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 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


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 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.