Monday, October 19, 2009

Joe's 1999 Montrachet Horizontal Tasting

Montrachet - every wine lover has probably heard about it and knows that it's related to France >> Burgundy >> an 8ha vineyard and one of the worlds most sought after White wines. But how many has actually tasted one of the wines?
Before this tasting my preference sheet on Montrachet was maybe 2-3 bottles, so with 26 wines from the 1999 Vintage in the line-up, I and others at the table was in for an once in a lifetime experience.

My good friend Joe Belmaati hosted the tasting and just hearing him tell how the wines was sources from around the world, made you realize that this is not the type of wine you just go and buy at the supermarket or local wine shop or even in your own country.

Perfect scene for such a tasting was Søllerød Kro (yes once again) and we kicked of @ 12:00 with a 3 course lunch and took a one hour walk in the beautiful surroundings before we sat down again @ 17:30 for a 6 course dinner. Even though I took a lot of pictures I almost felt obligated, also to take notes on such a day.

We knew before hand that we had 7 flights in front us and also knew how the flights were composed, but the serving order was a secret.

Food (Once again brilliant and Jan you still rock!!!!)


Lemon sole with leeks and mussels
Forest mushrooms, broth and brioche
Lobster with cauliflower, almonds and lemon
Bonus: Scramble eggs with breadcrumbs and white truffles from Alba


Lobster with carrot and dill
Scallops with Jerusalem artichokes, Pear and hazelnut
Lobster bisque with celery and tarragon
Turbot with egg yolk potato and onion
Pheasant with mushrooms, chestnuts and sauce aroma
Apple with salted caramel and cranberries

Let the 1999 Le Montrachet madness begin:
(If you click on the flight numbers you will see a picture of the flight)

Flight 1:

Fontaine Gagnard
Jacques Prieur
Gagnard Delagrange

This was the first lesson on how the wines evolved in the glasses and how you needed to taste them with and without food, to make some sort of fair judgment. This was also a reminder on how great Burgundy white wines can actually handle pretty high temperatures and still gain complexity.

Fontaine Gagnard - I got the first wine wrong as it gained strength and tallness in the glass. It started off with a neutral nose and some flower water which I found a bit impure. The taste was to some degree too soft and flabby, but when it was paired against the food it suddenly shined. The mineral profile was on the rise and even the acidity was firming up, which made the elegancy better. To me the best wine of this flight.

Jacques Prieur - I also got this wine wrong, but just the other way around. At first, it had a better nerve and concentration - even a better level of minerality. Unfortunately with air it's oily and burned butter notes takes control and it's even on the verge of transforming into caramel. On the palate it's also an issue, as this oiliness prevents it from having a real acidity smack and it ends up being a bit too chewy for my palate.

Gagnard Delagrange - oxidized.

Flight 2 :

Réne Fleurot

Réne Fleurot - what a babe. Overwhelming complexity, refined, butter, pine needles, lavender, lemon peel and basically just utterly resistible on all levels. Taste is also pure pleasure - delicate and precise. My kind of wine and everyone around the table had it as a clear flight winner.

Remoissenet - A panel splitter. I was in the camp, who didn't like it that much. It had a bizarre note of paint and ink (some didn't think so). On the palate it burned somewhat - I never came to terms with it.

Lamy-Pillot - oxidized.

Rogeot-Dupin - Also a wine which divided the table as some found signs of oxidation. Personally I think we were already seeing the oxidation ghost from everywhere and I just found it to be a rather developed wine. It's a wine with an oily fruit core, burned butter, toast and this very mature style. The burned butter notes were unfortunately too dominated on the back palate, taking away a fair amount of lightness and elegancy.

Flight 3

Louis Jadot
Joseph Drouhin
Louis Latour
Bouchard Pére et Fils

Louis Jadot - First wine of the night, which I initially found almost too much of everything. Opulent style - big, fat and oily - almost creamy to some extent, with notes of vine gums and overall hard to find class and grace in a wine of such character. However the taste was better; big fat and juicy still, but not burning at all and really long. When you weight nose vs taste, it gives some sort of meaning, but it will never be my kind of wine.

Joseph Drouhin - Again a rather oily and buttery wine, but filled with deep layers of complexity. It has a far better sparkle and energy rising from the glass and it makes you pay more attention, compared to Louis Jadot. It has divine notes of mild breadcrumbs with exotic flowers and a really perfect wine with the food.

Louis Latour - hmmmm...certainly a wine with reasonable level of lilies flowers and chalk, but there were constantly (even if it was secondary) a note of acetone, which irritated me. I think I was the only one who found this note, but others around the table agreed that the wine was somewhat rustic.

Bouchard Pére et Fils - was a surprise winner of this flight. Astonishing fresh wine, with Puligny-Montrachet character - flowery overload, pine needles, honey, nuts and my favourite note; mint. Taste is incredible nice with tremendous tallness and energy. It was discussed if the wine was a bit too commercial and not intellectual enough - yes maybe, but it was impossible not to praise its divine drinking pleasure.

From here we took a break and a one hour walk in the beautiful surroundings.

Back for more and thinking white wine again, but restaurant manager Jan Restorff thought differently and came in with a decanter and Champagne in it.

Have to confess that this Champagne was like coming home and a reminder were my wine heart belongs. Enough romantic drooling....

The Champagne...apples - not greenish, but a little bit of brownish character also. Bio scents with baby banana, oxidation and also vanilla oak perfumes. I guessed Selosse and Version Originale, but it was a bottle of Initiale (Disgorged 15. October 2008). Personally I loved it - maybe just because it was a fresh breeze and just that personal Champagne reminder. Some found the oak and oxidation character a bit disturbing, but what do "they" know about Champagne ;-).
Flight 4

Chartron Et Trebuchet
Chateau de Puligny Montrachet
Guy Amiot

Chartron Et Trebuchet - Notes of hay, straw, caramel and burned butter. Taste is oily and flabby - not good.

Chateau de Puligny Montrachet - Again a wine which you can discuss is too commercial with cheerful notes of Polynesian vanilla and melted butter. But then again - it comes across as being incredible tickly fresh and has a long silky aftertaste. It went down with no problems at all and a clear winner of this wine.

Guy Amiot - now this was a funny wine as it actually gave some good laughs around the table. Forgive me, but some thought it actually smelled of shit (literally). Personally I wouldn't go that far, but it sure was bizarre. I found more notes of arm sweat, but the most bizarre thing was actually the taste which was fairly alright and flowery. But of course it's takes two to tango and one had a broken leg here.

Flight 5 (The big boys)

Domaine de la Romanée Conti
Comtes Lafon
Domaine Leflaive

Domaine de la Romanée Conti - Loved the combination of a fresh and flowery spectrum, but also a second layer and deeper layer of intense fruit core with more pronounced sweetness and exotic notes. However it collapses on the palate where it moulds too much and never slips a too silky and somewhat short finish. When the bottle was revealed, there were several disappointing faces around the table - as we all found it to be average.

Ramonet - A panel splitter as it had notes of peppermint and spices which some found intriguing, while others found it disturbing. Personally I found the depth here incredible impressive and it's for sure a highly intellectual wine which seems still to be on the young side. There were also a note of fennel here, which I found a bit balance disturbing, but then again, it's typical a note which will integrate and resolve itself over time. Taste is long, deep and again confirming its youth with a lot of structure brushings on the back palate.

Comtes Lafon - A wine which switched a lot of back and forth in the glass. At first it's shy and when it opened with air and warmth it's with brown sugar and caramel. On the palate it's rather strange. When it hits the mouths it feel seriously wild with enormous strength, but it has almost no acidity which just killed everything for me.

Domaine Leflaive - I believe I had an affair this night with glass number 4 - or did I dream the whole thing? Glass number 4 was the star of the night and if to prevent me from going into an adjective orgy, I can best describe it like this: Some wines are simply just spectacular for being like a little treasure box. Wine number 4 is such a wine, and what I adore mostly here is its alluring affect. Take one jewelry from the treasure box and come back later when you have sniffed some of the other wines in this flight and another will be waiting for you...and another, and another......etc. This wine is out of this world complex with truffles, soil, minerals, vanilla and brownish apples. Everything is wrapped with this allure and mysteriousness and it's just mind-blowing on the palate too. I have also written on my paper, that it's not a wine for the untrained taster....have no idea what that actually means, but you can rest assured that I bloody liked it.

Now from here the game seemed to be set in on finding a rival to Domaine Leflaive - it didn't happen...but still I was amazed by the diversity that were still to come.

Flight 6

Lucien Le Moine
Marc Colin
Michel Coutoux
Henri Boillot

This flight was actually one of the best of the night as its consistency was of very high standard, but also because it added to the diversity of Montrachet and by being the freshest flight of the day.

Lucien Le Moine - Not particular "Montrachet-like", but more in the direction of Puligny-Montrachet character with lilies, toast, limestone and limejuice. Taste is very tickly, refreshing, clean, and friendly and with the right proportion of oiliness, which certainly didn't hurt the mouth coating appeal. Having said that, I still felt the wine didn't have that magic touch of length and fill in both taste and complexity. Still - let's not forget that we have a great wine in the glass.

Marc Colin - fascinating wine as it had a splendid blend of an elastic and silky fruit core, but also high levels of minerality. With air this wine opened several layers and I was especially drawn to a Champagne lookalike note of Macadamia nuts and almonds. To me the best wine of this flight.

Michel Coutoux - Who brought a Sauvignon Blanc into this flight? That's how it smelled - with gooseberries and fennel. It was not the kind of wine you immediately fell in love with, even if I like Sauvignon Blanc a lot. However, the fact that it was surely different and had an incredible high acidity kick, made you analyze it from a very youthful angle, which actually made it a bit interesting. Overall - mysterious wine with some sort of appeal, which feels horrible young at this stage. Not a winner - not a looser, but definitely interesting.

Henri Boillot - Very rich Montrachet, with an almost tropical silky nose with butter, vanilla and almonds. I missed some tallness here as it's almost too smooth. However the taste is better - here you have the acidity and actually a lot of freshness. But it was still the wine I preferred the least in this very high standard flight.

Flight 7

Oliver Leflaive
Etienne Sauzet
Baron Thénard
Vicent Giradin

Oliver Leflaive - An easy and understandable Montrachet, with limestone, toast and flowers in general a fairly good energy from the glass. Taste stays on the same path; clean, oily and friendly. Again one of these wines, which is very easy to drink and indeed a nice bottle, but to break the magic sound barrier I would have liked to see a bit more nerve and complexity. But alright - wine is also about laid back drinking.

Etienne Sauze
t - by far the most backward wine of the day. Despite a very shy nose of chalk and lime it has an incredible clarity and intensity. Taste is painful young as well - super intense with a scary high pitched acidity. Definitely not a first site charming wine, but nevertheless I found myself using a lot of time with this glass. I think I have decease with wines of high clarity and acidity....who said Riesling and Champagne? ;-).

Baron Thénard - One some points it reminded me of glass 1; Oliver Leflaive. Has the same easygoing and very friendly style. Also a very rich and rewarding wine. But again, not particular complex....just a notch below Oliver Leflaive though.

Vicent Giradin - Now this was a different wine. Herbs and spices dominating the nose, but also chalk and lime. Feels very young and has a brilliant aura of mysteriousness, which adds to its complexity. Taste is again young, high in nerve, tallness and acidity. Reminded me of Chablis to some point and again it's one of those glasses you kept coming back to.

So that was it....or was it...not really...suddenly two red wines entered.

1959 Lafite Rothschild

In the last few days I have thought about how I should write this tasting note without praising too much on my own self-righteous palate. It would be an understatement to say that this bottle was in mint condition - it was more than perfect. It's also the best Bordeaux I have ever tasted and I am astonished how fresh this wine was. No signs of age what so ever - incredible. The balance is unheard and from those who used points around the table, there were only one appropriate rating for such a wine; 100 pts. What's the problem then? Well - in order for a wine to be perfect and me doing summersaults, it has to be an emotional wine - and it wasn' least not for me. My good friend Claus Lyster, who also attended this tasting, had the same feeling and we talked about this after the tasting. He said - "The wine was incredible, but Bordeaux is just so's cedar wood, cigar box and pencil all the time...and it's always like that". Well, I will have to agree, even if such a comment is rudely generalizing and this wine had lots of secondary layers and gears to win the lawsuit. So my deepest respect for this wine, which is technical perfection, but personally not an emotional wine to me

1928 Calon-Segur

I think it's the oldest red wine I have ever tasted and it was not at all dead. Of course it doesn't have the fill and complexity like its neighbor glass; 1959 Lafite Rothschild - but it actually fresh as hell. I guess it to be from the 1970's - so there you go. Again classic, cedar, cigarbox and pencil...yes's there - but refined and interesting. On the palate it feels older - not much fill and structure left - but for sure drinkable.

2 Sauternes were also served...believe it was Climens...can't reminder the vintages...NO MORE.

Even if I like the idea of tastings with broad defined themes, where you can go into detailed food & wine pairings, I still prefer tastings like this. Horizontal and Vertical or just small defined themes are always the best, as it learns you something. If it's the newcomers in Champagne, a vertical tasting, or 26 different Montrachet's from the same year - the common factor is insight to make you understand wine better.

Joe - if you are reading this - thank you, for an unforgettable day.

Ps. Finally - a wine tasting with sunlight. More pictures here

Friday, October 9, 2009

1999 Tarlant "La Vigne d'or", Champagne

Even though I have just tasted this wine, when Benoìt Tarlant was in Copenhagen - I simply needed re-taste it as a “real” tasting note to me, is when I have the pleasure of drinking and sharing the whole bottle with my wife.
Food this night was Risotto with mushrooms and that combination was spot on.

The 1999 La Vigne d’or is a debut release and it’s 100% Pinot Meunier from vines that are roughly 50 years old. Dosage is around 2-3 g/l.

The wine is exactly as I remember it, but when having the entire bottle you can’t help to analyze and reflect a bit more. It’s like you can almost divide the wine into two sections. The first “Section” you come across is a seriously concentrated nose of honey, evening perfume, mushrooms, herbs, dark bread, cornfield and a smooth waxy profile. There is also a slightly oxidation, making these components a bit deeper and “darker” scented. If, what I have just described was all the Champagne had to offer, then I guess it would have been a bit boring. But luckily there are additional spectrums and this is where its greatness comes from. Underneath the bold fruit core there are a divine note of lemon peel and a brushing firm tone of salty minerals making it stand so much taller and interesting in the glass. The taste is proof of all these components, as the voluptuous hurricane of fruits is the first wave to hit the tongue and secondly comes this almost raw and salty soil expression, cleaning the palate with great precision, high acidity and clarity. You especially notice this almost raw expression, when having it without food – but with my risotto it’s of course a bit more subtle.

A seriously great bottle of Champagne and once again an eye-opener to what quality the Pinot Meunier can obtain, when in the right hands.

Glass: Spiegelua Adina (Adina to bring out the beast) and Zalto (to make it a bit more elegant).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

NV Laherte Fréres "Les Clos", Champagne

You might not be so Champagne addicted as me. Even if you are – we can agree that Champagne is a very traditional wine composed of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or even a blend, right? But what about a Champagne with 18% Chardonnay, 14% Pinot Noir, 18% Pinot Meunier (so far so good) 8% arbanne, 15% petit meslier,17% Pinot Blanc and 10% fromenteau? Sounds like science fiction. But it’s not and the thing even have a name – “Les Clos”, produced by Laherte Fréres in Chavot.

I have written about this wine 2 times before, but this is the first time I have the whole bottle to myself….or almost…think my wife sneaked 2-3 glasses of this stuff. First time I tasted this Champagne was @ the estate with young winemaker Aurélien Laherte and I can still recall how incredible high the acidity was, even if it was from vins clairs in 2008 Vintage. I believe the Champagne in hand is a mixture of 2005/2006 Vintage and besides being a debut release, 2005 is also the starting point for this wine as it’s based on the Solera principal.

It’s important for me to highlight that the last time I had Champagne in my blood – the week before, names like, 1985 Krug Collection, 1995 Krug Clos du Mesnil, 1996 / 1982 Cristal, 1982 Billecart Salmon BdB was spinning in the glasses. So when sticking your nose into a thing like this, it’s almost like you have landed on a different planet.

This Champagne is incredible vinous and it’s exceptional fresh, to a point where it’s pure energy running through your veins. Freshness is one thing and a good thing, but the grape mixture is seriously interesting as there are so many fruit aromas colliding. How often does citrus, flowers, black tea, black cherry, limejuice, herbs, baby banana (bio trademark) and the most insane note of mint leafs appear in a single glass of Champagne? Rarely if you ask me. Everything is incredible slim – embalmed in a tight, very precise fruit core with beautiful balance and complexity. The taste has a frightful high pitched acidity and personally, being more a Riesling person, that a brought up in Chardonnay land – I love this and all the young and fresh fruit components are being crystallized on the palate making it a unique long acidity smack taste. Evolving constantly in the glass and putting on in weight. Fantastic Champagne.

Bonus: No Dosage and biodynamic made.

Glass: You have to drink it out of a white wine glass - I used Spiegelau Adina.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bent's tasting @ Søllerød Kro

Another Søllerød Kro wine tasting report - can we take any more? Yes we can!!!!.

I can once again repeat myself, when it comes to Søllerød Kro brilliant cuisine and restaurant manager Jan Repstorff unique talent for nursing his guest. Jan you rock!!!!

The line-up was sent to us before the tasting so no blind tasting....well almost... Jan teased a couple of times with some blind entries.

I didn't write any notes, so everything is from memory.....writing notes, taking pictures and making conversation....forget it.

Taking pictures @ Søllerød Kro without any flash with this soft dimmed light is a nightmare. My camera can handle pretty high ISO numbers, but the soft dimmed yellow light is killing the details. So I have only uploaded a few.

Let's begin:

Welcome with snacks

1985 Krug Collection

I actually didn't have that high expectations towards this Champagne, as some critics think that Krug didn't manage to get their 1985 Vintage totally perfect. The Champagne is indeed charming and very open to drink. Classic, deep nutty flavors (primarily walnuts), honey and even a bit of lemon peel as the perfect balance component. Problem here is - that it's just too pretty / innocent and the Krug-nerve and majestic feeling is missing. For sure - we are talking really great stuff here, but when in the Krug category and this price level - I am expected to have my dancing shoes on. This was not the case. A Champagne for laid back drinking and very approachable at this stage.

Søllerød's classic Caviar dish with king crab

1996 Cristal

1996 Clos des Goisses

A step up in quality compared to Krug....(rarely happens does it?)....anyway, these 2 Champagnes are incredible tasty and both have that 1996 vitality. Compared with my recent tasting experience with these two, I would have expected the Cristal to be the more nuanced and elegant bottle and the Clos des Goisses to be the more muscular Champagne with signs of oxidation and dark bread. This was however not the case - well some of it wasn't. Cristal was the more light weighted of the two and in general has a broader flowery spectrum to offer. The Clos de Goisses was indeed tighter and showed very little sings of oxidation, compared to my previous bottle. It's almost about to burst out of the glass with a forceful concentration and a most impressive structure on the tongue. The taste is seriously long and really impressive overload of fruit, stunning balance and firm vibrant '96-acidity. For sure the notes are somewhat darker pitched than Cristal - but not as much as one should think. Both bottles showed themselves young with healthy fruit and firm acidity. They should age really well.

Scallops, Jerusalem artichoke, pear and hazelnuts

1982 Cristal

1982 Billecart-Salmon Blanc de Blancs

I have to mention the food here, as it was an incredible match to these two Champagnes - simply perfection.

1982 Cristal is to die for and a bottle in perfect shape. The evolved sweetness goes right into the sweet scallops and the hazelnuts, takes it even to higher ground. Richard Juhlin takes notice of its fairly high dosage, which I can confirm - but with this food it's just pure magic. This exotic and incredible sexy Champagne constantly evolved and put on complex layers in the glass with vanilla, fudge, apricot, truffles and even some chocolate aromas.

Billecart-Salmon is also pretty good - if to state it mildly ;-). Its' not as deep exotic as Cristal - but still it's has some overripe notes of peach and vanilla, but the difference is a really tallness of acidity and in general a better sparkle from the glass. If to say who's best?? - Cristal certainly benefits from this awesome food match and deeper layers - but this Champagne is not far behind.

Turbot with celery, lemon and browned butter

1995 Krug Clos du Mesnil

1990 Billecart-Salon Grande Cuvée

The hardest part of this flight was the shift from the former flight. The 82' Champagnes were so expressive and it was like they still lured in my nostrils, when having the first sniff with the next two.

Clos du Mesnil is very hard to approach. I found it shy and really a crime to open it at this stage. 1995 should on paper be a more open vintage and surely you can sense apple sensations and some nutty flavors, but it never really did anything than give hints more than a great tasting experience. It should be noted, that the last drops showed gradual improvement and my judgment could very well have been different if I had the chance to follow it over an entire evening.

My fellow tasters found the 1990 Billecart-Salom Grande Cuvée really awesome. I have to say that it didn't do that much to me. It's classic Champagne in the sense of flowers, citrus, vanilla and as our host pointed out, even gooseberries. But I found it lacked in definition - or was it the 82' flight the real reason why this just slipped into the land of indifference?

Time for reds:

It's always difficult to turn from Champagne to reds. I actually find it much harder than just turning from white to reds....hmmmm. Anyway - when the reds are Pinot Noir and especially from Burgundy the shift seems more subtle for the sensitive taste buds.

Mushrooms, stock and brioche - awesome food...once again.

1999 Grivot Richebourg

1996 Grivot Richebourg

1996 Clos du Tart

I think I was the only one at the table cheering for the 1999 Richebourg from Grivot. But as it evolves in the glass it simply fell apart and I had to realize that my first impression was not right. I simply fell in love with a distinctive sweetness, which after 10-15 minutes takes a bizarre shape of varnish and overall alcoholic notes. Taste is a fraction better - so maybe it's all about cellaring. But at the moment it's weird and disappointing.

1996 Richebourg is fairly rustic - but together with the food it gives meaning as the dried fruit and forest notes was a really nice match. However - it still leans to the rustic side on the palate and I missed some fruit and especially that charming expressive Pinot Noir appeal if to win my heart. But as said - worked with the food.

1996 Clos du Tart was a panel splitter. Some took notice of notes of tomato - personally I couldn't recognize this. But I can agree that it's once again a rather rustic wine. It's not so much dried fruit's as with Grivot - but more notes of soya and smoke. But I liked this one best, as you had some of the lovely raspberry notes, even if they are far from perfection. The taste is also superior to the other wines in the flight, with far better concentration and balance.

A blind wine was served and generously donated by Jan Repstorff:

2006 Sylvia Cathiard Vosne Romanée

Opened without decanting it oozed of medicine and gauze bandage, but slowly it found itself in better harmony. A real red berry perfume comes from the glass - tight as hell, almost like red paint from a new car. So why the hell did we guess 1999, 2000 and 2002, when all the components were so tight?? Well the wine is indeed interesting and a fresh breeze to this flight, which certainly had its ups and downs.

Thymus,onions and gravy.

2002 A. Gros Richebourg

2002 DRC Grand Echezeaux

I don't think I have ever had a 2002 red Burgundy that I didn't like. The vintage has a very distinctive profile with the most sensual red berry perfume, which I tend to find pretty tasty. This flight didn't disappoint me, even if these wines were rather different. Normally I tend to find the wines from DRC meatier - but given the different appellation here - this was actually different. DRC has more of these red berries, where the Richebourg has more fleshy notes to offer. DRC also has a great coolness, with higher levels of minerals, which brings the linearity forward and makes it stand taller in the glass. The Richebourg has darker berries of cherries and seems in comparison a bit more backward. I preferred the DRC - simply because the drinking pleasure and clarity was higher - but both wines were great.

Fallow with truffle and chestnut

1982 Cheval Blanc

1982 Pichon Lalande Comtesse

I will start by praising these wines for their stunning level of freshness at the age of 27 years - simply incredible. One could ask the question if these wines will ever die.

They are certainly different, both in quality and profile. The 1982 Cheval Blanc has a great inner coolness, which has to come from the Cabernet Franc. It runs through the wine like a cool river and gives linearity and nerve. However - the wine is struggling to present clarity, which a dark fruit pattern with mainly plum is ruining. It's a solid good wine, with impressive powers at this age, but never did it impress me.

I have had the pleasure to taste the 1982 Pichon Lalande Comtesse 3 times now. It's a seriously nice wine and this bottle was singing. It's a far better wine than Cheval Blanc in my opinion with the most sensual smell of sweet tobacco and cedar wood. The complexity and sensual healing it offer to its audience is something else. Having said that, I never really feel moved by the wines from Bordeaux - they are almost too technical perfect with very little of that magic dust, which makes me jump up and down. But from an objective scope it's a stunning wine.

Selection of Cheeses.

1998 Les Cailloux Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Centenaire

2000 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes Les Cailoux

15 years ago my wine club always ended with the most concentrated wines, as we didn't want to kill off the elegant wines this late, as the taste buds reach their limit. Today we work with the similar schematics, even if we have discarded the most extreme blockbuster wines. Most of the time this form works. But in this line-up it was like the gap from the elegant wines, we had already had, was too big for the next two wines. My judgment is certainly biased by this.

It's rare that I will actually write a tasting note, where the wines were barely drinkable. But these two wines were utterly revolting (sorry for the language). Maybe they are made to show their greatness in 25 years time, but my God they where like floating lava. I can't even give you a detailed tasting note, as I only had one sip of each. Nor can I tell one from another - as they both were terrible. They are seriously alcoholic, massive overripe blackberries / blackcurrant, vinegar, peppery, totally out of balance and without any drinking pleasure whatsoever. With my limited ability to master the English language, I can't find any appropriate label other than, "yikes"!!!!!

I think restaurant manager Jan Repstorff was aware that some of us were about to die at the table and like an angle sent from heaven he brought us a glass of chilled and very drinkable white wine. The wine in hand was the 2004 Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet les Combottes. Light weighted stuff with adorable smell of popcorn, flowers and pear. Maybe not so deep layered in complexity, but certainly with great purity and drinking pleasure. My kind of wine and I was alive again.

Apples, salted caramel and cranberries.

1998 Billecart-Salmon Cuveé Elizabeth Rosé.

Fourth time I taste this and I am not particular impressed with it. For sure it has the elegant side of Billecart-Salmon, but it's just too Rosé pretty with sweet apricot and raspberry skin. It feels way too sweet on the palate, and the acidity is not perfect either, which is making it a bit too flabby for my palate. I have this bottle in my cellar and will try to give it some more time, even if I doubt it will ever become great

Bent if you are reading this - thank you for spoiling us.

Is it my turn next time - or Svenne?