Monthly Archives: May 2014

A powerful, but yet pure and fresh Margaux

The Château Rauzan-Ségla is well known to all Bordeaux drinkers and the estate was established in 1763. However, in 1994 the current owners, the Wertheimer brothers, who also owns Coco Chanel, bought it and hired the scotsman John Kolasa to manage the wine making. John had previously been working at Château Latour and when he arrived to the estate, he planted more merlot and put a lot of focus on the vineyards; especially low-yields and meticulous selection of grapes.

The blend for this cuvée was 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot and yields was extremely low this year in Bordeaux. 60% new oak is used to raise this wine for 18 months.

2011 Chateau Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux

The colour is very dark purple-red middle with very intense crimson red light edges.
After one hour scents of pencil lead, graphite, barn, cassis, fresh herbs, shale and saline mushrooms emerges from the glass. A quite deep, complex and fresh nose pushed by skillful use of oak.
This wine offers very pure, cool and fresh black fruit. The palate offers distinct cassis, dusty gravel, olives, lead pencil, grape-peel and loads of minerals. It offers high concentration and is full bodied with chewy and grainy, but currently a little coarse and heavy tannins. It is powerful, fleshy and very persistent too with very good balance. Acidity is very balsamic, fresh and energetic in this yet very young wine.

A very balanced, fresh and very persistent wine in this vintage indeed. It is drinkable now, but open it in 2019 to let the tannins settle more.


92-93p/100

A modern, but very complex and unusual etna rosso

In the vineyard Solicchiata on the northern slopes of the vulcano Etna in Siciliy, Italy, about 700 meters above sea-level, the grapes for this wine grows on lava soil. For this blend 90% Nerello Mascalese and 10% Nerello Cappuccio are used. Today, after Guglielmo Cottanera passed away, the estate is led by his brother Enzo and the children of the co-founder: Mariangela, Francesco and Emanuele. The vineyard is operated mostly by  a workteam of 25 women, which is the custom here according to Enzo. After selection by hand, maceration is carried out for 16-18 days in steel and the juice is raised in 50% neutral big barrels and 50% in barriques of which 30% are new with medium toasting for nine months. Then it rests for 18 months in bottle before release.


Anybody who has been up on the vulcano Etna, knows it is very much alive and it is a very interesting wine area in deed that we haven’t dug deep into yet, but one that keeps on surprising us with its unique terroir and refreshingly often different approach to wine making.


2009 Cottanera Etna Rosso

The colour has a ruby red middle, but somewhat beautifully translucent with transparent crimson-red purple edges.
After only one hour, a surprisingly complex, fresh scent of ginger, coriander, dried cocos flakes, very special, but distinct tar, wood glue, some fragrant flowers, delicate and vibrating minerals enters. In addition, tiny notes of toasted oak, but nothing that disturbs. We really enjoy this quite complex and very unusual nose!
The palate offers fresh, complex exotic spices, ginger and sourish, but ripe and pure fruit. Acidity is very balsamic and fresh wrapping tasty bitter grape-peel and oils. Concentration is great and the envelope is quite elegant for this price-level and there is good grip in the relatively persistent finish too. Texture is velvety and tannins are of great quality.

It is a well made wine with an interesting nose and transparent personality. Costs about €25 and it is really price-worthy.

90+p/100


The Lovers Vineyard in Burgundy

The Les Amoureuses is a very special vineyard usually offering a very intensely fragrant, feminine, enchanting bouquet. It is classified as premier cru, but everybody considers it being Grand cru, but anyway it is the little sister princess residing at 250 m above sea level just below the great queen of Musigny.

The wines at this estate are a made in a collaboration by Robert, Robert Groffier’s son Serge and grandson Nicolas, so three generations are involved with the wine making business. They own the largest part of the Les Amoureuses vineyard (1.09 ha which is a 20%) and vines are about 30 years old and divided into three bigger parcels with slightly different exposition. They aquired these in 1933 from a négotiant at the time. They employ 5-6 days cold soak and maceration is carried out at remarkably high temperatures. Vinification parameters vary depending on vintage and they add ripe stalks when extra tannins for structure is needed. The wine is raised in barriques for one year of which 50% are new and then the wine rests and stabilises even further in neutral steel vats until bottling after 16 months.

2008 is a classic vintage with a very inconsistent growing season that reminded people at first a lot of the previous bad year of 2007. However, even though it too was wet and in general cool, it was saved by some weeks of well needed sun and warmth beginning in late June, but went cloudy in July. In the first part of August, the weather was really sunny followed by a very wet and cold September. Harvest was not easy with mildew and started in the last week of September, but the wines have developed better than anticipated. They are definitely better than 2007.

2008 1er cru Amoureuses, Robert Groffier

A really beautiful, translucent dark cerise-red colour with light-orange and transparent edges.

The scents at the base holds under vegetation, dusty gravel, distinct earthy minerals, wood glue and then you are suddenly transferred into a summer meadow with morning fresh dew. After two hours, it offers quite intense top notes of violets, fresh flowers, dried Mediterranean herbs and balsamic notes. In addition, very deep, fragrant and seductive scents with stylish inner perfumes emerges in waves at the glass. And finally, after three hours, the bouquet offers ripe fruit and the perfume is a little less intense at this stage, but more prominent than other scents in here. This vineyard is always something very beautiful and seductively captivating.

It is detailed with quite deep layers of red fruit; very ripe wild strawberries, sloes, cranberries and in addition some quite surprising passion-fruit. In addition, there is fresh herbs and spices e.g. clove, nutmeg, anise, cardamon, Sicilian blood orange, gravel and balsamic oil. Texture is velvety, almost silky and tannins are ripe and of really high quality. Acidity is incredibly fresh and wraps balsamic oils, delicate pears and orange-peel. Concentration is fine, but could be better and there is just enough structure.

This supreme princess just lacks some concentration, grip and backbone to reach all the way to the finish-line as well as suffering just a little from some excessive sweetness, but otherwise this sophisticated and lovely young woman, is a sensual personality, all dressed in velvet, is strikingly balanced, feather-lightly structured and certainly emerges with grace and elegance. Her scent is incredibly fragrant, captivating and intense from a lovely site that we certainly can never get enough of. It is enjoyable now, but I urge you to wait until 2018 to let the tannins integrate more and get everything into place.

93-94p/100

2009 may not be a classic vintage, but it is a really good one that is fat, fleshy, rich and forwardly packed with fruit. It may not have a very long life ahead, but it is approachable with an relatively early drinking window and the French characterises it as sexy. Some says it is a lesser version of the great, big and high acidic 2005 and others mean it resembles the other vintages that end with a 9.

 

2009 1er cru Amoureuses, Robert Groffier


The colour is beautifully translucent blood orange with scarlet nuances and light-orange edges.The first hour, the base nose offers medicine cabin, earth cellar, cherries and distinct wet gravel. After another two hours, the expected flowers finally arrive. A blossoming summer meadow, earthy minerals and then waves of really intense flowers and seductive inner-perfumes leave the glass. The scent is intensively forward, complex and fragrant with its spellbinding qualities.

Texture is very soft and already silky with almost no spurs from the tannins at all. The fruit is forwardly super-fresh and dominated now by deep layers of red currant, sloes and cranberries, but there are notes of wild strawberries too in here. The mid palate offers typical terroir-characteristics; pleasant metallic and earthy minerals as well as anise seeds, distinct herbs, pastry, dusty gravel and cardamom. It is a persistent, very pure, concentrated, refined and very forward taste sensation with great balance. All these great flavours are coated in very fresh and balsamic acidity that wraps passion-fruit, pears and oils.

Yet again, a great effort by Groffier and the site has proved itself to be absolutely worthy of its grand cru nomination and all its feminine magic. This princess is full of self confidence, very generous and direct. It is more complete than the 2008 vintage, especially on the palate with better concentration, and simply lovely.

95+p/100

 

A montefico with a very wide scensoric, stroking brush and sexy fruit

This cooperative is shared among 56 growers in Barbaresco and makes nine single crus in good years. Vinification is traditional and employs a very hands-off approach to wine making. If you look at the backside of your bottle, you can always read who the growers are. The juice undergoes maceration in steel for 28 days with submerged caps and are aged in big, neutral barrels (botti) for three years and released after six months in bottle. Montefico is one of the best vineyards in this area around the Barbaresco village alongside Rabaja, Montestefano and Asili.

2008 is a classic vintage in Piedmont with a winter of three snowstorms followed by a rainy spring with April temperatures way below average, a warm May and a pretty cold and wet first half of June. The beginning of summer offered much warmer, but still quite wet weather that remained all through July. This was followed by average summer temperatures in August and September was very dry.

The harvest for this wine started on October 4th and in line with classic years such as 2004, 1999, except for in general some more minerals and just a little higher acidity
. The climate was ideal here and the harvest lasted for a full two weeks without issues. The sugar level in the grapes are not as high as the previous vintage 2007 and the tannins are much more high-quality and complex thanks to the slow ripening this year that is so favourable to nebbiolo. The fruit is intense, and the acidity not shy… a great vintage for Nebbiolo especially in Barbaresco!

2008 Montefico, Produttori di Barbaresco Riserva

After just one hour, the nose emerges as holding back with tar, saline much rooms, oil paint and dried red flower petals. After another three hours, there is suddenly a lot of Swedish raspberry candy boats, some worn leather, deep balsamic herbs, fresh salvia, coriander, fragrant, intense red flowers and distinct, flirty, seductive young perfumes. In the base there are distinct summer grill notes, vibrating, somewhat burned limestone and loads of tar that cannot be from anywhere else than Piedmont. A truly fantastic and transparent nose of two opposite scent foundations that is so special from this very complex vineyard.
This taste offers chalky and somewhat burned lime infused layers of packed very ripe red berries; raspberries and wild caramelised strawberries, and exotic herbs. In addition, the palate offers anise seed, liquorice, notes of tobacco and smoke. The fruit is very ripe, intense and pure and satisfactory, without disturbing excessive sugars or any notion of alcohol. The acidity is energetic, balsamically fresh and wraps ginger, honey melon, passionfruit and lime. It is now still just a little gnarly and needs a few more years in bottle. Very unexpectedly, the texture is dusty and, surprisingly, already incredibly soft, almost velvety for such a classic vintage. The balance is striking, it is medium-bodied and concentration is consistent all the way to the very persistent, beautiful finish.

Amazingly, when considering the classic characteristics of this vintage, this wine puts me with a very young, sexy, flirty and lovely, but sophisticated, girl on very sunny summers evening at the grill in a garden of fresh herbs and roses. Impressively fresh and enchanting, young lovely perfumes really stand out and she offers tons of crowd-pleasing ripe fruit and personality. Her love is immediate and irresistible. Truly an already very approachable, very aromatic wine with perfect tannins and with loads of characteristic tar and smoke as well as herbs, seductive perfumes and blossoming flowers. Open in 2016 just to let the acidity integrate just a little more and don’t forget to serve at about 17 degrees Celsius after four hours of decanting. Costs about €40 which is remarkably price-worthy for this quality and probably impossible to beat.

95p/100