Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Mispent Youth & Westerns

Bodegas Ortiz Mirabel 2006
Extremadura, Spain
A blend of 70% Temprenillo and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon...6 months in new French oak...and the hand of Anders Vinding-Diers.....son of well-known Peter...Medium deep colour....quite peppery on the nose...raspberries & plums...gentle oak..a touch of toffee & vanilla..and a slightly wild character that appeals to me (must be my mispent youth!)...
Points 16.5


















Santa Cruz de Artazu 2004
Navarra, Spain

100% old vine Garnacha here...60 year old vines...and when I see the name Navarra..I always think of a dry dusty dessert...too many cowboy films when I was young maybe...When tasting wines like this....and checking tasting notes from other sources...how it tastes etc..and how you see it at the moment..can be down to your tasting knowlege. After 30 years of wine tasting I have drunk some real closed-up tannic monsters......so maybe my palate understands wine different to a taster brought up on instant softness from a bottle..get my drift.....they maybe want to give it years....Young and purple colour....a cool aroma at first...then some herbs and spices...then prepared meat....the palate is more complex though..and shows an instant softness....then a easy tannic injection and a cherry-like flavour...enjoyable now..and will not doubt improve over 5 years....
Points 16.5

Pazo de Señorans


Pazo de Señorans Seleccion de Anada 2003
Rias Baixas, Spain
100% Albarino...spends 30 months in steel tanks....'sur lies'..which halts any oxidation.......yellow colour with green tinges....the first impression is citrus.....I'm thinking Chablis here...maybe the colour influenced me...exotic fruits follow...pineapple and a definite aroma of ripe banana...on to the palate...very uplifting...juiciness...again the citrus feel...this is dry...but with a lovely creamy texture...salty minerals..there is a freshness that belies it's years...you just keep going back for another sip (no gulpers allowed!!!)....and a long finish. Bravo!
Points 17.5

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Godello Gold

There are Riesling moments..where you need the acidity..and there are days when my stomach wants a 'softie'....and recently it has been the Grüner Veltliner. Here is a 'find' though...the grape Godello. All of the recent bottles have been very good indeed..1.....2....the 'As Sortes' was re-ordered and as there are very few producers in the area of Valdeorras..it seems you could practically buy any bottle and have instant pleasure.






Gaba do Xil Blanco 2007
Bodegas Telmo Rodríguez
Valdeorras, Spain
The name Telmo Rodriguez is the first good sign....a pale straw colour...peaches, exotic fruits..some mango maybe...very smooth....creamy melons...but no slouch of a wine...quite firm...but the silkiness remains...spices..here is a wine at € 10,-- . Now..usually at this price range..when I find a nice wine..I compliment it..but hardly ever re-order (doing a blog means you have to keep searching..variety is needed)...and it is rare that I will go back to the bottle next day ( my wife needs wines sometimes for the sauces). This was different...next day..still impressive...Great bargain
Points 16.75

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Becker & The Bee

Monday evening was warm, soft breeze evening..but the bee wouldn't stay still long enough...hopping about like a ...well....like a bee!
White after red......so with the Sankt Paul still in my memory.. a white from the same Estate...





Friedrich Becker Chardonnay 2005
Pfalz, Germany
Small pearls in the glass...and the nose shows only
reserved citrus..come on...try harder Miss Chard...ahhh..now we have a trace of oak..or should I say barrique..just enough to entice....this is a teaser....but finally she shows her 'best' side...the taste...creamy, vanilla...but no 'oak slapper' here...elegant..Becker knows how to use his barrels...as it aired and opened..there was a lovely spicy back palate with a soft lingering finish.
Points 17.5

Monday, July 20, 2009

Becker's Strawberry Delight

Sunday's usually comprise of soccer in the morning..and every 2 weeks my radio show in the evenings....As I am still carrying an injury...no sport at the moment..so I spent the day watching England on top of the Aussies at cricket
(England eventually won)..and the Open Golf Championship in England ('oldie' Tom Watson blew it at the very end). In between I doo
dled and googled..and had time to plan a good bottle. No
reason..just a feeling of wanting something special.
Friedrich Becker Spätburgunder Schweigener
Sankt Paul Grosses Gewächs trocken 2006
Pfalz, Germany




Top producer....and the 2005 had impressed..so hearing that this was as good..if not better...I prepared it (stood it on the table so I could walk by it and drool)...Opened
..and a wine drop was left on my finger..a quick lick...oh yes....this is a 'biggie'..spends time in new oak barrels......first 'nose'..mmmm..this is real class..think Burgundy here..and to those who don't know..the grapes are grown 'over the border' in France....but Friedrich Becker needs no help to make great Pinot...a sensational perfume..strawberry, strawberry & strawberry..heady as in 'intoxicating'...sniff this forever..super soft and sexy on the palate..with excellent acidity pushing the fruit upwards & onwards..a gentle tannic glove..and you have a top Spätburgunder here...can everyday be Sunday please....
Points 18

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Torres Salmos

Torres Salmos 2005
Priorat, Spain
Torres wines...well...for as long as I can remember..from basic to top (Mas La Plana)..and also his ventures abroad..quality. So here he is in Priorat...with the first vintage of a wine he has been wanting to produce for over 10 years. The mix is Garnacha, Cariñena, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Syrah..with the old vine Granache dominating....aged in oak.
Now...while the front label is readable...the rear end is in 3 languages...light brown on dark brown...
and unreadable to my eyes...I gave up after the first sip. Dark purple colour..cherry nose...fruit compot..slightly burnt...anis.. quite intense on the palate..again with the cherry...some liquorice..but now the downer for me....you know when a bottle has been opened a few days...that slightly 'lost fruit' taste...that was the impression...maybe the anis....that's not to say the wine has no fruit..completely the opposite...wild flavours and some chocolate...a soft tannic bite....but this needed some acidity for me..I gave it time and returned the next day..and occasionally..that side taste softened...but I just couldn't fall in love with Miss Salmos....jammy...which many seem to like..but missing that dry spicy addition of many of the new Spanish wines...good....but no more.
Points 16.25

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Loimer's Classy GV

Fred Loimer is something of a quality fanatic...and his Terrassen had pleased..and the vines used for this wine are around 40 years old. Which can only mean you are gonna get something a bit special.





Fred Loimer Grüner Veltiner
Langenlois Spiegel 2007
Kamptal, Austria
Decant was the recommendation..but as I was planning to drink half on opening..and the rest 2 days later....I chose a large glass..and this allowed the wine to show freshly sliced pears and a fine herby aroma..very complex stuff here...we are leaving what we know as Grüner Veltliner 'territory' with this wine...this is a big step up. Priced at € 26..I guess most would say I can buy a GV for a third of that..which is true...but here we have a very fine wine. Elegance and finesse to the fore..this has a velvety feel on the palate..and just when you think an injection is needed to stop it becoming too soft..there is a fresh citrus backdrop....a rollercoaster of flavours....and two days later it was still showing well..and a lingering finish
Points 17.25

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Flight of Whites

With summer here (although you might miss it if you blink) I was looking forward to a white wine tasting at Robert's Hanglage. No German wines..but he is planning that in August.
Ten wines..a battle between France and Italy with a Chilean taster to start.

De Gras Chardonnay 2008
Central Valley, Chile
Was a good wine at € 7,--. Some smoke and almonds, nicely package.
Points 13.5

Domaine de la Foliette 'Clos de la Fontaine, Muscadet de Sevre et Maine 2008
Loire, France
Only ever liked the 'sur Lie' style..this does nothing for me...drink VERY cold and occupy yourself with the food.
Points 10



Filippo Gallina Arneis 2008
Roere Arneis, Italy
Decent, clean aroma..nutty
Points 12


Zaccagnini Bianco de Ciccio 2008
Colline Pescarese, Italy
This is Trebbiano & 20% Chardonnay..again..clean and well-made.
Points 13.5







Terre di Franciacorte Curtefranca Bianco 2007
Ca' del Bosco
Burnt smoke..tight acidity..a step up in quality after the first 4.
Points 13.5

Thomas Morey Chardonnay 2007
Chassagne Montrachet, Burgundy, France
Fresh hay aroma..slightly musty..green apple flavour..citrus..lively acidity and a good finish
Points 14.5





Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Blanc 2007
Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Melons & honey..reminded me of Condrieu although no Viognier in the mix.
Exotic flavours..but remaining dry
Points 15

.....and so to one of my favourite producers.
I 'discovered' Vie de Romans a few years ago and have been constantly satisfied with their Sauvignon Blanc.
A benchmark for this grape.
I have never tried their Flors...would it live up to expectations?
Vie de Romans 'Flors di Uis' 2007
Friuli Isonzo, Italy
Oh yes...an unoaked Cuveé of Tocai friulano, Malvasia und Riesling..intense nose of honey and nuts..exotic flowery fruit...rich texture...excellent balance..long finish..lovely wine.
Points 17

Vie de Romans Chardonnay 2007
Friuli Isonzo, Italy
This is how to make Chardonnay...only 40% new oak..perfect balance..let the grape show it's character..perfume and acidity ..Gianfranco Gallo has it just right here..soft explosion on the palate and a long finish.
Points 16.75

The last wine..the most expensive..had a difficult time...
Domaine Michel Niellon Les Chaumes 1er Cru Clos de La Truffiere 2007
Chassagne Montrachet, Burgundy France
Closed bouquet..you need to work on the glass..a decant would have helped maybe...fresh acidity and complex flavours..but nothing that hits you yet....leave 3-4 years.
Points 16

Tasting finished..we could re-drink what we liked...guess where I went?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Barbie Weather

After days of mixed weather..a chance to get out the grill.
Graf Hardegg Grüner Veltliner Reserve 2006 Weinviertel, Austria
Another GV with a first impres
sion of grapefruit...then it was gone..as the
wine aired..exotic fruit..apples..plenty of minerals...perfect with some raw fish
and a scoll
op.
Points 16.5





Some Lamb Carré for the Barbecue..with a side plate of delights hidden under a béchamel sauce












Remelluri Reserva 2004
Rioja, Spain

A strange one here....great vintage..and the wine i
s sound..good...but we missed some fire..some character...a little on the side...cured meat smell...silky tannins..even a touch of sweetness..thick bowl of dark fruits....we gave it time..and it paired better with the steak...but it shouldn't need help..it's good enough usually to help itself.
Points
16.5

Au Bon Climat 'Knox Alexander' Pinot Noir 2006 Santa Maria Valley,
California, U.S.A.
I have had the 2004 & 2005..both excellent at this age.....this one lacks a little in it's youth..intense power is noticeable..and some dark cherry on the nose...so it looks like a future pleasure...but at the moment closed..opened one hour in advance...which asks the question..did it need more..or was it too much at this age...

Points 17

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Attaboy

Title just about fits...Attaboy...
Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2007
Martinborough, New Zealand
Unscrewed..and the delights to come spring from the bottle......off to get a pizza...and sit outside on a warm evening..with a slight breeze saying it is Pinot time...back home..we sit in the garden..the flowers and plants adding to the atmosphere...oh the wine.. yes...gorgeous nose..exotic...concentrated..wild fruits..thoughts of bramble bush scratches as a kid...smoky..truffles...the low yielding vintage has produced a more masculine style....on the palate it is intense..firm..but subtle...defying it's youth...easy to drink...but with an aura about it...the best New Zealand Pinot yet..
Points 18....Price.....€ 40,--

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Ossobuco alla Romana

If I had to be nailed down to my favourite all-time white..it would be a top Meursault. I was lucky enough in the early 80's to try many of the best properties..Coche-Dury comes to mind...
Back then..they were just about affordable.....but I guess others found my 'secret'...and they never seem to be around nowadays...probably taken before they are in bottle. Lafon is a top property..and it's nice to get hold of one of his 'lesser' wines. He purchased some vines in the Maconnais 10 years ago...
Comte Lafon Macon-Milly Lamartine 2007 Burgundy, France
The first impression is of citrus...grapefruit....attractive soft burnt aroma..a decent level of vanilla..quite complex..and a lively mouthful...the hand of a master...stony minerals...
Points 16.5 Price € 20,--

Then some reds..that were paired with some Ossobuco alla Romana...which I had over 3 days...it gets better day by day...
Protos Crianza 2005
Ribeiro del Duero, Spain
Quite deep..red, purple rim...and a wine perfect from start to finish..Whatcha smell is whatcha get on the palate...
I like cinnamon..and that's the first impression..there is also chocolate and dark fruits...vanilla..this spends 12 months in American oak there is a soft thick fruit feel....but the 14% alcohol just never worries you...intense...and I know it may be an obvious observation...but it is like a dry port...the brittle tannins add some needed backbone.
Points 17.25 Price € 19,--








Adeneuer Spätburgunder No1 2006
Ahr, Germany
The Ahr region is RED wine country....hardly anything else is grown by the top estates. The slender bottle used for this wine has put on weight this vintage....and 2006 was even better than 2005. Pale colour...instantly appealing nose...soft strawberry with a creamy touch...and seems more forward at this stage of it's life..the 2005 was backward.....I would say drink now..and enjoy this soft, classic Pinot...
Points 17 Price € 24,--



Jacob Sebastian Heimersheimer Berg Spätburgunder Alte Rebe 2006
Ahr, Germany
Would this be a poor choice to follow the Adeuener...never..was better...georgeous nose...cinnamon and dark cherries...a real terroir wine...very little oak..a real juicy fruit wine...firm but open..soft but no softy..really layers the tongue with ripe Pinot...a wine to drink..a wine to buy...delicious
Points 17.25 Price €21,--

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