Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2006 K Vintners, Syrah The Deal Sundance Vineyard, Washington, USA

(Glass; Riedel Sommerliers Bordeaux Grand Cru, Decanted 3 hours)

I am slowly coming out of my cold and flu, which has haunted me most of December. So – I needed a wine for my wife’s great veal dish and something with some power to get those taste buds back again. Regrettably my choice of wine was utterly revolting. Let’s start with the alcohol which is 15,5% - a lot more than I am used to and this was a major problem for me. The wines starts fair – with blackberries and some tar, but also an underlying good backbone nerve – which reminded me of iron. With air notes of plum and even over the top notes of prunes starts’ messing with the wine and the wines becomes bold and boring. The taste is seriously hot – the alcohol burns on the palate and it’s killing the food and ruining the drinking pleasure. Over half the bottle is now in the fridge again – and I will have a test again tomorrow – but the odds a seriously for it getting poured into the sink. A worthy candidate for the worst wine I have tasted this year.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

NV (2004) Vouette et Sorbee, Cuvée Blanc d'Argile, Champagne

(Disg.: 20/12-2006)

If this continues I will have to rename my blog to Mad about Champagne. This is the microscopically Champagne producer Voette et Sorbee, which is not easy to get hold of here in Denmark. It’s been some time since I tasted wines from this producer and this is the first time with the Blanc d'Argile. I have tried the 100% Pinot Noir wine; “Fidéle” and The “Rosé Saignée de Sorbée”. On both occasions I found the wines lacking somewhat in juiciness. However that was then and this is now – and I am now far better experienced with small biodynamic producers and I don’t get so spooked anymore. Also, as this the brilliant blogger; Peter Liem points out http://www.peterliem.com/; the wines from Vouette et Sorbee requires some time in the bottle. Let’s return to the wine which I found utterly charming. It’s a flower bomb, with intense freshly pressed apple juice, but still with a very fragile and elegant personality, which certainly draws parallels to Chablis. To stay on the Chablis path – the oak or should I say mineral smoke is just fabulous and here again, it’s brilliantly how subtle this note is. The acidity is also stunning – precise, fragile and pure – just how I like it and very food friendly. Immensely and delicate drinking pleasure once again – Champagne is killing me.


Since this note – I am once again down with a heavy flu and cold. Not the best X-mas one could wish for.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2005 Diel, Cuvée Victor, Germany

(Glass; Zalto Burgundy)

The German Nahe producer Diel amazes me. His portfolio counts all your thinkable Riesling versions to a world class Pinot Noir wine called Caroline. I find the wines from Diel incredible charming with certain creaminess to them. Here in the glass is the Cuvée Victor which is made from Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. The wine is very funky and on the verge of becoming bizarre at some stages. It opens up with melon, flowers, smoke and again this creamy Diel-style, which here is expressed with melted butter. As it evolves in the glass, additional layers come along with hay, mild caramel and even dried apricot. The latter note almost gives the wine a dessert feeling and I don’t think I have ever smelled anything like it. Even though I have almost called it bizarre – I have to confess that I spend a lot of time with my nose in the glass and smiled somewhat of its unique character. Unfortunately the taste is not my cup of tea. It molds a lot in the mouth and burns too much alcohol on the finish line, with very low minerality and acidity. Speaking alcohol – after 2/3 of the bottle had been drunk I really felt the 14% of alcohol in my body – not a particular pleasant feeling and still have 1/3 left in the fridge.


Picture will be uplaoded if I have the time.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

2001 Felsina, "Fontalloro", Tuscany, Italy

(Glass; Riedel Sommeliers Bordeuax Grand Cru)

I have enjoyed this wine many times before. It’s currently a bit tight and in a sleeping phase. Still it’s an interesting wine to drink. The nose is a bit muted, or should a say – the red berry fruits and young sweetness is currently more dominated by dark cherries. The nose is however rather linear, where you sense the Sangiovese character and everything is a tight as the paint on a red Ferrari. The taste is however rather yummy. Here you can really talk about linear – brilliant pure curl with high acidity – just as I like it. I guess it will come out of its hide in 2-3 years and provide a decade of drinking pleasure.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

2003 David Leclapart ” l`Apôtre”, Champagne, France

(Deg.: Dec-2007)
(Glasses ; Spiegelau Adina Bordeaux and Zalto Champagne)

Ladies and gentlemen – this Champagne is delicious. l`Apôtre is the sort of Champagne one dream about – well at least yours truly does, so take your precautions when you read this note – I am biased and basically in love.
I had plans to decant this Champagne, but you know… my two wonderful kids, bedtime stories and food preparation (okay so we had sushi) does not always goes as planned. But I did something else – I poured myself a proper glass of this glorious Champagne half an hour before we sat down in the rather big red wine glass from Spiegelau / Adina (it’s this one http://www.spiegelau.com/img/products/detail/x1440135.jpg) and when we sat down, the first glass was still “Adina” and then we switched to Zalto. So why this glass confusion? Simply; to open this sophisticated Champagne up and bring all of its layers out and because it’s a slow starter. 2003 is however more approachable compared to 2002 and the recently tasted 2004 vintage. The nose starts of with too much oak (did exactly the same last time), which in this case is a bit a bit annoying to me, as it takes balance from the purity. Bit within 5 minutes in this big glass, it turns and now the magic starts to appear. From here it’s pure pleasure and constantly putting on in weight – this Champagne is so pure and it’s incredible how it touches me. I am amazed how vinous this Champagne is and it’s probably my affection for pure Rieslings and Champagne that collide here and bring out Goosebumps. It’s like 14 years of tasting wine ends right here – I have reached my goal. Alright, before it becomes too sentimental – let’s have a closer look at this 2003. The nose is like a big field of flowers, juicy apples and with this extremely sensual creamy touch which is breathtaking. It can best be describes as a sort of biodynamic purity and it has these dried fruits and especially baby banana. The oak is constantly there, but it’s so well balanced and just giving that warm feeling and overall adding to the complex layers to show better. However this 2003 has in general a touch of warmth, but its minor – and for sure it’s adding to the charming profile, but taking some balance away from the Champagne to have that high profiled acidity and mineral snap. And that’s probably its only fault. What else – my wife thought this was the best Champagne she had ever tasted (and she has good taste ;-) ). Conclusion; – there is a herd of great Champagnes out there and I luckily I have a broad palate, but when it comes to l`Apôtre I am easy target and already seduced for life. Mama Mia – I have to buy more.

Tasted 20/12-2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

2004 Roberto Voerzio, Da Uva Merlot, Piemonte, Italy

(Glass; Riedel Sommeliers Bordeaux Grand Cru)

It’s not everyday I taste a wine like this. This is the rather limited Merlot from cult producer Roberto Voerzio in Piemonte, where Merlot is not quit that common. The opening of the wine is something else and not at all what I expected. The wine is rock hard and an herbal overload, almost like a green tea. I immediately decided to decant. 1½ hour later the wine had transformed, but the high level of herbs never left the wine. With air the herbs get accompanied by a sweet plum note. Ahh yes, the attentive reader might have noticed that the plum note is something that I dislike and connect with alcohol, but not entirely here. You see – the 14% alcohol is felt with this plum note, but the herbs makes it a lot more refined and cool tempered and combine these two things and the herbal note almost goes into a pine needles note. The nose also has; black fruits, some chocolate and mild level of blueberries. Overall there is brilliant purity, style and personality over this wine, it’s seriously something else. The taste is also surprising – brilliant tight curl around the tongue, strong structure and the herbal touch is also here. Currently you get a little bit of tannin bitterness and the wine is still a baby. A wine with strong personality and refinement – I guess its 4-5 years away from a maturity window.

(Tasted 5/12-2008)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

BYO Champagne and Red wine

This Thursday I met with Mia & Mads Rudolf (http://www.petillant.dk/) and my good friends, Holst and Anders @ Fischers. http://www.aok.dk/restauranter-cafeer/fischer

Concept for this get-together was simple; bring 1 Champagne and 1 red wine. All wines where tasted blind.

We started with the bubbles and the first wine in the glass where a typical Mia & Mads wine – extremely pure and biodynamic driven. The nose of this wine was still young, but with adorable fresh apples, flowers and dried fruits (especially banana). The taste is quit dramatic; painful young and rather bombastic compared to the nose and it gives you this; “what happened here?”. But the taste is a bit unbalanced at this stage. The wine in the glass was 2004 David Leclapart “Apotre”. Even though I hate error 40 excuses and lectures about how to taste a wine – I would still say that Apotre is not a wine you have 1-2 glasses of and then make your judgement. Drink a whole bottle – then you will see. Anyway – 2004 Apotre will be released in March-2009 and I look forward to a real date.

Next wine, was Anders bubbly contribution – a 1989 Schramsberg “J. Schram” from Napa Valley and what a shift from Leclapart. The wine had an oozing nose of caramel, honey and cognac – 3 ingredients known to show up in the dosage and this non-Champagne was fun to taste to show diversity, but it didn’t taste good.

Next in line – Holst. “This is just a plain ordinary daily Champagne”, Holst warned us, he he big boys don’t cry, Holst ;-). The wine in hand – “1996 Bollinger R.D” and what a beauty. Very much apples, citrus, flowers and some darker fruits. Superb fresh and really a very seductive wine. Has splendid vibrant acidity, but can easily be drunk now. Bollinger seldom disappoints.

Next Champagne was Mia’s contribution – a very refined wine, with some darker fruits patterns and spices in comparison with Leclapart. It took us in the direction of guessing Blanc de Noirs, but no – once again a Blanc de Blanc. This refined wine was the 2002 'Les Chênes' extra brut, Cumières 1. cru, Domaine Georges Laval. We had it side by side to “R.D.” and it was certainly giving big boy Bollinger a competitive opponent. Bollinger winning with its seductive and creamy side, and Georges Laval taking the trophy in the mysterious category.

Finally my contribution – 1989 Deutz Blanc de Blanc Vinoteque. Next to the previous flight, the wine seemed awkward and of course rather evolved. It almost smelled of cheese and as we where a bit behind schedule, we rested it for later (cheese plate). It did well with the cheese, but in comparison with the Champagne line-up so far – it fell behind in my opinion.


First person on the scene – Mia; - with wine that took us all by storm. What a nose – incredible perfume with lavender, strawberry and an Eau de Toilette with roses. Taste was so smooth and delicate, and you simply had to smile. Guesses quickly took form of “Pinot” – “Burgundy” and I heard the name Leroy being mentioned. Mia played along and asked for appellations in Burgundy. But no – we where not in Burgundy, but in Alsace. I think the trick here was once again a biodynamic producer, and most importantly a brilliant wine. The wine; 2004 Heissenstein pinot noir vieilles vignes, sans souffre, Domaine Julien Meyer. Production on this wine is around 800 bottles.

Next in line – Anders - and what a comeback. 1990 Sandrone Cannubi Boschis – Mads said it perfectly “Mama” – when he smelled this glorious Barolo. It’s simply so Italian, so divine, so refined and with so many complex layers and personality. Majestic wine.

Hard to follow this wine – and Mads was next. Again a wine with this red fruit pattern, but this time more restrain and cooler tempered. Taste a bit short, but still fair. The wine is the glass; The red wine from David Leclapart; 1999 Cuvée l'Eden, Coteaux Champenois

My turn – 1997 Antinori Solaia. I tasted Solaia 3 weeks ago at my friend Claus Lysters big tasting and was stunned by its beauty. This night – still a seductive wine of high class with smooth and delicate fruit, but I missed the final edge from good to great. But overall, Solaia is a fantastic wine.

Holst – the next man on stage. A wine, where I found a dilemma between nose vs taste. The nose is infected with a lot of heat, which results in bacon, flesh and almost pain grille. Notes that I dislike a lot. Taste is on the other hand beautiful – lots of structure, good concentration and this brilliant curl around the tongue. The wine; 2005 Soldera “Pegasus”. Now when knowing this, one has to be aware of Soldera aging potential, especially when it comes to his BdM. So things might integrate better. But currently this wine is not a pleasure in my book (when it comes to the nose).

So know it’s starting to blur a bit on memory lane – but Mads served another wine. A very interesting Côte-Rotie: 2004 Coteaux de Tupin, Jean-Michel Stephan.
To end this cozy evening, Mia pulled the cork from another Champagne : Once again a refined thing with lots of personality. The Champagne in hand; NV Reflets d'Antan, Raphaël Bérèche – Champagne done under the Solera principal – as some might know it from Selosse’s Substance. Very nice indeed – I have to taste it again some day.

Thank you all for making this evening a great memory – I have the feeling we will meet again ;-).

Big hug from,


Saturday, November 22, 2008

2001 Elio Altare, Barolo Arborina, Piemonte, Italy

I actually tasted this wine about 2 weeks ago @ my good friend Claus Lysters big tasting event. Arborina didn’t do well at that tasting, but there where so many wines there and I have recently read some positive vibes about it – so why not take a test drive. The opening of the wine was horrible. The 4 hours of Decanting in the massive Riedel Ultra decanter didn’t help one bit and the wine was so alcoholic that I nearly couldn’t drink it. I have recently become overly allergic to alcohol wines – I simply can’t stand them anymore and registrar it as a fault every time I smell a “rat” ;-). I rested half of the wine for day 2. Ahhh – so much better, with forest, black fruits, black cherries, plum and dried spices. Now – plum is a note that I dislike – it reminds me of alcohol, and it kills the purity. The taste was a bit funny – smooth and warm on one side, and on the other side, with this Barolo overload of dry extract. I analyze it this way; way too young still – bottle evolvement constantly on the rise (positive), but I am so much missing purity, elegance and backbone acidity. I remain concerned if this wine will ever hit my preference, but time will tell.

Glasses: I shifted between Riedel Sommeliers Burgundy Grand Cru and Zalto Burgundy. One day one I chose Riedel – Zalto was simply making the wine seem even more alcohol and even stronger on the palate. Riedel – with the “acidity barriers” toned down the alcohol, but impossible to tone down the monster entirely. One day 2 – the plum and black fruits was smooth and delicate in the Riedel glass, but totally missing the lovely dried spices. In Zalto you got the spices and an overall better Barolo expression. In general you have to focus a lot more in Riedel on day 2 – where Zalto delivers immediately. The taste was however marginal better in Riedel.

2000 Vilmart, Grand Cellier Rubis Rosé, Champagne

(Glass; Zalto Champagne)

Strange opening – virtually closed, with a bizarre - almost sweet candy feeling and an elastic fruit core feeling, giving it a balance problem. Glass 2 - much better, but still holding back somewhat, but the fruit core is firming up and the sweetness starts to integrate, transforming and taking form of red berries and spices. From glass 3 and forward the Champagne starts to unfold its trademark – its link to red Burgundy. It’s literally like drinking a red Burgundy with bubbles, and can’t help smiling a little bit about this. But currently this 2000 is not giving that much – I found myself struggling a little bit with the taste – it’s incredible smooth and elegant and the bubbles rising in the glass are among the finest and the most microscopically I have ever seen. But the mineral snap is certainly missing here and combined with the spicy notes on the nose and taste, I feel it’s showing signs of a sleeping phase. I will cellar my remaining bottles 4-5 years more.
Tasted 21/11-2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

2002 Leclerc-Briant "Divine", Champagne

(Glass, Zalto Champagne)

This Champagne is disappointing. The nose is rather opulent with an oozing nose of oak (lots of it), vanilla, banana, sour cream, smoke (grilled notes) and over mature apples. These notes combined gives a profile of which I haven't seen anything like it before. The level of sweetness here is one of a kind, and I simply don’t like it – it’s weird and out of balance. In addition – every time I poured a new glass, I hoped for this combo to be somewhat altered or at least showing signs of shifting in a opposite direction or putting on new layers – but no, it’s a monotonous overcoat infected the champagne from start to finish – so sad. Only hope, the taste is fair, apples and a fair creaminess. The advice from here – don’t drink now.

(Tasted 15/11-2008)

NV Selosse "Rosé", Champagne

(Glass Zalto)

Click on the picture….thirsty…?? Okay so I have adjusted the picture a bit in Photoshop to make the bottle seem even more mouth watering. And what was it that I once said about champagne?? ”When you learn to think of Champagne as a wine, not a thing – then you will realize how great a wine it is” ;-).

Anyway – this is Selosse somewhat controversial Rosé. Controversial because even the most Selosse addicted fans finds his Rosé the black sheep of his collection. So let’s take a deeper look of what inside this extremely sexy bottle. The nose is deep bound with notes of sweet biscuits, raspberries, currant (giving almost iron like warmth), strawberry, and exotic passion fruits. The taste is long and muscular. Sounds nice - right?...but not really. There is a problem – the oak. The oak is probably giving the ravishing sweet biscuit note, that I really adore smelling, but it’s simply kills the finesse as it spreads all over the Champagne and makes it too heavy. Having said that – and had this been a red wine, I would probably had a hard time finishing the bottle. But this is Champagne and the drinking pleasure is always at a high plateau – see that’s what makes it the world’s best drink (Yes yes…I have said it before ;-) ).

Bonus info – can’t really see when this bottle was disgorged, but I have a suspicion that it was not totally fresh (bought it from the same man who sold me the Extra Brut (see previous TN)). The critics of Selosse Rosé claim that the oak is more pronounced with age – so let’s see if there is a difference, should I stumble over a newly disgorged bottle someday.

Tasted 14/11-2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

NV Selosse Extra Brut, Champagne

(Disg. 2/4-2005 – Glass Zalto Champagne)

I have tasted Extra Brut from Selosse over 25 times. Bottle variations are enormous, and I found this bottle to be in the lower end.
Still it’s a nice offering, with smooth delicate fruits of; hay, walnuts, quince and exotic flowers. Problem here is the intensity, which is lacking somewhat and I found it to be struggling with enough concentration, which is rare when we talk about Selosse. Almost like the bottle was too old?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Lysters Private Tasting

(All wines are from memory – I didn’t take any notes)

Claus’ personal tasting was held at his house with *Mikkel Maarbjerg spoiling us with exceptional food. (*Mikkel Maarbjerg is the former Co-owner of ** Michel star restaurant Ensemble).

As soon as I had set foot in Claus’ home a glass of Champagne was in my hand – the 1993 Vilmart Couer de Cuvée, from magnum. An electrical Champagne with supernatural powers, smoke, melted butter, flowers, sweet biscuits and anise – an incredible glass of Champagne, which is fully mature, but still has many years of life left. Champagne and magnum once again proved to be a magic combination.

The first flight was Riesling from Alsace – we all guessed it, as the glasses were oozing with petrol. The flight was also narrowed down to Trimbach as the style where classic and tight. The wines in hand were Cuvée Frederic Emilie 1990 and 2001. 1990 was bar far the better of the two and a very harmonic classic Riesling. The 2001 seemed to be in a sleeping phase – not an uncommon phenomenon with the wines from Trimbach, which have a long lifespan and frequently closes down. The food to this flight was phenomenal, mackerel with a high acidity oil on the plate.

Next flight lured us to believe that we had two Pinot Gris in the glasses with notable change in color and both wines where oilier in style. However, as the wines warmed up in the glasses the acidity came forward, so some started to guess Riesling from Alsace again – which was the right answer. The two wines where both from 2001 and both from Zind Humbrecht – “Brand” and “Rangen”. Brand was my favorite and I have tasted this 2001 once before and it’s seriously one of the best Zind Humbrecht wines I have tasted. So well define and nowhere near to be over the top as I usually find many of his wines from this producer. Rangen was also good – but a bit more opulent in style.

Then we moved into Red wine country.

This is one of the flights I will never forget, when it comes to food and wine combination. But let’s start with the wines first – which all where guessed to be Super Tuscan born – correct once again. 3 Solaia’s where in our glasses; 1997, 2001 and 2004. The 1997 was incredible sexy and the favorite among the panel – my personal darling where the 2001, which in my opinion offered better purity and acidity. The 2004 was still shy and no way near ready to drink. This flight was a reminder, that despite the commercial role of Antinori, Solaia is still one of Tuscany’s leading wines and it has so much class to offer. For me it’s by far a better wine compared Tignanello.
Food – monkfish, béarnaise sauce from a chiffon bottle and sweet onions with Solaia…disaster you would think, but NO – it was one of the most incredible matches I have ever had. The vinegar of the sauce went straight in and the tender and juicy fish matched the lush Solaia fruit – simply unbelievable.

Next flight – well Claus plan to tease had failed so far, as we had been pretty good to guess the wines, but with the next flight, he won. Guesses was flying all around in the wrong directions, but once again 3 Solaia’s where served; 1988, 1985 and 1990. I have tasted the 1985 before and this bottle was not in perfect shape, same problem with the 1988 – but the 1990 was singing. Once again Solaia showed gracefulness and proved its status of a beautiful wine.

We then moved into Barolo madness and even if Claus’ here again tried to trick us, we did manage to stay on the path and guessed Piemonte over and over again. I can’t go into all of the wines, simply because I can’t remember them all.

Here is the list of the Barolo’s:

Sandrone Le Vigne 2004
Sandrone Cannubi Boschis 2004
Conterno Romaresco 2004
Altare Arborina 2001
Aldo Conterno Cicala 2001
Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falletto 2001
Paolo Scavino Rocche Dell' Annunziata Riserva 2001
Aldo Conterno Gran Bussia 2001
Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia 2001
Clerico Percristina 1996
Paolo Scavino Rocche Dell' Annunziata Riserva 1996
Aldo Conterno Gran Bussia 1996
Aldo Conterno Cicala 1989

Clearly the 2004’s where way too young, but still some of them gave some hints. I especially liked the 2004 Cannibi Boschis from Sandrone, which is still incredible shy – but you already sense the style, which is extremely elegant. Its sister – Le Vigne was on the other hand a bit clumsy in comparison. The wines from Aldo Conterno where the easiest to pick out. They have a higher level of sweetness and for some, that sweetness was a killer, but for others a plus. I like the wines from Aldo Conterno a lot, even if I agree that they are less intellectual. If you like 2001 Cicala, you will like 2004 Romirasco which is an extremely charming wine, but more elegant than Cicala.

The 2001 Granbussia was also fantastic – it had been decanted probably and was really performing well.

2001 Cascina Francia had an incredible intensity and was also among my favorites. The 2001 Giacosa has a disturbing note of medicine, which I didn’t like, but the taste was good.
2001 Altare "Arborina" was a disappointment (see recent TN)

The 1996 flight had many fans. I found Granbussia far best. The opponents; Clerico and Scavino had way too much oak for my palate.

In between the Barolo madness – we had NV Selosse “V.O.” – think the disgorgement date was from 2006 – simply delicious and classic Selosse. Version Originale is certainly better if you give it 2-3 years of bottle age.

The last bottles of the evening was 1989 A. Conterno “Cicala” and 1989 Pegau -, but I have to admit, that my ability to drink and judge more was over.
I can’t even remember the dessert wine a 1995 Brand Riesling Vendage Tardive.

Our tastings normally have between 16-20 wines, but 28 bottles Lyster – ARE YOU NUTS???!!!!!

Anyway thank you for spoiling us rotten, my friend – it only took me 2 days to recover ;-)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

2001 Querciabella, "Camartina", Tuscany, Italy

(Glass; Riedel Sommeliers Bordeaux Grand Cru)

For the second day in a row I went down the Tuscan IGT-road – this time the highly praised Camartina from Querciabella. Camartina is a 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Sangiovese wine and since 2000 Querciabella is certified biodynamic wine producer. Why do I give you this information – well, there is something extraordinary pure and refined about this wine. Its starts off with a shy and sealed nose of Tuscan herbal overload – for me this is simply stunning even it’s not so fruit rewarding. But with air, the wine opens up and transforms. Some of this transformation is on paper not my cup of the, as the aromas kicks off in the direction of black cherries and plum. The plum aroma is under normal circumstances a total turn off to me, as it reminds me of alcohol infected wines and it simply kills the purity. However here – it’s alright, as the wine is really refined and you especially fell it when you taste - dead elegant and very pleasurable. I can’t help to compare this wine with Paleo from Le Macchiole, not that they are alike, far from it – but I can’t help to ask myself, why this boring blend?...what if Camartina where perhaps a 100% Cabernet Franc wine?….I think it would suit the style of this winemaker, the elegance and fresh Tuscan expression is there…just a thought – great wine BTW.


Friday, October 31, 2008

1997 Saffredi, Tuscany, Italy

(Glass; Riedel Sommeliers Bordeaux Grand Cru)

It’s been a while since I have tasted a sexy Italian IGT wine. Served with a mouth-watering olive risotto the wine was simply the perfect marriage. There are black fruits – blackberries and blackcurrant mixed with herbs, new saddle leather, cappuccino and after each pour a nice note of buttermilk and animal fur. The taste is filled with juicy fruit and lots of concentration, resulting in a velvet coating finish. To some point the wine is a bit easy going on the intellectual scale, and it doesn’t have the same strong personality of a Sangiovese based wine, however the nose holds lots of depth, and I guess at some point, wine should not always be compared, but just drunk with pleasure.


1995 Clos de Tart, Burgundy, France

I have tasted this wine many times before, but this is the best example I have ever had. In the huge Riedel Sommeliers Burgundy Grand Cru glass a sublime and fresh nose of forest, cherries, bicycle tube and sweet licorice emerges. The freshness of the nose, gives this beautiful purity and lightness and it’s divine to just smell this wine. The taste has this wonderful light curl in the mouth, but it has a bit of bitterness on the last drops. For me this is typical for the 1995 Vintage across Europe where fruit is overpowered by tannic structure. Overall still – a beautiful and pleasurable wine to drink.

Tasted 30/10-2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

1992 Jos. Christoffel Riesling "Ürziger Würzgarten" Auslese **, Germany

Sometimes a TN could be one sentence – so why note quote the person who gave me this bottle, as his comment was spot on:

“The wine is like a summer breeze”

Thank for the bottle, Martin – I enjoyed immensely and Signe especially loved it. We had it after dinner while we watched “Sex and the City” – the movie on DVD – I liked the wine more than the movie ;-).

Tasted 20/10-2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

2001 Marcel Deiss, "Altenberg de Bergheim", Alsace

(Glass; Zalto Universal)

It’s rare that I come across a wine of this character and it’s even rarer, that I find myself in conflict of the simple question – do I like this wine? The ravishing sherry colour tells you that it’s not your everyday bonanza wine in the glass, but the work biodynamic wild man number one; Marcel Deiss. The nose is incredible wild – super complex with notes of, apricot, rubber, smoke, mild botrytis, flowers, caramel, oxidized sherry notes and even malt. But to twist things a bit, and what at first hand seemed to be an opulent wine, it’s really not. Here on day two the wine shows incredible freshness and I would even go as far as calling it elegant. The taste is a little bit dominated by the viscosity of the wine as it hides the mineral snap and acidity. But it’s not heavy at all to drink and really has a subtle feeling. The bad thing about the taste is the fact that you simply end of with too much chewing on the flavours instead of a mouth cleansing feeling. The dilemma is the style and the sweetness of the wine, which causes it, to be a little bit too silky for my palate. But what a nose – wow.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

NV Selosse Version Originale "V.O", Champagne

(Deg. 27/10-2007 - Production 3.600 btls.; Glass Zalto Champagne)
Must confess that I almost didn’t open this bottle. Coming home from another insane week, in the eye of the financial hurricane – I was completely wasted and it’s now clear that some significant amount of stress is starting to build up among my colleagues and me. Anyway – we had something to celebrate, so of course we drank Champagne.
Version Originale is typical Selosse and a sort of all-round Champagne to his style. This is still a young bottle and it’s holding back a bit, but when it’s Selosse in the glass you always get something home with you. The main notes of the nose are; walnuts, caramel, corn and the fat and exotic flowers giving it a sensual evening perfume. The taste is round and full, but its young age caused it to hold back a bit. Overall – rather pleasing, but there will be awarding drinking pleasure if you give it 3-4 years more in the cellar.


Monday, October 20, 2008

New book from Champagne guru of them all; Richard Juhlin

If you have a Champagne disease, like me – you will most certainly hear the name Richard Juhlin at some stage. If you want to label Champagne expert on a wine journalist on Planet earth – Richard Juhlin is the one. Personally he hates the term Champagne expert, as he finds it pretentious and a narrowing spectrum of the human being behind this title. This is typical for Juhlin and for those I know you have met him several times. His is, despite what people beliefs of luxurious Champagne habits might be, a very humble and down to earth person. He even characterizes himself as a romantic. It seems from reading between the lines of his books, that his alert senses is a vital part of his personality and the reason why his passion shines throughout all of his work.

There is a reason why Juhlin is beyond any competitors on the Champagne field. Few wine experts have solely committed themselves to a single wine or region, like our Swedish friend here, and the database consist of nearly 6.500 tasted Champagnes – a Guinness World Record.

2003, Richard Juhlin participated in the” Spectacle du Monde” tasting, held in Paris. 10 Professional tasters got a simple task – blind guess 50 champagnes. They only thing they where told, was that the bottles where available in France. I am not 100% sure, but I think nr. 2 got 13 out of 50 correct. Richard Juhlin on the other hand, did rather well. His tactic was simple – the easiest first, to build up some confidence. When he had tasted 40 Champagnes, he had nailed all 40 correctly – even Richard was surprised of his own abilities that day. His final result was 43/50 correct – pretty good if you ask me ;-)
No doubt that Richard Juhlin is born with some extraordinary good radar sensors and the leading voice on Champagne. He writes with passion and inspiration and you will get awful thirsty if you start to have a look inside his universe.

His new book is a small guide in pocket format useful to have with you if you just happened to be in the region or just traveling and looking to buy some Champagne. The book is like all other books from Richard Juhlin with beautiful illustrations and nicely organized, so that you can easily search for your favorite champagne, producer or vintage. There are only the actually score, not the full tasting note – you will have to buy 4.000 Champanes book or join his http://www.champagneclub.com/ to get those. Even though this new guide is an update, with 2.500 more tasted wines since 4.000 Champagnes – you won’t get all of the scores. You get an update on the latest vintages and releases and probably those you can still find on the market, and additional you get scores on “Old highlights”. I guess at some stage a new “X.000 Champagnes” book will hit the shelves as his database is constantly growing.

The new Champagne guide also includes Restaurants and Hotel accommodations in Champagne.

So overall, even if I feel rather well updated in the Richard Juhlin universe, and this book is only a supplement for me, I could still see myself and others running around in Champagne with this Benchmark guide in my hand.

For more information http://www.champagneclub.com/


Sunday, October 19, 2008

2001 San Polino Brunello di Montalcino

(Tasted over two days – initially not decanted, but gave it a couple of hours to open it up; Glass(es) various – no difference)

This wine is like a big hope. It starts of with a shy nose of dust, black fruits and herbs. These herbs are not fresh, but a bit rough, like dried thyme. The taste is lacking in depth and especially in fruit – which is not good at all. There where moments just after filling the next glass, where fractions of something called fruit came forward, but it quickly evaporated. “Give me some love” – “Show me the money” or at least “Give me some hope” - but nothing came. The wine curls nicely around the tongue and has in that perspective some sort of Sangiovese trade mark, but the level of fruit and the overall quality is by far not approved. It’s worth mentioning that San Polino blew me when I first taste it, just after its release. It’s certainly possible that I might have caught the wine is a sleeping phase, even if I remained concerned with some of its characteristics. Time will tell – that’s the beauty of wine.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

2007 Emrich-Schönleber Riesling "Halenberg" GG

(Opened 20 hours before and decanted 1 hour before serving; glass Zalto Universal)

I could list notes of flowery perfumes, citrus, mineral explosion and silky peach scents, but the most important thing about this wine is – balance. The immensely intensity and the magnitude of its depth combined with its precision is pure magic. The marriage of concentration and elegance is all wine lowers dream and this wine has it. The taste is still young – mineral snap at the finish line and a warm chewing bitterness. The word is that 2007 is a good year for German dry Riesling – I couldn’t say yet, but this is one hell of a good wine.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hotel Almyra Cyprus - family harmony.

was recommended to us by my very good friend, Claus. They stayed at Almyra two years ago and told us it was the perfect spot for parents and children. On Almyras homepage we could see that Almyra oozed of designer class and this was just the type of style we where looking for. Problem with nice – designer and an upper class Hotels is that noisy children and “other” guest do not always integrate. But not at Almyra - here you will find a Hotel where they specialize in pleasing parents and children.

Almyra is in short fantastic and combines family vacation in perfect harmony. I remember saying to my wife – “Children rules here” and this is not far from true. Before you arrive you simply go to the “Baby go lightly” menu at the internet site http://www.almyra.com/main.aspx?module=Contact&Id=Almyra&Use=BabyGoLightly and order everything you need. You don’t’ have to bring anything – it’s all there, from baby food, dippers, bottle warmers, children buggies… you name it.

The main pool area there is covered with a big white “canvas”, to protect the kids from the sun. You can also take a dip in a small Jacuzzi in the sun and there are also a second small poll area which is covered half in sun, half in shade. You lay comfortable on the sun beds and you can order food and drinks to be served here. Almyra also have two kindergartens (depending on their age).

So if you are reading this and don’t have kids you must think – No way am I going there. But Almyra has thought of this as well. Summer 2008 they opened a new pool area from 16+ years. It’s located by the spectacular Spa and with a small café there – stunning. And remember to pass it by night and check out the pool which changes colors.

Our room was nice – simple minimalist décor and we had interconnecting rooms – which in theory meant that we had two rooms – one for our children and one for mom and dad. Small terrace and you could almost see the sea. You can also go for the Kyma Suite’s but they are mean in price. Be careful if you get a room turning away from the sea and facing the road – I would avoid that if I where you. Cleaning done in the morning and they also come by in the afternoon to see if you are in need of anything.

The food there was my only disappointment – but I am a foodie…so ;-). But let’s starts with the breakfast buffet, which was stunning. Everything was there and I especially liked the small “energizers” made from apple, ginger and melon. The service at the breakfast is top notch – lots of staff there to take care of all the families with need of high chairs for their kids.

The best food we got there (besides the breakfast) was lunch – which we had at “Quzeri” the small and simple restaurant by the sea. Calamari and Chicken kebab – super fresh and light.

At evening you go to Notios – where parents sit in the small boxes/sofas, where the children can play or either fall asleep. Unfortunately I think it was disturbing that they had music playing – not noisy, but a bit to loud for my taste and for my youngest daughter to fall asleep. The food is so so…okay but priced too high. For a wine nerd like me, there was very little to choose. But I have to praise Almyra for good service – you simple hand them your baby milk and without a blink they heat it for you – Kids rules @ Almyra.

We simply went to room service – it was so much easier for us and especially for your 11 month daughter to fall a sleep quietly in the room. The room service food was so so – but service was nice. They handed us small candlelight hurricanes to put on the terrace, which made a cosy atmosphere.

You will also find a small shop at Almyra with, Prada, Miu Miu and other expensive brands. Prices where a little bit lower compared to Denmark.

The surroundings – must confess we went outside the Hotel 3-4 times for water or some candy. The town Pathos is not what you come for here – you come for Almyra.

Overall – I strongly recommend Almyra and especially if you are looking for a cool Hotel for the whole family. We will definitely come back some day.

More pictures, have a look here:


Friday, October 10, 2008

1997 Vilmart "Coeur de Cuvée", Champagne

(Glass; Zalto Champagne)

Very slow starter. Glass 1, 2 where totally closed – and I mean complete shut – nothing came out of the glass, other than shy flowery perfumes and citrus. The taste was likewise, even if the delicate precision of the wine was an underlying theme. But transformation came – and like always with this Champagne it’s a cross between this perfect balance warmth from the oak, which give and immensely appetizing anis note. This note means everything for this Champagne, as all the flowery components, the purity and gracefulness feeds of this warm and sensual anis note – lovely. Once again – a Champagne where the last 2/3 where the absolutely best. PS. This was my last bottle, but I hope to get my hands on the Magnum, which is being released as I write these words.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Max's Burgundy Tasting at Søllerød Kro

About 4 years ago Max joined our little wine club. Since then he has been rambling about a Burgundy Tasting. So finally the day arrived.

The tasting was held @ Søllerød Kro, which was the perfect spot. Søllerød Kro has incredible atmosphere, top notch service and on the tip of the iceberg you have restaurant chef, Jan Restorff nursing his guest with exceptional personality and it gives you a feeling like coming home.
Søllerød Kro is very old school, but their food has during the years become a notch lighter and refined and this night was for me their best performance ever.
I have (again) forgotten my notes at the restaurant, so here is what I remember:

Starter / Welcome:

NV Selosse Contraste

Deep and bold nose with walnuts and almonds – rather intriguing. However, the taste had a short citrus dropping, which took some balance away. I was surprised to see it was Contraste, but it confirms that Selosse has enormous bottle differential. I prefer Contraste as a good companion to cheese, not as a starter.

Flight 1 (Both Champagnes where decanted)

Served with the Søllerød Kro "signature dish" - a caviar can with soft avocado in the button button, on top of that king crab and finally french caviar.

1988 Dom. Ruinart Blanc de Blanc

Uhhh…the nose was exquisite at first sniff, but sadly it couldn’t hold the intensity. However it evolved in the glass and added a lot of flowery perfumes. I remember this Champagne as being extremely elegant and perfectly mature.

1988 Krug

I love this Champagne and it was interesting too see how it’s profile was slightly altered by the decanting. Still impressively concentrated, but with decanting it was a lot more refined and elegant. The glass evolvement and layers of this Champagne was breathtaking – I have way too little of this in my cellar.

The shift from the complex Champagne flight to white Burgundy was a challenge for me. The four wines we had where all good, but no way near the Champagnes. Even if it’s simplified generalizing, I sometimes feel the wines are too silky and “dead” on the tongue compared to Champagne and even Riesling.

Flight 2

Served with scallop, oyster and horse radish (Noma inspired looking plate ;-) )

2001 Jean-Marc Boillot Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru

Oozing nose of sulfur which took some initial balance away. I am usually not that sensitive too sulfur, but unfortunately it penetrated the wines personality from nose to taste. Again, I found the wine lacked in grip on the tongue.

1994 Maison Leroy Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru

Sensual nose and a lot more oily, than its rival. A very charming wine, but again it lacked somewhat in definition.

Flight 3 - White Burgundy

Served with a great dish of lobster, apple and curry. Very very nice.

2003 Kistler Chardonnay Vine Hill Road
2005 Jean-Marc Boillot Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru

On arrival both wines was a notch higher than flight 2. Very alive in the glass, with good flowery spectrum and lime fruits. However, both wines lost a lot of intimidating complexity and fresh appeal, with warmth in the glass. However the warmth accomplished the curry sauce perfectly – so there you go.

As I don’t have my notes here – I can only say what I preferred Jean-Marc Boillot better, even if its way too overpriced.

Flight 4 - Red Burgundy (Without food)

2005 Lucien Le Moine Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru
2005 Domaine Meo-Camuzet Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru

Extremely young wines with only the skin of the raspberries and both infected with a cool, almost iron-like tone. Both wines benefited from air, but Lucien Le Moine was my favorite as it gained more inner warmth and personality in the glass. I have no doubt that these wines will be great someday and the tonight’s ranking might shift.

Flight 5 – Red Burgundy
(Served with monkfish, mushroom and almond – this dish was off the charts – BRAVO)

2002 Clos de Tart Grand Cru
2002 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru

Ahhh man – this flight was out of this world. 2002 had a distinguished sweetness and “spice” like no other (and I guessed 2002). Both extremely sensual wines, with a lush approach to it’s taster with world class purity and definition. DRC a notch better, simply because it’s level of purity was higher.

Flight 6 - Red Burgundy
(Served with a slice of roasted foie gras topped with pieces of pink pigeon and variations of truffle. What a dish – and what a flight)

2001 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tâche Grand Cru
2001 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee St. Vivant Grand Cru

Both wines where incredible, but La Táche was off the radar charts. The nose had all the essence of Burgundy with a never ending complex layers. I can help to recall an amazing and refined tone of roses. I was very impressed with the way it curled around the tongue and its ability to handle the intense food – with no struggle it cleared the palate for the next mouthful. Let’s not forget the Romanee St. Vivant – which was a lovely wine too, with more rustic patterns – but also an incredible wine.

Flight 7

2000 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Richebourg Grand CruVery
2000 Domaine Leroy Clos de Vougeot Grand

Almost hangovers from the previous flight. I recall both wines as being a bit bolder, with darker fruits, but still with exceptional balance. They will fore sure improve with age.
Heat 8 - Red Burgundy
(Served with a variety of European cheeses.)

1989 Domaine Leroy Romanee St. Vivant Grand Cru
1990 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee St. Vivant Grand Cru

You could now tell that, there was some age on the wines. Unfortunately the DRC was not a representative bottle. Peppery and old Barolo flavors with neither sweetness nor purity – what a shame. The Leroy was better – even if it lacked a little bit to hold it fruit intensity. The wine should be drunk now and has good notes of forest, rubber and raspberries.

Flight 9 (without food)

1964 Domaine Leroy Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru

Corked – what a shame

Heat 10 – Dessert
2007 Albert Mann Altenbourg Muscat SGN "Le Tri"

Niels had donated this sticky wine. 350g of residual sucker – Jesus Christ – and it was amazing. Still balanced and a floral pearl with exotic fruits.

What a tasting – thank you, Max.