Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Jurrasic Park

Once again I invited myself to unfamiliar grounds and opened a handful of Jura wines.

Before we get into the tasting notes, I have to underline some personal preferences. You should know that whenever I judge these wines, especially the white wines, I would always compare them to Champagne. This may seem rather irrational - but as the "Champagne bug" is already alive and me not being a professional wine judger - I have the comparison game in the back of my mind, as I need think about what to buy. In this context, the reds have an advantage, as they target other values and food paring, so I will not see them as an alternative to Champagne.

Let’s go Jura.

2008 Jean Francois Ganevat "Les Chalasses Marnes Bleues

Blend: 100% Savignin
0% Sulphur

I was told to decant this wine - now I know why.

Right after the opening the wine has a lot of extra weight in terms of newborn baby fat fruit. It's providing lush, fat and creamy sensations of honey melon with a slightly oxidation. There is also a small film of flour running on top of the fruit core with even has the companionship of yeasty notes, which is interesting in terms of aromas, but preventing more immediate freshness to step forward. Taste follows up with oily touches and mouth coating appeal. At this stage its okay'-ish wine - but nothing more.

2 hours later.

Clouds are gone and we have sunshine. In the glass is a far more vibrant and fresh wine. Underneath you sense erosion of minerality, which is even more apparent on the palate, where the wine presents itself with splendid definition and tallness. However you still have these yeasty notes, which is providing some sweet pastry notes, but they have taken a step backwards.

This is indeed an interesting wine, with good cellar potential. There are some aspects to deal with for me to do summersaults, but I am indeed intrigued and willing to learn more.

2009 Jean Francois Ganevat "Pinot Noir Cuvée Julien"

Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
Vines: Planted partly in 1951 and 1977
0% Sulphur

I am such an easy target, when it comes to wines like this. As soon as that bright red fruit hits my nostrils I go into a happy dolphin mode. Here you have the finest and freshly picked raspberries, providing overall divine brightness and purity. There is also a small layer of dust. It's the same pattern I have seen with the wines from Fanny Sabre. It's very interesting as it gives better structure (almost like small grain particles) and prevents it from being too polished. Taste is pure, fine - yet there is also a wet soil element on the last meters, which takes it a little notch down in definition and quality, as I would have liked even more mineral bite.

Still - loved it and my overall favourite of these wines.

(2009 Jean Francois Ganevat "Pinot Noir Cuvée Julien")

2009 Jean Francois Ganevat "Poulsard Cuvée de L'enfant terrible"

Blend: 100% Poulsard
Vines: Planted in 1959

Completely different wine, when you have just tasted the Pinot Noir. When it comes to purity, I prefer the Pinot Noir. But that's like comparing apples with bananas, as the character of this grape is so different. You could say the Pinot is easier to understand, while this wine is a bit more intellectual. Having only tasted so few wines made from this Poulsard/ Ploussard grape - I would say it ranks as the best I have tasted.

First thing I would line out is that I prefer it rather cold. Tasting it around 15 degrees just makes it friskier. It's also a wine, which is in need of some air in order to loose some smoky components. In the glass you have a very light coloured wine - which to me always is a sense treat. The nose in rather interesting and there is so many things going on - like; wet forest, rusty iron, cranberries, cherries, leather, iodine, black olives, smoke and ashes. Taste is fresh, light in structure and with aromas of that wet forest and dried fruits. It's certainly not what I would call a mouth coating and lush wine. NO! - It rather rustic, but there is brilliant fresh curl around the tongue and the taste is rather intense, despite it's a fragile breed.

When I taste wine like this - I feel I have left a world of pumped opulent fruit with massive sweet oak appeal. Sure - I make such comparison sound simplified, revolting and beneficiary to my point. But what I want to state is that I feel this wine is like a time bubble. Time stands still here. It taste like wine made 1000 years ago. That's a good thing, as it's very honest and genuine wine.

So, I liked it a lot, but still find myself in a comparison with that red fruit I adore. This wine has some of it, but it's not all about shining red fruit. Without food - I prefer the Pinot Noir. I also prefer the Pinot Noir for laid back drinking. With food - I would go for this one, as you have so many options.

2007 Domaine de la Tournelle “Fleur de Savignin”

Blend: 100% Savignin

This wine was enjoyed with some guest we had over for dinner, so I didn’t write any notes. Right after the opening I was a bit concerned with it’s dominating smokiness and oxidized notes. There were even some cheese associations coming forward. However I learned to like the wine for two reasons. The smoky notes, takes a small back backward as it opens up and secondly it’s not the kind of smoke, you normally connect with white wines, which has seen too much oak and are dull on all parameters. No! – The wine is in fact rather slim and silky on the palate and with splendid mineral bite. So when returning to the nose, there is suddenly harmony. It’s not my favourite wine, but one should remember it’s a very fair price wine and that’s worth having in mind.

2008 Jean Francois Ganevat "Cuvée Orégane"

Blend: Chardonnay & Savignin

Served this wine with fried fresh salmon, dressing of yoghurt with nutmeg and on the side Pearl barley with broccoli, hazelnuts and cress. Worked great with the wine.

Again air is so giving to this type of wine. First I saw the typical note of melon, which is classic for Chardonnay. But I am not always happy about this note. Luckily it plays more than the guitar and the orchestra starts to give notes of; smoke, butter, yeast, yellow plums and hay. But really the best is the splendid freshness and purity of the wine. On the palate you can’t help to notice a small membrane of what texture wise feels like milk-skin and it’s giving the wine an elastic structure but also a delicate subtle mouth feel. Once again the mineral bite is constantly on the rise and with the texture frame it’s providing a solid anchoring of a fresh, sleek and delicious white wine. Yummy…really liked it.

With all wines; Glass: Zalto Burgundy

So – me like Jura – me wanna learn more….oh dear oh dear…it never ends, does it?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What else winter 2010 - 48 wines

Here are some short notes of some wines I have enjoyed in late 2010 and even a few ones from the beginning of 2011.

Lack of time, is still my biggest obstacle, but there are events where I simply can't take notes or have my camera with me. Still - most of these notes ARE composed of actually short paper notations.

You will have to excuse me for lack of sufficient image material for this post.


2004 David Leclapart, "L’Alchimiste Rosé"

It’s one hell of a wicked rosé, which is certainly not for everyone and seems to be stuck in the same young phase. It smells of cranberry, iron, pâté and sherry. It’s almost aggressive and like a beast, which will eat you if you don’t behave. Could be fun to taste it in 10 years time, where David might have the last laugh.

1990 Salon

Sensual honey infected fruit, with the finest freshly churned butter and scents of a Parisian patisserie. Brilliant and drinking very well now.

1988 Krug (1 glass only)

“More about wine making, and not so terroir defined”, was one of the remarks, which was spot on to me. But it was Champagne with lots of confidence and dynamite concentration. However, I found the level of oak and toasted flavours too clumsy, especially when ballerina Salon had just kissed me. I think 1988 Krug is in a closed phase.

2006 Ulysse Collin

Better than the 2005. More of everything and the oak so much better integrated, as the fruit has much more class and intensity. I will taste it again in near future.

2006 Cédric Bouchard “Haut Lamblee” (In Berlin)

Ridiculous good. It’s so elegant, exquisite and has that classy silky Cedric Bouchard appeal. The wine is about flowery perfumes, soil smoke and mineral infected fruit. I hope my fellow wine friends liked it, because I was flying. I hope to taste it again soon.

1999 Selosse Vintage (@ Restaurant Geranium)

Full speed ahead, with classic Selosse character of quince, exotic evening perfume, vanilla and a bold waxy profile. Enormous taste with a long mouth coating finish. I will also taste this again for sure. Sure it’s young, but the style of Selosse is always fun to test drive, no matter the age.

2004 David Léclapart “Apôtre” (@ Restaurant Geranium)

Came after 1999 Selosse. Looking back I would have served them the other way around. It’s very shy and in a closed phase. All of its elements are there, purity, energy and mineral affected style – it’s just a matter of patience. Don’t touch now.

NV Selosse Initiale (@ Restaurant Geranium)

Yep, it’s a solid fine Champagne. However I still prefer V.O. Missed the disgorgement date.

Fleur de L'Europe, Fleury, Champagne (@ Restaurant Geranium)

Served in a flight with Selosse. A notch down in quality – but doing okay in fact. Has an oxidative round and polished style. The finish is too short to make it really great.

NV Laherte Brut Nature

Simple, refreshing and pure. Drink it in big gulps and lots of it.

2008 Jêrôme Prévost, La Closerie “Les Béguines” (@ The wine bar Ved Stranden 10)

Very compact Champagne – but so sophisticated. It’s deadly young, possessing mysterious spice section with black cherries. Tasted in Zalto Universal glass, which was a bit weird. Rest assured, that I will taste it again.

2004 Agrapart “Venus” (@ Restaurant Fiskebaren)

Oh so fine so fine. You can find a more detailed note here.

2004 Agrapart “Avizoise” (@ The wine bar Ved Stranden 10)

Oh those tropical fruits…mango and pineapple. Loved it again. Se more detailed note here and here.

2002 Pierre Péters Cuvée Spéciale “Les Chétillons”

I decided to buy a bottle of this highly praised Champagne and see what the fuss was all about. It's a Champagne, which is very hard to judge, given its age. Very young breed, giving away flowers, yellow fruits, citrus and mineral smoke. There is a really good class to the Champagne, as it stands with terrific tallness and ultra clear flavours in the glass. The taste almost hurts and the minerals are warming the palate. But it wasn't really fun to taste - as the minerals and flavours combined gives away some bitterness.

So as you can see, it's really hard to conclude, as my experience with this producer is very limited. I sensed the material was there for sure, so was the terroir print of Mesnil - and it's indeed very well made Champagne. But I really missed some wildness to the wine, as it's on the verge of being a bit to "pretty", if you know what I mean.

NV Beaufort Rosé de Saigneé (92-92) (@ a Wine Battle)

This is blend of 1992 and 1998 vintage, which has been disgorged here in 2011 with no dosage

Served after a big battery of red wines and comes across as a fresh breeze. Incredible flavours of rosehip, strawberry, smoke and just red red fruit. It's very intriguing Champagne on the nose - with a pure and elegant taste, but I would have to have more than a glass to really judge it.


2004 Solaia (In Berlin)

Came after that adorable 2004 Brunello from Stella di Campalto. Solaia has blackcurrant, dark chocolate, thyme and tar. It has a super concentrated finish, but a wine with lesser purity and a more international style of wine. Even though I am getting tired with the IGT wines from Italy – I know Solaia is a wine, which really can age gracefully and tease critiques like me. However – here and now, I feel disappointed.

2000 Sandrone ,Barolo “Cannubi Boschis”

Nice wine, but not great. The fruit is a bit overripe and not so well defined purity.I have had this wine 3 times now, and I would still recommend cellaring, but I doubt it will ever be a classic “CB”.

2008 Jean Foillard, “Morgon Cote de Py”

So glad my fellow tasters liked this one. It’s just in need of another 1-2 years of cellaring, before the red fruit takes over. Today the wine is still inhabited by more black fruits and a meaty style. More detailed note here.

2008 Cécile Tremblay Vosne Romanée Vieilles Vignes (@ The wine bar Ved Stranden 10)

Interesting profile. Nose deadly young with notes of black fruit, medicine and iodine. Taste is solid, vibrant with good fresh attack

2005 Cécile Tremblay Vosne Romanée Vieilles Vignes (@ The wine bar Ved Stranden 10)

Different compared to the 2008 Vintage. Fruit core has better depth, density - yet also lovely notes of forest, dust and dried fruit. There are better complexity and more refined taste here. Not a killer wine, but still good.

2007 Kistler Vineyard (@ The wine bar Ved Stranden 10)

Came after the 2 X Tremblay. The table cheered. I didn’t like it. It has typical wow-factor of more alcohol and sweet fruit. It gives away its true character on the palate, where the fruit ends in grilled afterburners and clumsy/dull texture. Returning to the nose after having tasted it - lowered the drinking pleasure and killed it off in my book.

2008 Liger-Belair ’Clos du Chateau” (@ Restaurant Fiskebaren)

Magical wine. Transparent red colour with the most delightful shining red fruit. The drinking pleasures are among the finest and the 12% alcohol makes it impossible to resist. I have ordered some – but will I be able to find it….if so – there will be a full TN soon.

2007 Liger-Belair ’Clos du Chateau” (@ a wine battle)

So fine. Se above – the 2008 is a fraction better me think - but close race.

2006 Mugnier NSG ’Marechale’ (@ Restaurant Fiskebaren)

Served next to 2008 Liger-Belair ’Clos du Chateau” and even it’s a solid wine – there was only one red wine that evening. It has darker fruit composition and spices, but still very nice sleek feel on the palate.

2009 Domaine Gramenon, Cotes du Rhone “La Sagesse”

Me and Rhone…it’s not that great a relationship. But you might remember this summer, I had a great wine from Dard et Ribo – so I am always curious to try a new wine. I used two bottles on Christmas eve, which was good – but not really great as the alcohol was too strong. However the third bottle – here in February, was rather nice. It has a very young fruit core of purple / bluish fruit (did that make sense) – good spice section of pine needles and peppermint. Taste overall wins on its purity and fresh immediate fruit. It’s not a wine I am in love with, but a solid glass of wine.

2005 Brunello di Montalcino, Stella di Campalto (@ Restaurant Geranium)

Maybe not as structured as the 2004 vintage and with less cellar potential, but my Good it’s a pleasing wine. The red fruit is here – so is new oak, but it’s still so Italian born. I was very happy.

2004 Brunello di Montalcino, Stella di Campalto (@ a wine battle)

Stunning once again. It will soon close down – and requires a lot of air. More detailed note here.

2003 Guigal, Côte-Rôtie, Chateau d’Ampuis (@ a wine battle)

It’s the kind of wine, which makes a real impression, when it hit’s the glasses. A lot of “oooohhhhss” and “wows” around the table. It’s explodes from the glass with vitamin pills, gauze bandage, bacon, blood and overall a very animalistic and fleshy kind of wine (not good). Taste follows the same path with tons of mass an almost violent attack. It didn’t like it – as there is no gracefulness and drinking pleasure whatsoever. I have tasted this wine in 1999 vintage, which is a much better wine. Better luck next time.

1996 Vietti, Barolo "Brunate" (@ a Wine Battle)

Very structured, dry and almost harsh style of Barolo. The fruit is smoked, dried and impure. It's either a bottle, which hasn't been stored under mint conditions or just a very old-school style, which I didn't like.

2005 Bartolo Marscarello, Barolo (@ Restaurant Relæ)

More old-School Barolo - but what a darling. Not so structured and long-lived, but what a pleasing wine with scents of violets and red fruit. Great with food and a really pleasing wine. Loved it

1964 Domaine Leroy Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru (@ a Wine Battle)
(Served blind)

Third time I taste this terrific wine. It's not the best example I have had, but still fantastic. Still fresh (these bottle was released some 4 years ago, directly from the cellars of Leroy) with cherries, rubber and cappuccino. Taste is sensual, light - but really warming your soul. On the last meters you have some wet forest notes, which is not bad, but takes away from purity. It should be noted the table guessed around 1990, 1989 on the vintage - so talk about fresh.

2001 La Spinetta, Barolo Campe (@ a Wine Battle)

I didn't take notes here, but I remember it just over the top on all parameters. The oak are the primary driver and it's taking away all personality and drinking pleasure. Not good.

2006 Arrocal, Máximo, Ribera del Duero (From Magnum) (@ a Wine Battle)

It's absolutely solid and well made wine; it's just not my kind of wine. It's opulent; polish fruit - dominated by blackberries, with a fair doze of new oak. There is some edge to the wine - but not enough to compensate for the balance between interesting fruit and oak.

1990 Leoville Barton (@ a Wine Battle)

An old friend. I have owned this wine myself, but drunk it. It's fairly cool tempered wine, with notes of blackcurrant, salami and pâté. Structured with a lot of dusty elements and in fact, still a very young wine. You have to take your hat of the cellar potential of Bordeaux. But I am sorry to say, there is no soul here for me - it's so dull. It's me, I know - if you are looking for Bordeaux advice, I am not your man.

2001 Leoville Barton (@ a Wine Battle)

Strange wine. Black fruit core, with peppery elements. Taste even worse. Young - but not good.

2000 Rayas, CNDP (@ a Wine Battle)

Loved the red kirsch fruit of this wine. Really elegant and so many Burgundy resemblances. It's however a bit too soft in structure - rather polish and a bit alcoholic on the last meters. Better nose than taste - but still a good wine.

2009 Jean-Marc Burgaud Morgon Cote de Py Javernieres

Very intense wine. A bit fleshy side of Beaujolais with domination of black fruits. Taste is spending, with solid energy and lush seductive appeal. I think a year in the cellar can bring out more red appealing fruit.

2008 Gevrey-Chambertain, Philippe Pacalet, (@ Restaurant Geranium)

Red fruit combined with black cherries, smoke and flowers. Good wine.

(Alexandre Jouveaux labels are small arts pieces)


2009 Alexandre Jouveaux, Vin de table

Feels like drinking directly from the press. The wine is not fully ready, but it’s a fun study. The fruit is incredible pure, juicy with freshly pressed pear/apple zest, yeasty notes, vanilla and Macadamia nuts. On the tongue there is currently a bit too much baby fat, giving the structure an elastic feel, but with air it’s constantly firming up with higher presence of firm acidity and minerality. Give it a year more in the bottle. Despite it’s age – I loved this kind of wine, as there is so much life here.

2008 Corton Charlemagne, Benjamin Leroux, Bourgogne (@ Restaurant Geranium)

A big fat and juicy wine - "dress to impress". It’s very seductive with its lush profile, but maybe a bit too cheerful on the oak, which oozes too much candy sweetness. However it did extremely well with the food – which was “Lightly smoked potatoes, dried peas & lovage”

2009 Terrassen 1958, Martin Arndorfer, Kamptal (@ Restaurant Geranium)

Without food it’s a wine almost too austere, as it’s so dry and sleek. But it really came to life with the dish: Small Scallops, horseradish, chervil stalks & Cucumber, which tempered the note of fennel (which I don’t like), to be replaced my greenish apples scent and mild spices. It’s also a very mineral driven wine. Rather nice.

2009 Alexandre Bain “Mademoiselle M”, Pouilly-Fumé

Sauvignon with oak and even a small part of residual sugar – forget it. But hey – this is an interesting wine. There is a slight oxidation to the wine, providing some smoke to a fruit core of peach, kiwi and some caramel sensations. It’s a rather complex wine, which has the ability to play on many different strings. Taste is really rewarding with that slightly oxidation, yet sleek enough to preserve allure. I liked it so much, that I decided to use as an alternative on Christmas Eve and my my, it was spot on.

2006, Aldo Conterno Bussiador (@ a wine battle)

A wine dominated with tons of oak. It gives away strong scents of nail polish and Hubba Bubba bubble gum. Taste is more of the same and you are almost knocked over with the oak infection. This wine is not in balance IMHO.

2004 Ca’del Bosco, Chardonnay (@ a wine battle)

You should know that 4 whites were presented at this wine battle. We knew what was coming, just not the serving order. Everyone guessed white Burgundy here (Leflaive). There is fair clarity and that oily sensation of honey melon with a touch of melted butter. Taste is awarding an pretty easy to drink. However, the minerality is too low, which turns the wines energy level down and makes it loose nerve. I would never buy such a wine, but it’s should be noted it has several applauses around the table and from an objective view – it’s well made wine.

So as flight one didn’t reveal any Leflaive wines – they had to be here.

2004 Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet “Les Folatières” (@ a wine battle)

Pardon my French, but this wine smelled of horse piss. What the hell went wrong here? Off bottle or not – it was impossible to continue the journey. I taste it once and it was in fact better, with some clarification going on – but my Good that nose…..????

2005 Leflaive “Puligny-Montrachet” (@ a wine battle)

To smell this wine in comparison is of course a relief. But it’s a fair wine – not a great wine. This is reminder why I am not that much a white Burgundy fan. When you get that classic oily, flower, buttery, vanilla and melon thing (that’s exactly what you get here), I get really bored. There HAS to be some sort of edge –which was not the case. Too bad really, as I consider Leflaive a magician.


2009 Grainds de Folie, Bruno Rochard (@ Restaurant Geranium)

Very flowery and perfumed. Not so much dept, but has good clarity and drinking pleasure with a delightful easy going style. Could be nice on a summer day.

SAV, Sparkling birch Juice, Sweden (@ Restaurant Geranium)

One of the weirdest wines I have ever tasted. Kinky!!! sure it’s funny to be teased and loosen up when you are having dinner, but I can’t take it as a serious wine. The aromas is very funky and smell of yes: Birch and wet trees.

(Hard work)

That’s all I remember. I know I have missed a few…but c'est la vie


Restaurant Geranium

Saturday, February 5, 2011

2007 Bernard Van Berg "La Rose" (Rosé)

Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
Production: Only ridiculous 200-250 bottles
Location: We are in Meursault
This is biodynamic wine
Bonus: Debut release of this wine was in 2006. It was initially not Bernard Van Berg’s intention to make a rosé, but it was the result of pure skin bleeding into the must, where he decided to leave the wine as it was.
Glass: Zalto Universal

Some of the most interesting wines are sometimes those, which is hard to categorize on a simple aroma wheel. Often it’s the result of a strong personality and wines, which has the ability to create their own dimension. This wine is such a wine.

Let’s taste it.

I have tasted it twice now. The first time I served it rather chilled – but I was to learn how the wine increased its complex layers and aromas with a higher temperature and overall becoming a far more interesting wine. When you served it chilled you can of course tell that you have a very intense wine in the glass. It displays notes of strawberry, apricot, orange blossom and roses. The oak plays the second violin and creates inner warmth both on nose and palate. When it’s chilled, I was actually a bit concerned as it’s has an almost iron like warmth on the finish. Not alcoholic as such, but we are dealing with a very intense wine, though it has a sleek mouth feel.

Now we raise it in temperature.

The good student knows – from my little glass introduction – how texture and temperature are linked together. Here you have the perfect example. The sleek and steely texture, becomes extremely gentle and to a degree of subtle sensual weightlessness. The oak becomes more expressive with sweet pastry notes – yet subdued with exceptional balance and seductive appeal. At this stage the drinking pleasure is unbelievable and both a real seductive “sniffer” wine, but also an extremely rewarding and emotional wine.

When it comes to rosé – and not Champagne – I consider myself a novice. But in this category, this is easily the best rosé I have ever tasted.