Tuesday, July 14, 2009

2001 Aalto PS, Spain

There are two dilemmas concerning this wine. One – the fact that I have enjoyed the wine 3 times before with great pleasure, but have changed palate preference since. The second dilemma is that this wine is 98+ pts by Robert Parker. Why is the latter a dilemma? – I will come back to that. But let’s take a closer look what's inside. First – tasted it with some Italian delicatessen from Copenhagen’s finest Cibi e Vini as you can se from the picture. I Changed glasses a couple of times. The ones you see on the picture are from Zalto “Bordeaux”. They provide the wine with more herbal notes and freshness, but take away the instant fruit bomb appeal. If you like the fruit attack – then take the Riedel Sommeliers “Tinto Riserva”. Now - it opens not so great in my opinion. Way too one-dimensional with cheerful blackcurrant, blackberries and a load of oak flavours. On the palate it almost burns, even if it's not a high alcohol wine (14%). However this dilemma was solved as we started to have some food with it. With air it also gains some fair structure, herbal expression and the sense of minerals. I really like the warm-blooded soul of this wine, and it's really easy to drink and enjoy. The taste is rather long lived, but I don't like that it's still so happy and almost aggressive in fruit. So I could end the TN here -but if I had to relate to RP-point dilemma, I would have to say that the wine offers nothing but good solid fruit. No finesse, no elegancy, no real complexity or edge, nor does it touches me in any way.

So there you go – and I am back from holiday with loads of TN in the bag.


Anonymous said...

"Great minds think the same......." ;-)

Yesterday someone asked me about my opinion to 05 Amon Ra, a cultwine from Australia with 98pts. from Parker. Here is my note about this wine:

A “La Landonne-wanna-be”
He reveived 98pts. from Parker and also Gary from wineliberaryTV loves this wine, see episode # 18. A fine wine, no doubt. But for my palate too polished, too stylish and too perfect made. I miss totally depth and nuances. Yes, silky tannins all over with some cherry flavors. That´s all.
Such a wine doesn´t touch my heart. On the other hand, maybe this Shiraz will show his outstanding quality in 10 years. We will see......

BTW, I don´t buy spanish wines anymore........

Martin from Berlin

Thomas said...

Hi Martin,

Couldn’t agree with you more (especially about the great minds ;-) )

Do you think our mutual palate shifts are related to the simple reason that we ARE seeing a world wide sort of fatigue, towards these instant wow/massive-appealing wines?

Or – It’s known to happen….just there mere result of you and I turning into grumpy old men and just praising more subtleness and nuances?



Anonymous said...

Good question, do you have seen signs that the people are getting bored about easy-drinking&alcohol&fruit-bombs?

Around the corner is the biggest wine-dealer for spanish wines in Germany, if they announce that a wine received 90+pts. from Jay Miller (as always a simple table wine!) the people get crazy and thousands of bottles are sold within hours.

My friend, we are getting older and thankfully we have developped are more subtle&nuanced palate over the years. Good to see that all the week-ends being drunken from tastings in the last years now pays off. ;-)

And we have discovered the real wines.......

Champagne&Riesling and Italy&Burgundy.

Thomas said...

Well said, Martin.

I feared you were going to confirm that we are getting older.


Take care.


Anonymous said...

I feel good with my age. Do you really want to be 20?!

What a blessing that we passed these years........

Anonymous said...

Hello Thomas!

Just recently came across your blog, but I have already bookmarked it - those champagne notes already have me salivating.

Just on the points thing - another factor is the nature of those big, high-extract wines. They usually also show up well at tastings with other people too. It's almost as if they were made for tasting, rather than serious drinking throughout the meal. I know they are not, but it does add another reason for them scoring so well, yet being rather wearying to drink.

I wouldn't worry about the Parker scores thing. His palate is as it is. It is not his fault that the world is full of lemmings. As Hugh Johnson says, we all need to develop and understand our own palates, not slavishly follow the herd.

But I hope you have more great champagne notes for us in the pipeline...(!)

Hi to Martin also.

Best wishes,

Thomas said...

Hi Ian,

Thank you for your kind comment.

You are absolutely right – my kind of thinking.

I have a few Champagne notes lined up in the holiday TN-bag… think about 7 or 8 I haven’t written about yet. Still some of the usual suspect I drink these, but still some rather surprising updates.

Stay tuned…as they say.

Best from,


Dan Samsøe said...

Hi Thomas

I think you are correct. You are definetely turning into a grumpy old man :-)


Thomas said...


So still like those massive Aussie wines, Dan - which can grill your taste buds faster than I can drink a glass of biodynamic Champagne or I am wrong to say, that you in the last year or so also have turned very old and grumpy??


PS. Going to "The Paul" http://www.thepaul.dk/ tonight

Dan Samsøe said...

No I'm not grumpy at all ;-) My taste has changed for sure towards Champagne & Burgundy. I don't buy Aussie wines anymore and are selling some I don't like. Also selling some neuf. I can still appreciate big wines if they are well made and in balance but big alco wines are for sure a no go for me.

Morten J said...

Hi Thomas and Martin!

If being a sucker for subtleness/nuances equals being a grumpy old man - then I'm for sure a grumpy old man at the age of 31 :-)

I have also been a sucker for these well-polished and as stated by Martin "perfect-made" wines. They just doen't ring a bell with me anymore! On the other hand I might regret that my palate changed since Burgundy must be the world's most expensive hobby - unless you want to drive a Fomula 1 car :-)

Thanks for your note and hurry up with the champagne notes instead :-)

P.S.: How's "Paul" performing these day?


Morten J

Anonymous said...

Hi Morten,

my switch to Burgundy began with our visit of Keller last summer, when KP and David Rayer served us wonderful Pinot Noir´s from Burdundy. And I was totally addicted when Claus (your collegue Thomas!) served us a 1966 Leroy "Chapelle Chambertin" last february.

All the best,

Thomas said...

Hi Morten,

31 years of age – you are not even close to qualify to this very exclusive group ;-).

"The Paul". Yes – first a special night as her Majesty the Queen sat 4 meters next to us ;-).

Confusing start though, with a somewhat awkward and not particular professional service approach. The wine list is not good – seriously. It’s very expensive and a rather unsophisticated selection of wines. We jumped back and forth between, something that I found (2006 Cédric Bouchard “Inflorscence”, 2005 Ulysse Collin” and 2001 Roberto Voerzio “La Serra”) and the wine menu.
The food was swinging from genius; “Inked potatoes” to a disaster dish with strawberry and duck I believe. I like Paul Cunnigham a lot and he is really good at nursing his guests. Overall (it was a business dinner) I was satisfied, but not blow away.

A nice weekend to you all.