lauantai 30. elokuuta 2008
Red berries, earth, rust - absolutely lovely nose, but more like a youngish Nebbiolo than Pinot Noir! Well structured, palate-cleansing, bright, deep and interminable. Lovely. I like a good structure so I liked this very much even now, though it is still has room for improvement. I had to check the label a couple times just to make sure I wasn't drinking a Barbaresco.
torstai 28. elokuuta 2008
We started with a few on the drier end of the spectrum:
2006 Weingut Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Berg Kaisersteinfels Riesling Feinherb Alte Reben
11,5% abv. This was a more delicate wine than the Rüdesheimer Berg Rottland Alte Reben: apricot, honey, minerals, ripe but a more restrained and pure style. Intense, good grip, citrussy and more elegant palate. Tastes quite dry to me despite being a feinherb. Very attractive.
2006 Weingut Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Berg Rottland Riesling Trocken Alte Reben
13,5% abv. The scent is ripe and has notes of apricot and much spice - it is obviously a very ripe wine. It gladly lacks the stern, un-pleasurable aspects that trockens too often have. Dry but with a good concentration of fruit, powerful but not overbearing. Balanced. Nice!
2005 Ratzenberger Bacharacher Wolfshöhle Riesling Großes Gewächs
13% abv. Over-ripe, melony, tropical fruit; soft and over-ripe and therefore lacking in intensity. Frankly, not terribly interesting at all - which is strange for Ratzenberger, a producer I hadn't until now tasted anything uninteresting from.
Our main line-up:
2006 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese
8,5% abv. This is a very ripe and fruity take on the grape: pineapple and tropical fruit - and that is about it, though it is obviously Riesling! Sweet and rather more weighty than the Oberhäuser Brücke Spätlese. Charming, but rather one-dimensional in being only about ripe fruit.
2006 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Spätlese
8,5% abv. A pure, less overt expression of Riesling than the Hermannshöhle, this is elegant for such a weighty year as '06, and gladly shows some minerality. The aromas are more oriented toward the lime/lemon spectrum than the orange of Hermannshöhle or the Schlossböckelheimer Felsenberg and therefore was more to my taste. Concentrated and weighty but gladly also with a crunchiness that was lacking in the other two Spätlesen tonight. Very nice.
2006 Dönnhoff Schloßböckelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Spätlese
8,5% abv. This had a purity of Riesling fruit but was still a very tropical expression of it: pineapple, orange, exotic spiciness - quite red toned in fruit. Very ripe, sweet, weighty, but it also has good grip and moderate acidity. It is a big, big wine, but still everything seems just right with it!
2006 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese
8,5% abv. Though a very ripe expression of the grape (maybe even a touch over-ripe) it shows Saar's steeliness admirably. It is curious how the wine manifests both such steel and over-ripeness; but it is even more curious that such a package works. Much ripeness, decent acidity and plenty of grip - refreshing enough that despite its weight, I almost believe the label when it says this is a Spätlese!
2006 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel
Blind: a curious mix of slightly over-ripe fruit and almost Saar-like steel, but it is obviously German Riesling, probably '06. Intensely honeyed, tropical fruit; the sugar is rather overwhelming and the acid underwhelming just now. There is much to admire in this, but I do need to try it in a decade or so to see more clearly what is underneath all that fat. (I guessed this was a Ratzenberger, oops.)
2006 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Auslese
8,5% abv. A very forward, expressive and ripe nose, very tropical (pineapple) and just like the Spätlese, this shows a more red toned fruit and spicier character - more extrovert, more obvious - than the Oberhäuser Brücke. Full bodied and would pass for a Beerenauslese, sweet, good phenolic grip but could do with brighter acidity IMO. But it is a nice wine.
2006 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Auslese
8% abv. Whereas the Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle was full of orange and red aromas, this was a more restrained wine with scents more in the rock and lime spectrum. If my experience of '06s are anything to go by, this is actually a reserved wine for the year though it is a weighty one. But despite the size, it has lovely purity and even elegance and bright acidity. Lovely.
Some stickies at the end:
2006 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Beerenauslese
7,5% abv. Honeyed, slightly earthy scent, voluptuous, extrovert. It has orange peels/botrytis in charming rather than overbearing amounts, but it is still a rather obvious wine. Big, sweet, good acidity and grip, moderate intensity. Quite a lovely BA, even though I did prefer the greater elegance of the Oberhäuser Brücke BA.
2006 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Beerenauslese
7,5% abv. A pure, elegant and understated scent (and also rather closed), not at all as extrovert or voluptuous as the Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle BA. This also has more refreshing acidity and a brighter, more elegant palate. Quite lovely.
2006 Georg Breuer Rüdesheimer Berg Schloßberg Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese
7,5% abv. Massively botrytised - smells of orange peel and copper. Enormously sweet, tingly acidity - but even what seems to be huge amounts of acidity doesn't keep this from being cloying. Much too young, but I'm not sure this will turn out to something to my tastes either.
2006 Ratzenberger Bacharacher Posten Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese
10% abv. Huge botrytis, but more purity and obvious Rieslingness than the Breuer TBA. Massively sweet, but with impeccable balance from the phenolic grip and acidity. Big, much too young, but could very well be something I would enjoy in a couple decades.
maanantai 25. elokuuta 2008
Georges Dubœuf Juliénas Château des Capitans 2006
16,88€; 13% abv. A rather dark toned nose of raspberry and game meat. It smells a bit like freshly cut wood (n.b. not oak). Quite full bodied within the context of Beaujolais, but does have a bit softer acidity than I would ideally hope. The tannins provide enough structure to keep everything together. Long, savoury aftertaste. Nice!
We haven't seen much Juliénas here (only Drouhin's IIRC), so I have no idea if this is typical of the AOC. Who makes good Juliénas? It seems to be a Cru that doesn't get very much noise on wine fora.
lauantai 23. elokuuta 2008
Georges Dubœuf Moulin-à-Vent 2006
18,28€; 13%; Fût de Chêne - and so it smells. It smells sweet and the oak is so dominant it reminds me more of hot-chocolate than wine! Moderately light body, bitter oak notes and sadly the aftertaste is extremely long (and bitterly oaky). Offensive.
Georges Dubœuf Moulin-à-Vent Domaine des Rosiers 2006
15,58€; 13% abv. A pleasant scent of red berries, some earth and jasmine tea - very expressive and (dare I say it?) pure! Gladly it doesn't show signs of the dreaded 71B yeast. Quite light and graceful, more tannic than acidic. Long. Considering my previous experiences with Duboeuf, I was very positively surprised. Genuinely enjoyable.
keskiviikko 20. elokuuta 2008
Dark. Though it does show some toasty oak, the dominant note is of mixed forest berries made into jam. Somehow it stays together despite the sweet berry notes and low amounts of acid and tannin that would support them. Slightly warm aftertaste, but certainly not disastrously alcoholic despite the huge abv (though I suppose that is normal for Zin?).
Knowing how Finns love their berries, I can understand why this is so popular here, but I do think it incredibly one-dimensional. A well made commercial wine (but overpriced here) that I tired of after a few sips.
tiistai 19. elokuuta 2008
Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese 2002
9% abv; AP 3 567 142-6-03. Light colour. The scent has just the right proportions of rocks and steel and lime and passionfruit - it is a perfectly balanced, pure Mosel Riesling. Steely, some sugar, (quite tannic even?), refreshing, but from the small amount of '02s I have had, I was expecting more acid. Very nice even though I would appreciate much more age on it.
I am intrigued about the tannins - I have lately noted tannins in quite a few white wines. Is it my senses playing tricks on me, or is it just the standard vocabulary used in describing whites that is causing the doubts as to what I sense?
lauantai 16. elokuuta 2008
2007 Citra Palio Pecorino Terre di Chieti IGT - Italy, Abruzzi, Terre di Chieti IGT (8/15/2008)
Used mostly in the risotto, but did have a sip: 8,69€; 13% abv; 100% Pecorino, a grape I hadn't heard of before. Light as water. Slightly salty, rather neutral and melony scent; refreshing, mineral, moderately light. Fun wine though nothing special. Winegrape Glossary mentions a red Pecorino, but what is this white one?
2002 Trimbach Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile - France, Alsace, Ribeauvillé, Alsace AOC (8/16/2008)
This took a while to open up, but when it did it was a lovely, powerful, mineral, stern and very young and classic CFE. On day two: pure Riesling fruit, slightly honeyed and spicy. Racy and pure, but not as stern, powerful and acidic as I remember other CFEs to have been at this infant stage. Very good.
1997 Travaglini Gattinara Tre Vigne - Italy, Piedmont, Northern Piedmont, Gattinara (8/16/2008)
Looking a bit aged, but drinks beautifully. Tobacco/ash on the nose, very ripe fruit and quite dark toned, sweeter than I usually find Nebbiolo to be, but with perfectly adequate structure. It's a nice wine, but it doesn't scream Nebbiolo at me.
1999 Prunotto Barolo Bussia - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo (8/16/2008)
A pretty classic style: roses, some darker tones underneath the red berry scents. Develops tarry notes with air. Bright and focused, pleasantly tannic but needs food at the moment. Long and savoury. Very enjoyable though young.
2005 Ratzenberger Bacharacher Wolfshöhle Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel - Germany, Mittelrhein (8/16/2008)
A floral, passionfruity style, at first not showing much more than just pure Riesling fruit, but it did gain some mineral complexity with air. Good fruit, fair acidity for the year, but it doesn't seem as expressive as the last bottle I tried. Very nice
2005 Peller Estates Vidal Blanc Oak Aged Icewine - Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula (8/16/2008)
Apricot, orange and botrytis (but I though Icewine doesn't usually have it?). Very thick and concentrated, enormous sweetness but lovely acidity too. Gladly, I don't find the oak influence that the label suggests. Very nice, but unsubtle.
maanantai 11. elokuuta 2008
Greenish-gold colour. Though mostly Sauv bl, the scent reminds me very much of the few Hunter Valley Semillons I have had: red apple, lime, and a slight bitterness (I don't mean for it to sound off-putting, but the scent is a bit like vomit - I find this often in good Champagnes as well...). Lovely acidity, medium bodied, mineral. It does have some oak, but there is so much else, too, that I am not worried - a couple years more age should make it integrate. This seems a very young wine still and I would like to try it in a few years - I am not sure I trust the back label, though, when it says it can keep up to 30 years! A very positive experience.
lauantai 9. elokuuta 2008
12,48€; 13,5% abv. Salmon pink. The scent is very pleasant with strawberry supported by minerals - refreshing, rather than cloying. Light but ripe fruit, perfectly decent structure though not terribly high in acidity, very refreshing and charming. It finishes very dry and mineral, which is nice. I sometimes find S. French rosés too heavy and sweetly fruity, but this isn't only about southern sun, but has charming structure, too. I'll buy again.
Domaine Jean-Marc Burgaud Morgon Côte du Py 2006 - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Morgon
13% abv; 16,98€. Day one: a little bit of plastic and reduction, quite closed and hard: gravel and raspberry. Day two: A lovely open scent of gravel and raspberry, a little bit peppery, earthy and gamy/bloody (I wouldn't be surprised if this became more like N. Rhone than Burgundy with age). I find the slight tartness to be very charming. This is well structured, and gladly has none of that bubblegum-estery fruit that so many Beaujolais have, but still has raspberried fruit. Mineral, savoury and gravelly aftertaste. Needs a bit of age, but is really charming even now. I think I will buy very many of these...
perjantai 8. elokuuta 2008
104,90€; 13,5% abv. A very pretty Pinot: ripe, but not in any way overbearing fruit; wonderful tart cherry aromas, pure Pinosity in a delightfully vegetal way, mineral/almost metallic, a very pure and (contrary to the more masculine style of GE of DRC) feminine wine. Medium bodied but very persistent and delineated. It has lovely structure and lovely fruit, but nothing sticks out, everything is in perfect proportion to all the other parts. It is in my experience typical for the year and producer (I haven't had enough GE to say how it fits in to that); and most importantly, it is an exquisite wine for my tastes though a decade or two too young.
sunnuntai 3. elokuuta 2008
This has an uncommonly informative back-label: From the vineyard "Haberlehof"; Location: Buchholz - Pochi; altitude sea level 450m / 1500ft; age of vines 15-40 years, harvest date 1.-5.09.2007; yield 55ha/hl; production 19,300 bottles. The 2005 that was available here was called Haberlehof, which is logical since that is the vineyard, so why is the 2007 labeled only Haberle?
Whatever the reason for the name change, the wine is just as lovable as the 2005 (maybe more so). A very pure nose, with all of that apple aroma that I read the grape should have, and with much minerality. Elegant, light but intense, the acidity carries the rocks and fruit on its back and runs for a long stretch, though the rocks do get to it towards the end. But I do love a mineral finish.
Weingut Willi Bründlmayer Grüner Veltliner Alte Reben 2004
13% abv; 28,50€. Still light as water. The scent is powerful: steely, earthy, mineral and muscular. It develops citrus and green (lentils?) aromas with air and eventually reminds me of the stunning 1991 Vinothek from Nikolaihof (but younger of course). Broad palate but very steely, concentrated with much of both acids and tannins. It is like a saluqi just before being released onto the racing track: tense, bursting with energy and power yet extremely elegant. I think this is an exquisite wine and I must try it soon again to verify that .
Serge Batard Domaine Les Hautes Noëlles Muscadet-Côtes de Grandlieu Sur Lie 2006
12% abv; 14,85€. Leesy, very ripe nose - lacking the mineral intensity I hope to see in Muscadet. Gladly a lighter palate than the nose suggested, but still a rather clunky and soft style for this area. Expensive, too. Pass.
Perusini ronchi di Gramogliano Colli Orientali del Friuli Cabernet Franc 2006
13%abv; 24,90€. A lovely scent of wet tobacco and sweet red fruit. It has the refreshing, slightly greenish aromas of Cab Franc but in a very ripe (but not over-ripe) expression. Quite a full bodied wine for the grape, but not over-done in any way, lovely refreshing tannins; quite low but sufficient acidity. The aftertaste is tangy and savoury and varietally very true. Not a Loire Cab Franc, but a lovely and honest example of the grape.