Saturday, 29 October 2011
2005 Château Haut-Brion;
Ruby, violets, minerals, vanilla, plums, cassis, extremely seductive, secretive. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, stunning texture, soft, elegant, refined, amazing length, really needs time. 98
1998 Château Haut-Brion;
Ruby, smoky Pessac notes, leather, fine tobacco, cassis, anise, layered, seductive and astonishing depth. Superb acidity, ripe tannins, amazing balance and refinement, silky texture, flirting, long. 96
Friday, 28 October 2011
WS 98 Ruby, ripe, coffee, touch sweet, on the palate just sweet and alcoholic with warm finish. 75
#2 2008 Two Hands Barossa Valley Shiraz, Bella's Garden;
WS 94 Very deep ruby, intense, ripe, plums and boysenberries. Good acidity but feels on the outside (acidified?) ripe tannins, not to long. 86
#3 2008 Peter Michael Ma Belle-Fille, Sonoma County Chardonnay;
WS 97 Pale lemon, popcorn, vanilla, butter. Nice acidity, fatty texture, some alcohol sweetness, good length. 89
#4 2007 Revana St.Helena Cabernet Sauvignon;
WS 95 Ruby, floral, artificial roses and cheap perfume. Good acidity, ripe tannins, strucktured, feels made.... 85
#5 2007 Altamura Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon;
WS 96 Deep ruby, sewwt and ripe, plum jam, alcohol on the nose. Warm, sweet of alcohol, fresh acidity, ripe tannins. 86, if I'm very kind.
#6 2008 Paul Hobbs Russian River Valley Pinot Noir;
WS 94 Ruby, strawberry jam, pepper, cinamon and spices. Good acidity, ripe tannins, almost non excisting, fruit driven, good length. 88
#7 Not tasted
#8 2007 Fontodi, Flaccianello Colli della Toscana Centrale;
WS 95 Ruby, ripe plums, spices, oak on top, coffee and goat cheese. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, structured, mocca, coffee intense finish. 91
#9 2007 CARM Duoro Riserva;
WS 94 Ruby, sweet tobacco, blueberries, licorice and cinamon. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, slightly herbal on the palate, good length. 88
#10 2009 Clos des Papes, Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc;
WS 94 Pale lemon, yellow fruits, some minerals behind. Lowish acidity, flat feel, for those with special interest. 88
Interesting for a person with a European palate to see how this, an American magazine, preffer so sweet wines, many with to much alcohol to be in real balance....
Ruby with sediments, intense, layered, red and darker berries, coffee, licorice, massive nose. Fresher palate, still intense, high acidity, ripe tannins, hardly any development, long finish. Will become even more fantastic. 95
As a restaurant customer, what you drink is normally as important as the meal itself. Anyone driving and sits at a nice restaurant drinking water, knows how utterly boring even the best dishes get to be. But, do José Andrés really mean it?
Terrine of Tripe and Maine Lobster with Wild Mushroom Jus and Saffron
Daniel Bouloud's wine:
1993 Viña Tondonia Rioja Reserva White;
Golden, the typical slight oxidation, minerals, oxidized apples, low acidity, a touch rustic finish, still one of the fresher bottles I've had. 86
Thomas Matthews' wine:
2009 Paul Hobbs Richard Dinner Vineyard, Sonoma Mountains Chardonnay;
Pale lemon, slight popcorn, flinty minerals, some flowers, good acidity, fatty texture, good length. 89
To sort of waste the lobsters delicate fragrance with all these ingredients is a bit strange to me, even if the onions gives it freshness and liven it up, the saffron over-shadows the aftertaste. The texture of the dish on the other hand is excellent.
Viña Tondonia complements it nicely on flavours, but barely, with a bit more acidity it would work nicely. The Paul Hobbs works even better on aromas, but the minerality of the wine drowns the allready exhausted lobster even more, and Emeril Lagasse finds it to heavy as well. I can't say I disagree.
Jamon Iberico de Bellota"Fermin"with Salmon Tartar and Trout Roe
Charlie Trotter's wine;
2006 Soter Vineyards Willamette Valley Brut Rosé; (Sparkling)
Pale pink with small bubbles, artificial strawberries, elegant mousse, OK acidity, short and lean, if refreshing. 75
Thomas Matthews' wine;
Champagne Barons de Rothschild Brut NV;
Pale lemon, tiny bubbles, brioch and apples, elegant mousse, fine acidity, refreshing. 87
Fantastic dish, salty and elegant, the Iberico giving texture and a slightly smoked taste, even nutty, then the roe exploding with licquid and salt, with the salmon tartar dampening the effect being a bridge between the two. The Soter is not to bad on the flavour match, but has no chance otherwise, it feels metallic and lean and just a bit to dry, you need some sweetness with all the salt. Rothschild Champagne works well indeed, blending the flavours of the wine and dish into a new flavour picture, even if a slightly fatter bodied Champagne but without more acidity would probably do even better. How about a Charta Riesling?
Stuffed Pig Trotter with Apple-Brussel Sprout Salad and Tangerine Brown Butter Vinaigrette
José Andrés' wine:
Antonio Barbadillo Olorose Jerez Dulce Amoroso San Rafael NV;
Deep amber, heavy minerals, some salt, oxidized. Fresh acidity, sweetness balances well, good length, softer style Oloroso. 88
Thomas Matthew's wine:
2009 Guigal Condrieu;
Pale lemon yellow, lime, minerals, elegant nose. Acidity keeps playing throughout the taste curve, even if never feeling fresh, as always with white Rhône, I'm confused. 85-92?
A bit too stuffed I'm affraid, heavy texture, flavours a bit bland and somehow confusing, to much going on, and in no particular direction. Luckily the vinaigrette is easy going, and even if vinaigrette's normally manages to overshadow everything else completely, this one was refreshing to the otherwise too heavy and compact dish. The sprout is slightly refreshening things up as well, but goes terribly with the wine, absolutely awfull, to green and harsh. The Oloroso working well flavor wise, but overshadows, it's too intense. The Guigal works with the spiciness of the dish, and somehow the acidity that feels like it isn't there manages, just.....
Rabbit Porchetta with Chorizo, Porcini, Argula and Hazelnut
Emeril Lagasse's wine:
2009 Joseph Drouhin Morey-St.-Denis;
Ruby, easy. fragrant, strawberries and a touch of spices. Elegant flavours, good acidity, ripe tannins, oak shines through in the finish. 87
Thomas Matthews' wine:
2001 Bodegas Roda Rioja Cirsion;
Deep ruby, dark plums, blueberries, vanilla and licorice. Rich Rioja, towards Baigorri de Garage, but not as complex. Fresh acidity, tannins soft, vanilla in the aftertaste, rich and still elegant, long. 90-91
This dish was exceptional on the balance between fresh and lively, refined in flavours and texture. Very elegant, complex, gorgeous flavours, how you needed to have all the elements of the dish in your mouth at once, or something would be missing. Andrés stated '-Amazing dish.' and Trotter said '-Delicious.' and I can't disagree. Superb. The Drouhin falls totally apart with this dish, doesn't stand a chance, it's totally over shadowed, the Roda works well, maybe on the verge of lean together with the food, but only maybe.
Then Andrés came up with something genious, I'have never heard anybody mention this before. '-Adding ingredient's to a dish, can alter it, even if a small, or bigger amount, it can lift or ruin it. (nothing new so far) It's the same with wine match, a sip, a mouthfull, just wetting the lips, makes the match different.'
So, the Roda, small sip, with the dish, became mineraly, earthy, blending nuances and matching delicately with the dish (still Bouloud's) Bigger sip, more fruit dominated, complement each other, works well, if not as great as the smaller sip.
Thank's to the four chefs and to Wine Spectator for arranging this event, this was my second tasting of this style, and so much better than the one in 2008!
Ruby, seductive, plums and blueberries, just a sprinkle of anise, hints of chocolate below, layered, nuanced, one can smell this on forever, just find yourself a nice dekk chair, and you will have the time of your life. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, stunning elegance and refined, violets and lillies with air, flirting, mouthwatering, absolutely stunning, waves of aftertaste. 97 for now.
Thursday, 27 October 2011
Tasting of four wines from Antinori, all in the 2001 vintage. All wines directly from the cellars of Antinori. Marchesi Piero Antinori was in good spirit, but I tend to focuse too much on the wine I have in the glass, as I have heard to much sales pitch..... But when you come to these guys, the sales pitch is normally toned down, sometimes non excisting all together, so it's just old habbit... Any way, the wine talks by itself, that's anyway the truth, even if I probably missed out on some good stories.
2001 Antinori Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, Fattoria La Braccesca;
Ruby, brick rim. Coffee, licorice, cherry stone, chocolate, almost dusty oak behind. High acidity, ripe tannins, elegant fruit, balanced, good length, again some oak in the end, very good now, with less oak, even better. 88
2001 Antinori Chianti Classico Badia a Passignano Riserva;
Ruby, coffee, licorice, cherry stone, chocolate, floral, violets. Elegant acidity, ripe tannins, slightly rustic oak tannins in the back, long length. 90
2001 Antinori Brunello de Montalcino Pian delle Vigne;
Ruby, more coffee, stone fruit, dreir feel on the nose, some violets and dried leaf, cigars. High acidity, ripe tannins, elegant texture, lovely balance and long length. 91
2001 Antinori Tignanello;
Ruby, rosemary, oregano, tobacco, cherry stone, spicy, more exotic. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, structured, long finish. 91
(Barrel sample) Ruby, strawberry jam, minerals, fresh acidity, beautiful texture, ripe tannins but a bit warm at the tip of the long finish. 90. Wine Spectator's Matt Kramer suggest's that this is the best California Pinot he has tasted, it's not the best I've tasted.....
Ruby, strawberry jam, floral, sweet but refined nose, layered. Cooler palate than expected, fresh and lively acidity, elegant style, ripe tannins, lovely texture, flirting and a long aftertaste. 92
Dark ruby, ruby rim. Morellos, dark plums, cassis with a touch of coffee. Intense. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, elegant body, long finish. Needs time. 92
Ruby, closed nose, just strawberries trying to show. Fresh acidity, quite lively palate, oak feels on the outside, ripe tannins, good length. There should be potential here. 91
Ruby, floral, strawberries, touch of herbs, elegant acidity, ripe tannins, just a touch of the slight rusticity I associate with this vineyard, good length. 89-90
Ruby, ripe strawberries, some barrel notes, spices and red fruits hiding in the back, intriguing nose. Fresh acidity, lovely body and texture, ripe tannins, cinamon, lovely acidity string through the tasting curve, long and very elegant finish. 93
2002 Dom Perignon;
Pale lemon yellow, tiny bubbles. Citrus, minerals, green apples. Elegant acidity and mousse, some caramel and yeast with burnt bread underneath in the finish. Long. The most open 02 Dom Perignon I've tasted, and one of the more open 02 prestige cuvee's as well. 94
1996 Dom Perignon Oenothèque;
Pale lemon yellow, tiny bubbles. Brioch, yeast, oxidized yellow apples, apple peel, rich nose. Beautiful mousse, elegant acidity, beautiful balance, so fresh and lively, gorgeous, generous yet firm, tantalizing and very long finish. 95
1990 Dom Perignon Oenothèque;
Pale lemon yellow, extremelly youthful color, minerals, lime, cooler feel than Cristal, feels sharper and more focused, still youthful aromas, flint, yeast, lime, apples, ripe lemon, exotic flowers, tight, superb balance, so fresh and lively, vigorous if shorter than the 96. 94
1975 Dom Perignon Oenothèque;
Pale golden, tiny bubbles, again youthful colour, minerals, smoke, lime, lemon, and again, youthful expression. Exotic flowers, yellow plums and such a purity, WOW! Creamy texture, superb balance, stunning feel, lifted, layered, complex, smooth and seemless texture and structural perfection. Streamlined and an enormous length, wave upon wave. 100
(NB How generous of Moet & Chandon to have pictures describing the wines and their feel available)
Monday, 24 October 2011
Christian Moueix, owner of several prestigious Bordeaux estates, amongst them Château Trotanoy was first out. It wasn't actually in quite the same setting, but anyway, the same people were there to taste. Christian, making wine for drinking, took big gulps of his 2005 Trotanoy, and I cant blame him. 2005 Château Trotanoy; Ruby, leather, anise, cinamon, layers of spices and herbs, vanilla, tea hints lingering above, mint. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, balanced, elegant palate, long length. 91
In my world, Christian is a superstar. Today talking lot's of fact's, proclaiming how frost is rarely an issue in Bordeaux, but can be so in California, how there are 200-250 berries in a bunch normaly, how one berry weighs in at about one gram, that a dried and shriveled grape (because of draught) way in at 0,7 and one bursting from exsessive water (from rain) weighs in at between 1,4 and 1,6 grams. Fascinating man to listen to.
I have also heard of Greg Norman, golfer. "-I love the way you drink your wine." he said to Christian after seeing how he drank the Trotanoy. When Christian said that he still had a way to go, his father had been drinking two bottles a day, but so far Christian was only doing one, Greg replied asking if anyone had ever answered truthfully at their doctor's, when asked how much they actually drink? He drinks two bottles a day. 2006 Greg Norman Estates Shiraz South Eastern Australia Reserve; Ruby, leather, touch of anise and cinamon in the back, peppered beef, vanilla. Fresh acidity, ripe and soft tannins, elegant play of slightly sweet dark berries and milk chocolate flavours and the acidity, good length. An elegant Aussie Shiraz! 90
Gregory John Norman AO (born 10 February 1955) is an Australian professional golfer and entrepreneur who spent 331 weeks as the world's Number 1 ranked golfer in the 1980s and 1990s. He is nicknamed The Great White Shark or sometimes simply The Shark – a reference to Norman's blond hair, size and aggressive golf style and the shark inhabiting Australian waters.
This guy was totally unfamiliar to me, Drew Bledsoe, quarterback of New England Patriots in American football. This is quite a small sport here in Norway, and I know that because my (half-)brother plays it (different genes). Anyway, seeing the gear he wears for practice, it's tough... No. it's on the verge of insane. They say that if one of these guys hits you, meaning runs you down on the field, it's like a truck hitting you at 30 km/h. It's a reason why I drink wine instead.... Was it after one of these collitions he started dreaming of something elegant to drink?
Drew McQueen Bledsoe (born February 14, 1972) is a former football quarterback in the National Football League, best known as the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots from 1993-2001. During the 1990s, he was considered the face of the Patriots franchise. Bledsoe, a Pro Bowler, All-American for the Washington State Cougars and #1 overall draft pick in the 1993 NFL Draft, announced his retirement from the sport on April 11, 2007.
Expecting a wine as harsh and violent as the sport, finding something completly different.... 2008 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley; Ruby, fresh fruit, spicy, floral and cinamon. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, elegant and quite refined texture and structure, quite cool and refreshing, lovely finish. 90
Then a Baseball star, again a tiny, if excisting sport at all here in Norway, with Tom Seaver. George Thomas "Tom" Seaver (born November 17, 1944), nicknamed "Tom Terrific" and "The Franchise", is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He pitched from 1967-1986 for four different teams in his career, but is noted primarily for his time with the New York Mets. During a 20-year career, Seaver compiled 311 wins, 3,640 strikeouts, 61 shutouts and a 2.86 earned run average. In 1992, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the highest percentage ever recorded (98.84%), and has the only plaque at Cooperstown wearing a New York Mets hat. As of 2010, Tom Seaver and Gil Hodges (played for the Mets in 1962-63) are the only Met players to have their jersey numbers retired by the team (Gil Hodges' number was retired as a manager even though he also played for the Mets).
2008 GTS Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Mountain District Seaver Family Vineyards;
Ruby, sweet plums, blackcurrant's. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, sweet and quite long finish. This was the simplest wine here, and the most easy going with bunches of ripe fruit. 88
Theodore Ernest "Ernie" Els (born 17 October 1969) is a South African professional golfer, who has been one of the top professional players in the world since the mid-1990s. A former World No. 1, he is known as "The Big Easy" due to his imposing physical stature (he stands 1.91 metres [6 feet, 3 inches]) along with his fluid, seemingly effortless golf swing. Among his numerous victories are three major championships: the U.S. Open in 1994 at the Oakmont Country Club and 1997 at the Congressional Country Club, and The Open Championship in 2002 at Muirfield.
Other highlights in Els' career include topping the 2003 and 2004 European Tour Order of Merit (money list), and winning the World Match Play Championship a record seven times. He is the leading career money winner on the European Tour, and was the first member of the tour to earn over 25 million Euros from European Tour events. He has held the number one spot in the Official World Golf Rankings and holds the record for weeks ranked in the top ten with over 780. Els was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2010, on his first time on the ballot, and was inducted in May 2011.2007 Ernie Els Stellenbosch Signature; Ruby, intense of herbs and nettles over cassis and chocolate. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, elegant and refreshing, even if some around the table felt it a bit to green on the nose, I admired the freshness, and it's one of the best red's I've ever tried from South Africa. Long length. 91
Monday, 17 October 2011
1974 Roederer Cristal;
Golden, few but tiny bubbles. Minerals on nose, didn't find much more, fresh acidity, lively feel, lacks some fruit in this company, still the elegance of Cristal, good length. 88
If you think less of Roederer's Cristal because of some musicians of odd taste in clothing and texts, think again. This was a big eyeopener, these are Champagne's of impeccable elegance and refinement, and truly deserving it's legendary status. Rarely have one vitnessed a style so similar over 30 years, maybe they are a bit more rounded from 85 and older, if that has to do with the older age and maybe a higer dosage back then, I can't tell, but I could enjoy all the fifteen vintages, one glass of each without getting GORD that, for me at least, can occur with several high acidity wines in one evening. (Riesling or Champagne normally).
Cristal is a wine of true elegance, refinement, layers, complexity and impeccable length, and one of the top Prestige Cuvée's in the industry. I look forward to my next bottle.....
A huge thanks to Frank Herfjord and Gard Kverneland, (and others that have helped) to make this evening a possibility, and for letting me join. A splendid evening.
1975 Roederer Cristal;
Golden, tiny bubbles. Minerals, apples, harder and tougher style than 76, amazing acidity, even if a bit on the outside, and not fully integrated in the taste curve, youthful expression for it's age, lively, long if slightly hollow finish, I actually find it still needs ageing. Think Picasso Cubist style in a Champagne. 95
Sunday, 16 October 2011
1976 Roederer Cristal;
Golden, paler hue than 78. Rich, minerals, citrus. smokey and tobacco leaves, elegant texture, absolutely gone for one second, talk about non excisting mid palate, but everything is forgiven with such an aftertaste, beautiful, if never as fresh as the 78 or 79, long finish. 95
1978 Roederer Cristal;
Golden, few bubbles. Mature nose, coffee and minerals, hardly any of those typical oxidative apply notes that are in so many of the aged Champagne's. Elegant mousse, beautiful acidity, citrus, lemon, orange peel, lively and very long, must be a perfect bottle and a surprice for me. 96-97
1979 Roederer Cristal;
Rarely have I looked more forward to tasting a wine of my vintage than this one. And it gave even more than I expected..... Golden, tiny bubbles, layered, refined, complex, lemon, orange, minerals, flint, thoroughbred, mouthwatering. Fresh acidity, lively feel and stunning balance, some forest floor, intense and refined to it's finger tips, nuanced, and an imense length, minutes.... 100
1982 Roederer Cristal;
Golden, tiny bubbles, lobster shell, leafy, towards tobacco, but also something more herbal, caramel and ripe lemon. On flavours and texture, quite interesting, but it also fails, beeing a bit hollow mid-palate and somewhat short, especially in this company. 88
I see my fellow tasters have been much more kind to it.....
1985 Roederer Cristal;
Golden, tiny bubbles, tobacco, pure yellow apples, minerals, lillys of the valley again. Superb balance, stunning elegance, ripe yet fresh, evolving beautifully in the glass, green asparagus, lovely texture, lively if on the low side acidity for Champagne, long length. I think my best 85 Champagne so far. 96
After the sublime 96, and the 90 trying to be, there was, I would say, utter disaster. The 1989 Roederer Cristal was oxidized after faulty storage, and one of the bottles I was looking the most forward to, the 1988 Roederer Cristal was corked.
1990 Roederer Cristal;
Golden, tiny bubbles, feels quite mature on the nose, also ripe. Rich, minerals, apples, yellow plums, some oxidation, nuts. Fresh mousse, lively acidity, fresher palate than nose suggested, wax, slightly plump finish. 92
1996 Roederer Cristal;
Pale golden, tiny bubbles. Brioch, yeast and minerals, citrus, apples, youthful expression, but more aged than rivaling Salon and Krug of the vintage, layered and complex. Fresh, lively, focused yet rounded, refined and utterly mouthwatering, exceptional length. 98-99
This Champagne is a serious contender for the Champagne of the vintage in my book.
1999 Roederer Cristal;
Pale golden, minerals, some oxidized pears, sea and seawead again, but firmer and tighter, call it cooler than the 00, intense palate, slightly steely aftertaste, long. 92
Time for the 02 again, have it opened up? Will it reveal itself a bit more?
2002 Roederer Cristal;
Strawellow, tiny bubbles. Minerals, flint, apples, yeast, lemon, lime, more open and nuanced now than ever before. Stunning texture and structure, like layered veils, superb elegance, refined, stunning finish. 95
2000 Roederer Cristal;
Straw with tiny bubbles, flinty, smokey, intense of rainy sea front morning, seaweed and ripe citrus. Fresh and elegant, but feels a bit short and ungraceful after the 02. 89
I had high expectations for this tasting, but was also slightly worried, Cristal being a Champagne that altough very good indeed, have rarely excited me imensely. It's been a journey, somewhat like my Biondi-Santi journey, of utter dissapointment when tasting it the first time, because it didn't deliver what I thought it would. Both are far more elegant, nuanced, layered, secretive and seductive, and I started to see that with Cristal when I last tasted the 02 last summer and a 99 two years back. All that I had tasted before, especially the 02 that I have tasted many times since my inicial tasting of it at Sherry-Lehman's on Park Avenue (if I remember correctly, I think that was at it's launch (in October 08)) and tasted it steadily since have been lean and felt extemely closed, even kind of empty.
Not so this evening. First the 04.
2004 Roederer Cristal;
Straw yellow, tiny bubbles, extremely closed first, flinty minerals with air, refined palate, superb mousse, acidity fine and well integrated for Champagne, lively and very elegant. Oosing of lillys of the valley (Convallaria Majalis) with touches of lime and orange peel behind. Seems to loose some acidity and mousse after a while.... 93