Monthly Archives: March 2015

The best Brunate from the Burgundy-inspired Altare

in 2011 the rental contract with Marco Marengo ended, so there won’t be any more bottling of what we find being their best barolo. The oldest vines here are about 90 years. 2010 don’t need any more introduction, but as many readers know by now, it is most likely the best vintage ever since 1989 in Piedmont. Especially the tannins are of highest quality in this cold and slow-cycled vintage and berries are small. 

2010 Barolo Brunate, Elio Altare

Colour is glowingly blood orange on the edges with darker red middle.

The nose is slow and needed a lot of airing to wake up and the oak is dominating now, but after several hours in the decanter, there is a very pretty perfume, loads of seductive flowers, ripe fruit, fresh subtle herbs, spices and new baked brioche that slip through from this sacred vineyard in La Morra.

On the palate, its texture is soft but currently somewhat grainy from oak and the tannins bites just a little at this stage so it needs a lot of time to integrate further. Really good concentration and packed with ripe and candid red fruit, some tar, pastry and anise. Mouth-coating and full bodied, but just a little dry now in the very persistent finish. Acidity is fresh, crisp and promises a long life a head.

It is a very Burgundish and fruit-driven Brunate with razor-sharp precision that will most likely need a decade, but it will certainly be pretty and elegant. Well done, Silvia Altare!


Burgundy tasting part 3 – A few more reds and final thoughts

This is the third and last post in our series from the Burgundy tasting at Otto Suenson in February. The previous can be found here and here.

2012 Domaine Michel Magnien Chambolle-Musigny Les Fremieres, Cote de Nuits

Very fruity and quite powerful nose with pure red and dark berries and some slight hints of barnyard in the background. Very expressive for a Chambolle. There is a well needed acidity that complements the dense palate. This is a good wine, but not at all what I expected. Focus is on power and not finesse.


2012 Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits

As expected with a Cathiard, the fruit is extremely pure and fresh, but the wine also offers some darker notes and is surprisingly dense. I also find some floral notes and black currant. Extremely fresh and well balanced on the palate, where a precise acidity meets silky tannins and pure fruit. Fantastic for a village wine and a more dense impression than expected.


2012 Domaine Dugat-Py Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvee Coeur de Roy Vieilles Vignes

Lots of dark fruit jumps out of the glass, unfortunately together with oak and hints of barnyard. Extremely forward on the nose. On the palate we find an abundance of overly toasted new oak and in there are some dark fruit, mainly black currant, and some dark minerals.

This is a powerful wine and was probably intended to be just that. Not a typical burgundy wine and not our style. However, since the age of vines here are almost 100 years and they claim to put a lot of effort into the vineyard, it is a shame that they put the grapes in 100% well toasted new oak we think.


2012 Domaine des Epeneaux Comte Armand Clos des Epeneaux Monopole, Pommard Premier Cru

This family has been running the estate since before the French revolution and since 1999 Benjamin Leroux has been directing it to higher quality ever since, turning them biodynamic, de-stems totally and don’t crush all grapes.

Not surprisingly we are met with dark fruit and quite earthy notes. On the palate we find a tannic structure that reminds us of nebbiolo, but turns a bit sandy and dry. This wine is a powerhouse and delivers what many people expect from a Pommard, but it is good.


2012 Maison Bertrand Ambroise Corton Le Rognet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune

Great nose with both red and black fruit as well as spices and slight earthy notes. Good balance between acidity and fruit on the palate even though the acidity need some time to integrate. A wine that is easy to recommend and it also has some character and personality.


2012 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Cuvee Vieilles Vignes, Cote de Nuits

We recently met with Laurent Ponsot at his Domaine in Burgundy and among other wines tried the Clos de la Roche from 2012. Therefore we will return with a full tasting note later.

This is a very expressive wine with lots of beautiful fruit. Ponsot also manages to keep the finesse and balance in this generous Clos de la Roche.


Final comments

This tasting certainly showed how many different expressions you can find in Burgundy even though you focus on one vintage.

It is hard to appoint a winner at this tasting, but some of our favourite wines and positive surprises came from Domaine Leflaive, Roumier, Sylvain Cathiard, Maison Bertrand Ambroise, Benjamin Leroux and Domaine Ponsot.

Burgundy tasting part 2 – Over to the reds

This is part two of our notes from the Burgundy tasting at Otto Suenson. We now move over to the reds, which are split into two sections. To read our previous post where we also make a short comment about the 2012 vintage click here.

2012 Domaine Jacques Prieur Champs Pimont Rouge, Beaune Premier Cru, France

Rather deep nose with ripe, quite dark fruit and some hints of paint. Similar on the palate but also with a quite strong tannic structure and clear oak flavours which adds a bit of bitterness in the finish. A powerful Pinot Noir of good quality but it lacks some elegance and needs more time.


2012 Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Les Narbantons, Savigny-les-Beaune Premier Cru

Pure expression with red fruit and some slight menthol notes. On the palate red currant appears together with a precise acidity that adds some freshness and attitude to the wine. A very fresh and pure wine with quite juicy fruit.



2012 Domaine Hubert Lignier Morey-Saint-Denis Tres Girard, Cote de Nuits

Nose is dominated by intense fruit, some red but mainly dark. Unfortunately some oak notes later take over and carries over to the palate where we also find a strong tannic structure. This is a surprisingly powerful wine but it needs to mature.



2012 Domaine Lecheneaut Les Charrieres, Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru

Pure fruit notes open up the nose and are then complemented with some notes of spices. Very energetic acidity that today is a bit too dominant, but should calm down with time. There is also a rather chalky impression and some sandy tannins that gives structure. This wine has lots of attitude and a good potential, but it needs some time.


2011 Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier Les Combottes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru

Lots of red fruit complemented by a hint of blackcurrant welcomes us to this wine. In total the nose is quite dense and has a pure fruit expression. On the palate we find much of the same but also spicy notes and a very energetic acidity, which at the moment is slightly harsh but should calm down. Pure and fresh wine with a life ahead.


Burgundy tasting part 1 – The whites

In February we attended the yearly Burgundy wine tasting at Otto Suenson, a Danish wine importer with a great selection of Burgundy wines. The tasting was mainly for 2012 wines but a few 2011s had made it into the line-up too.

For growers in Burgundy the first half of the 2012 season was terrible with late prolonged flowering and hail in parts, but then the weather changed and the quality of the vintage was saved during the second half of the season by north cooling winds and daily warmth. Unfortunately yields are in some areas insanely low which has resulted in even higher prices from an already high level. In general, the wines are quite dense with really good concentration of forward fruit and, for red, a good and quite soft tannic structure. It is a very generous vintage and with good precision.

Below are our notes for the white wines we tasted and we will return later with the reds.

2012 Domaine Ramonet Bourgogne Aligote

Quite open nose with ripe pineapple, other tropical fruit and yellow pears, but also some notes of oak. The palate is similar, but with less fruit and with a quite fresh but soft acidity. Pleasant easy-to-like wine, but no wow-effect.


2012 Domaine Olivier Merlin Macon La Roche-Vineuse

Very tight nose that mainly revealed notes of lime and lemon. The same impression stays with us on the palate where we mainly find lemon and grapefruit, but also some minerals. I like a tight and precise wine, but this was too slim for me.


2011 Maison Remoissenet Pere & Fils Saint-Romain, Cote de Beaune

Quite forward nose with pleasant nectarine and some clear notes of oak. A fleshy and broad palate with an abundance of tropical fruit and a quite vibrant acidity. In the finish we find more oak before the wine closes down. A wine that is more about generosity than elegance.


2012 Domaine Paul Pillot Clos Saint-Jean, Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru

There are quite dense notes of pineapple and nectarines but also flint and some oak on the nose. Very generous and open. Similar fruit and denseness on a quite fleshy palate with an acidity that contains some lemon. A pleasant wine that is easy to enjoy.


2012 Benjamin Leroux Poruzots, Meursault Premier Cru

Open and ripe fruit together with some hazelnut and notes of butter. Generous without being over the top. Great juicy tropical fruit and some peel from pear accompanied with a soft and almost tingling acidity. This is a crowd pleaser but it also has balance and complexity and whose aromatics should fair even better with its food pairings. I would happily take another sip…


2011 Domaine Leflaive Clavoillon, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru

Beautiful and fresh nose, mainly fruity but also with a fresh mineralic expression and some perfume and white flowers in the tail. The palate has a great balance between a fresh acidity and quite ripe fruit. A very elegant wine that still has a lavish side to it.



We will be back with the reds…

Francesco Rinaldi cannubi shines when it is at its best

2010 Barolo Cannubi, Francesco Rinaldi

Colour is transparently, but light orange-red with light brown-orange edges.

Give this at least three hours of airing, swirl the decanter and you’ll be surprised how authentic it is. The classic scents arrives with a wide mix of sub notes; raspberry candy,  rubber raincoat nose, soot and an abundance of tar are all here as well as chewing tobacco and dried herbs. At the top, there is a complex perfume of dried blue flowers, fresh rose petals and oil paint. Cannubi doesn’t do well in dry, warm years, due to the high levels of sand over clay that don’t store water well, so in a such a good cold, slow year as this, it really shines. A fresh and genuine Cannubi-nose that is really satisfactory and intriguing!

Even though the youthful tannins take a bite in your cheeks, an experienced Barolo-passionista can still really feel the softness and chewiness of these remarkably high-quality and thick, but juvenile tannins. There is something extraordinary with the 2010 vintage that really puts Burgundy up to game. In addition, dry liquorice-root, sweet tobacco again, leather and herbs wrapped in a promising, vivid, energetic and a little saline and grape juice-like acidity.

Except for a great genuine nose, the the cool thing here is that nothing dominates, it is seamless and the fruit is already a very pleasant part of it all. It is building voluptuous, generous and persistent. If you think that the tannins bite, just a little too much even after a few hours, I recommend that you leave it in the decanter for one day. This is all about soft, smooth texture and expressive pedigree. A genuine classic with grace yet to come and without question, the absolute best Cannubi from this producer so far. Yes, we really like it!