cuvée Dom Perignon, Champagne, France

I think I have tried the ’96-Dom 5 times before and it’s such great champagne. Already strutting with confidence and showing why it’s one of the best Champagnes in the world. No doubt that it will improve with time, but it’s so resistible at this stage. Since I last taste it about a year ago it seem to have put on extra weight and present itself with a ravishing bold core of lush fruit with corn, vanilla, pastry and flowers. Long classic taste, plenty of concentration to create the persistent vibrating look – awesome. (97)

(Tasted Jun-2006)

1996 Möet et Chandon, Dom Perignon, Champagne, France

More closed than my last bottle, but still very nice and classic. I think it was striking how much better the palate mousse attack from Comtes de Champagne was compared to DP.

(Tasted Jul-2007)

1996 Lenoble, Blanc de Blancs, Champagne, France

Flowers, toast, butter, mango and pineapple. The mousse has sublime softness with the same toast elements in the closing. On the nose and the taste I found a very characteristic flower perfume, which took a bit too much space to make the complexity fold out properly. Its age is excused, and it offers immensely value and current drinking pleasure. (92)

(Tasted Jul-2013)

1996 Jacques Selosse, Vintage, Champagne, France

A monster Champagne…pure heaven. If you like extreme youthful acidity, mineral overload and gigantic concentration – this is it…well for me it is. Nose – insanely tight – the breeze of a cornfield on a hot summer day mixed with a little doze of anis, mint, flowers, toast, and citrus with dark bread crumbs. Taste is gigantic – and the touch from glass to mouth is instant potential feeling. Every spot on the palate gets a doze. Its murder to drink it now and with proper cellaring it will last 100 years. (98-100)

(Tasted May-2006)

1996 Jacques Selosse, Vintage, Champagne, France

Three early concerns surrounded this Champagne. First the neck filling was 0.5cm lower than normal and secondly the cork had a wet cellar smell on the sides but nothing on the bottom. Furthermore the cork was far more “pressed” and thinner than normal for such young Champagne. BUT – I tell you there was nothing wrong with the quality – WOW. I have tasted this Champagne once before and looking at my previous TN I am getting more confident that this bottle might have seem a tiny bit of excessive bottle evolvement, as the level of minerals and acidity was far more expressive in my previous bottle. There is only one way to know for sure – and that it to taste it again someday. Back to the monster – again a pleasure to witness perhaps the best Champagne producer of them all presenting something that is so concentrated, but yet so elegant at the same time. The nose is HUGE – opening new layers for each nose dive, with deep fruits, caramel, hazelnuts, corn, butter, flowers and roasted dark bread. The taste is outrageous and an explosion of utterly dive mousse being pressed with rocket power toward the upper palate and touching every single spot in the mouth. I can’t tell you why I didn’t score it 100pts – it had everything, maybe it’s too unreal, but I certainly look forward to taste it again and will happily give it the perfect score some day. (99)

Tasted Feb-2007

1996 Egly-Ouriet, Vintage, Champagne, France

After having tasted a wide range of the wines from Egly-ouriet – this is the most impressive. Bold and intense fruit core. Layers of bitter chocolate, anise, pepper mint, citrus and lollypop. The taste is impressive and lush, but a citrus drop on the back palate gives a fresh attack. Still I must admit that my love affair is with the champagnes that offer more crushed stones and minerals. However – I liked it very much and it will cellar well. (93+)

Tasted 5th of August 2005. Glass: Juhlin

1996 Duval-Leroy, Champagne, France

Very nice with great drinking pleasure. Lacking a bit in definition compared to the rest of the bubble line-up

Tasted Jul-2007

1996 Deutz, Cuvée William Deutz Rosé, Champagne, France

I have looked very much forward to taste this highly rated champagne. As we where seven thirsty men around the table I got 2½ glass of this very young champagne. The last few drops where by far the best and I am convinced that my overall judgement would have been different if I have had the entire bottle to myself. The nose is very shy – not very charming with biscuits, fresh tuna, nuts, nutmeg and a lot of tight citrus. Holding and giving very little in the first glasses. Taste is very rustic; mousse feels rough with only few floral aromas inside. The last few drops showed more vanilla components and flower perfumes, but still restrained. Taste was overall disappointing with a somewhat short drop. Needless to say that this Champagne will improve immensely by cellaring. (91+++)

(Tasted Jul-2013)

1996 Billecart-Salom Rosé, Cuvee Elisabeth, Champagne, France

Inspired by a TN by Kelly Walker (Mark Squires) I decided to purchase this Rosé Bubbly. The bottle looks like a million dollar, you can see for yourself.
What’s inside? First impression is a tight shy and shielded young tight ’96 vintage. I feared that I was in for a way too early experience. The wine is very young, but it opened up in glass two, with red fruit, apricot, popcorn, croissants and a touch of strawberry. Multi dimensional and frightfully seductive. The taste is awesome, the mousse exploding in the mouth, pushing the mousse towards the front and mid palate and then slowly filling the entire palate, with ballerina elegant steps on the back palate. Pure art – I am buying a bottle more next week. (96+)

Tasted 10th of September 2005. Glass: Juhlin.

1996 Billecart-Salmon, Cuvée N.F., Champagne, France

From a magnum bottle) A magnificent bottle and if we have had different views about the German whites I think we all where happy now. Incredible intense flavours rising from the glass; fresh with corn, yeast, flowers and vanilla. The mousse is luxurious foam building up with minerals, crystals providing the traditional Billecart-Salmon elegancy and concentration. The complex layers are profound and it ranks among the best five 1996 Champagnes I have tasted so far. The 96’ Vintage is really something special.

Served with Baked cod and “mjød”, mushrooms and herbs. A fantastic dish with this wonderful Champagne – simply perfect.

(Tasted Feb-2007 / Noma)

1995 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, La Grande Dame, Champagne, France

Deep sensual fruits, with big dark bread grains and flowers. With air the flavours is enhanced even more and especially the deep layered fruits is primary and it adds to the drinking pleasure. The Champagne seems ready to go and the taste is also round and soft with low acidity. A great glass of Champagne even if I tend to prefer Champagnes with higher acidity. (93)

(Tasted Dec-2006)

1995 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, La Grande Dame Rosé, Champagne, France

There is something special about “Pink” Champagne. In this case a rather dark salmon colour, but still very beautiful. The nose was within the first 5-10 minutes hardly existent, but then slowly showing sign of life with rustic flavours of red fruit, strawberry and apples. The taste is muscular with rough edges and notes of sea and young apples, but a bit of metallic afterburners on the closing. It has massive aging potential (91++).

(Tasted Dec-2006)

1995 Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne, Champagne, France

Tight, citrus, apple, pure and some gunpowder. Taste is great – the mousse is creamy, building up slowly is the mouth and gliding beautiful in place with dark fruit notes on the finish line. This will be much better – just give it some time (94+)

Tasted 30th of July 2005. "Chris NYC"

1995 Perrier Jouet, Belle Epoque Rose, Champagne, France

Beautiful salmon color with medium bubbles. Abricot, peach and roasted almonds. Very feminine and seductive. The mousse is elegant, not so smooth and creamy but balanced between acidity and flavour. Very nice (93+)

Tasted August 2004

1995 Krug, Champagne, France

(Tasted blind) A terrific wine and by far the best Champagne I have tasted from vintage 1995. The wine is surprisingly open and my guess is that it will soon close down. The nose has Jerusalem artichoke, almonds, dark bread, brown apples and corn. The nose is deep, with many zones for the fruit to feed on. The taste is very concentrated and focussed. I rested a tiny bit in the bottle, which I drank three hours later – still great and the fruit even deeper – very nice.

(Tasted February 2007)

1995 Jacques Selosse, Vintage, Champagne, France

Dark fruit components - dark bread, beer and lots of oxidant notes. Quite complex of its kind but still fresh from some lemon peel present. Lovely mousse structure with good mouth filling and quite bold and meaty (94).

(Tasted 29th of July. Restaurant MR)

1995 Jacques Selosse Champagne, Champagne, France

Nutty, Melon, lime, asian spices and very complex. The nose is so nice. But it is a very backward Champagne, that don't have the sexy appeal like Cristal or the Sharpness from Krug, but it has it's own style- Selosse...Simply great stuff. (95)

(Tasted Jun-2003)

1990 Veuve Clicquot, La Grande Dame, Champagne, France

With almold, Honey, Flowers and apricot. Very seductive and complex. The mousse is very smooth and slowly glides in the back of the mouth to give a superp finish (94+)

(Tasted April 2003)

1990 Veuve Clicquot, La Grande Dame, Champagne, France

Golden yellow. Toast, almonds, apricot and the mid core in nose as well as the taste had a great saffron note. The fruit is very exotic and has vibrant finish. (94)

(Tasted December 2004)

1990 Veuve Clicquot, La Grande Dame, Champagne, France

should be able to write this TN blindfolded as I have tasted this one many times before. It’s now beautiful mature and creamy with lemon peel, lime, saffron, flowers and dark bread. Charming yes – but also signs of going into a different phase with some nerve lacking and older signs. I wrote 94 at fist, but looking at the second Champagne of the night (93)

(Tasted 1st of April 2005 - Era Ora)

I have tasted this Champagen over 20 times, and it's very consistent - a real charmer.

1990 Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne, Champagne, France

The first impressions on this flight defiantly benefited this wine and it had all of the attention with its ravishing nose. Deep crisp nose with; nuts, apple, glowing fruit, corn, dark bread and a lovely rustic style. Taste is spot on – bold and delicate at the same time.

(Tasted May 2007)

1990 Salon, Champagne, France

I am a sucker for Salon. Tickle me with a salon and I will gladly through upper nineties points without having tasted it. But for the record – this is an official TN. The wine is once again great. Truffles, apricot, flowers, quince and caramel hit you with great depth, purity and complexity. The taste is beautiful and the mouse is soft and rich with killer palate pleasure. (96)

(Tasted 9th of May 2005)

1990 Pommery, Louise, Champagne, France

Not my favorite champagne, but the 1990 is the best Louise I have tasted so far. I still miss some creamy texture in Louise, but it still has a lot of character with bread and nut notes. It's still to earthy to my taste. (91)

(Tasted July 2003)

1990 Dom Perignon, Champagne, France (Magnum)

The best Dom Perignon I have ever tasted. Totally different wine on magnum – far better than the regular bottle which I have tasted many times before - last in February this year. The classic Dom Perignon nose with; soda and lime + some burned almonds, wrapped in this insane mineral freshness, which is impossible not to fall in love with. It develops constantly in the glass revealing secondary layers of glowing dark fruits, dried apricot and Grand Marnier. The taste is so balanced and pleasurable to drink with mind-blowing hedonist appeal, combining delicacy and concentration. I have way too little of magnum sized Champagne.

(Tasted September 2007)

1990 Moet & Chandon, Dom Perignon, Champagne, France

It’s been a while since I have tasted the 1990 Dom P. The Champagne is still in great shape showing corn, dough, flowers, almonds and a buttery Mersault component. Taste is delicate soft with a lovely anise note on the last few sips. To score higher I would have appreciated a crisp mineral note. (94)

(Tasted January-2007)

1990 Krug Vintage, Champagne, France

Pale yellow with a very tight young nose – Lemon peel, citrus, lime and flowers. As it sat in the glass it developed more marzipan and very much white burgundy in style. But then it was time to taste it : WOW!! The taste is extremely long – over one minute and the mousse shatters into tiny particles in the mouth and covers every single spot on the palate. This baby beauty is way too young for drinking now ,but that aftertaste that just went on and on…Can I wait 10 years to drink my remaining bottles?. Doubt it, but it will be close to perfection then. For now (98+)

(Tasted November 2004)