Category Archives: 2014

The price tag-wise impressive Oregon pinot joining up with a nebio from Giacosa

Oregon is a young wine region, but certainly an interesting one for sure. Throughout his now half-year time in California, Andreas have confirmed that the most Burgundy-like, coolest and most balanced pinots are found primarily at Sonoma coast or in highest part of Santa Rita hills, but obviously they are found in Oregon. Oregon is further up north on the west coast and as long as there is a cool breeze at nights and great sun exposure, naturally Oregon should have even better conditions for producing less sweet, less alcoholic and more balanced wines. In the last years, several domains in Burgundy has bought land in Oregon because of this and sent their young ones into a somewhat new wild west for wine making.

This time I just happened to be pairing up a newly released easygoing and price-worthy Oregon pinot with a simple nebbiolo from the iconic Piedmont producer; Bruno Giacosa. Even Though, an alternative from Burgundy sound like the obvious choice, It proved out to be a ingenius combo that opens up a door for likeness. 🙂

2015 Acrobat, “Pinot Noir” Acrobat wineries Oregon, USA

Beautiful and opaque red orange and red purple core with pink-cerise edges.

A lovely perfume of thyme, earthy qualities and notes of underbrush at the base as well as normally sweet red berries, but not the normal kind from California or any other new world. Moreover, delicate, quite intense top notes of high-pitched tulips and mesmerizing peony rose petals. There is absolutely a fragrant and lovely Chambolle-like note in here, but with a certain underbrush and divert mineralic twist.

Very silky, very fresh and as its name suggest, a truly impressively balanced wine. Fruit contains some sweet, highly concentrated, ripe wild strawberries, but combines this with cool, aromatic guava and rhubarb fruits. It is a very focused, superslim, generous and a gentle wine tiptoeing its juvenile, pristine and immaculate aromas in a fresh, juicy acidity elegantly to the finish line. It deserves the big Burgundy balloons or the Zalto glasses. Its only backside is its slightly sweet tone, but otherwise we love it! However, its youthfulness shines through with less precision, but the price tag at this quality-level is irresistible (SEK 165 kr, ~€17.30, $18.20) and impressive! (tasted 2016-03-08)

88+p/100

2014 nebbiolo d’Alba, Bruno Giacosa

Red orange, transparent and glowingly core with orange cerise edges.

The classic notes of leather, tar and lovely Ingrid Bergman roses, but here very subtle. Notes of cinnamon, cookies and dog rose too.

Well balanced and dense. Tannins are, of course, youthful but at the same tasty and quite soft considering its age. As always, even her, the precision is amazing at this price level for a non-barbaresco wine. It needs some more time to marry the tannins with the fresh, balsamic and lively acidity. Precision is a notch up compared to the Acrobat, but price is higher at SEK 289 kr (€30.30, $32) (tasted 2017-03-08)

87-88p/100

A Rioja with less American vanilla pudding

Yes, and certainly very surprising, I stumbled upon a flirtatious Rioja recently at the Swedish monopoly that as it turns out is not the usual kind with insanely high level of toasted new American oak that normally is like putting all the fruit into really thick and creamy vanilla ment for sweet desserts. It is a quite new French producer, Tom Puyaubert, who is also a barrel binder from Bordeaux. He uses 30% whole clusters, conducts cold soak before a long 21-days extraction on the skins. The juice is then raised in 30% new oak (80% French, 20% American) but not the traditional 100% American one only with an abundance of vanilla flavours and cola notes. However, Tom is using well toasted oak barrels as he believes it is a “purifying” treatment of new oak. Fruit is the expected tempranillo (80%) for complexity and the rest the classic graciano for ageing and garnacha (grenache) for structure. Grapes are bush-grown in clay and limestone soil at an elevation of 500 m above sea-level from vines planted in 1980, whereas the other two origin from Rioja Alta planted mostly between 1950-1960.

2014 Rioja Horizonte, Bodegas de Exopto

Glowingly and a translucent mix of red purple and ruby red core colour with light pink edges.

Yes, there is obvious oak on the nose and the flavours are certainly elevated by it, but it is not taking over completely and there is a lot of cocos and mint too. In addition, after a while a perfume of mineral-coated under vegetation, complex smoke, distinct eucalyptus and herbs appear.

The fruit is in the back currently covered in thick oak powder, but the pleasant abundance of black currants and black cherries slips through anyway, fortunately. Yet I’d certainly (as anyone trust me) like much, much less toasted oak, the wine is generous, sharp but smooth, energetically fresh, it is certainly intense and built with finesse and elegance. Yes the oak addition is too much and way too well toasted, but but.. for some strange and unholy reason, it gets away with it only by the way of its charm, finesse, precision and in its evil flirtation. It is a remarkable achievement especially considering its price tag. Ensure to give it at least 2-3 hours of decanting in 18 degrees Celsius. Since high toasting levels is Tom’s belief, let’s hope he will cut down even further on the amount of oak in the future, because it will be beneficial for such a good balanced wine. (tasted 3/2-2017)

88-89p

Very interesting unknown Piedmont wine

This wine is from a place about 40 km north-east of Barolo and just 8 from the town of Asti in an area called Castagnole Monferrato. The grape Ruché is grown at 250 m above sea level with perfect south exposition made from 25 years-old vines. The family-run estate Montalbera harvest the grapes passed fully ripeness. In addition, 5% of these grapes go through passimento (dry fermentation) for today’s wine. The risk here is of course to render to much alcohol and a sweet wine, but we guess that they know what they are doing. 🙂

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2014 Ruché di Castagnole-Monferrato “Laccento”, Montalbera

Beautiful colour with blood orange core and some red purple tints with orange-pink edges.

After opening, nutmeg, notes of leather, blue plums, but after some hours a delightful and complex scent of cardamom, ripe strawberries, beeswax, subtle peony rose petals, dry thyme, chewing tobacco and soot arrives. Surprisingly, it shares several flavours in a langhe nebbiolo in its impressive and complex nose.

Quite intense and direct taste packed with slightly sweet, very ripe and fresh combo of primarily wild strawberries and big plums wrapped in delicate minerals. A very generous, quite mellow, pliant and pure wine, but even more impressive it is remarkably rich, balanced and framed in velvety, thick really ripe, impressively soft and approachable tannins already, totally unlike a barolo. Its only backside is that it lacks elegance and finesse. In deed a steel for the money at €30.

90-92p

The fleshy 2014 spanish Petalos has amazing freshness

Alvarò Palacios, originally from a well known family in Rioja and famed by his internationally recognised Priorat wines. Moreover, he has worked at famous Pétrus in Bordeaux and is obviously putting Spain’s wine ares on the map for outsiders. However, this wine is based on the grape mencía from the very north-western Spain, where he produces the wine of the evening which is ment to be approachable and from old vines. It was invented in collaboration with his nephew Ricardo Perez back in 1998. We are certainly outside of our comfort zone this time, so now let’s taste the wine.

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2014 Petalos bierzo, descendientes de J.Palacios

Roasted almond, crème brülée, green banana, natural vanilla, yellow pears desert and a sweet perfume.

It is very fruity, very fleshy and overly meaty. Bitter cherries, cinnamon, savoury notes, bay leaf, and with an abundance of tasty minerals. Impressively balanced, vivid and rich with a little dry, peppery, metallic and persistent final. Above all, the acidity is fantastically clean, fresh and balsamic.

This is not our style, but In a blind tasting, despite the fleshiness, I could still have been thinking a blend of hermitage and beaujolais. Most likely, better in 3-4 years. (tasted 15/10-2016)

90p/100

 

This is definitely a producer to follow closely in the future.

Foillard makes a really good Morgon in 2014 too!

We continue to follow Jean Foillard in Beaujolais. And this for good reason as he appears to get better and better. This time it is the 2014 vintage that was recently released at the monopole in Sweden. With his friends in the “Gang of 4”, he continues to achieve the most fresh gamay fruit with terroir by using maceration carbonique with insane low levels of sulphur and raises his wines in neutral wood. And this from vines of which some are 100 years old. Foillard’s Fleurie 2010 was tasted here. ..and his 2009 cuvée Pi and the normal 2012 was tasted here.

dsc047462014 Beaujoilais Morgon “Côte du Py”, Jean Foillard

An intense scent with a base of marzipan and synthetic glue. Top notes of coriander, violets and blueberry-raspberry jam. This describes well the forward and concentrated fruit in here too. In addition, Asian spices, minerals and newly cut fresh ginger. It has just a little of the trendy and funky natural style, but very little and totally forgiving as the balance, the crisp acidity, chewy texture and generosity dominates in a great way. As always a very honest expression of impressively clean and fresh fruits with complexity.

89-90p/100

A fresh, price-worthy and elegant crozes-hermitage

David Reynaud at domaine les Bruyères works biodynamically, uses gravity and extraction is done in concrete. The 2014 crozes-hermitage Les Croix from old vines was recently released in Sweden.

dsc047492014 Crozes-Hermitage Les Croix, David Reynard (domaine les Bruyères)

A very pretty perfume of red fruit, violets and roses as top notes and plenty of bay leaves, Mediterranean herbs and savoury notes at the bottom. Unexpectedly easy tripping and elegantly walking beauty with medium body, clean fruit and very crisp acidity. Fine balance, generous and very price-worthy wine driven by minerality with velvety texture, but this wine might be even better in a few years more.

91+p/100

Groffier’s 2014 “pinot noir” is the fantastic village as usual

Groffier is one of our absolute favourite in Burgundy and they probably makes the best entry bourgogne rouge. We have not yet succeeded in visitng them, but hopefully later this Autumn. The underline “pinot noir” is an export adaptation or maybe it is just cynical. Anyway, this wine is in fact made up of grapes from old vines from Morey-St-Denis and Vougeot, which is unusual at this price level. Their flagship Burgundy wine, the amazing Amoureuses from 2008 and 2009 were tasted here.

groffier_bourgogne2014 Bourgogne “pinot noir”, Robert Groffier

Very complex and beautiful minerals in here as well as very fresh, opulent flowers. Great fresh, perfume.

On the palate, cool, extremely pure, clean and fresh fruit impresses us. Some anise seeds. complex minerals, underbrush and earthy notes that wraps the fruit. Orange-peel and some herbs. Texture is fantastic for a village wine and so is its precision.

Quite persistent, pretty and elegant wine width some depth, but foremost an unexpected precision framed by very silky tannins. Simply a steel considering its price tag.

91+p/100

A very honest and uncompromising etna rosso

The owner of this estate is the Australian vintner Anna Martens with a long career in wine making who among others have been working at Tenuta dell’Ornellaia and previously with Andrea Franchetti at Passopisciaro for three years and then started her own business in 2008 with her husband. They focus on very little intervention in the wine making and ecological farming. This wine is from 80-year-old vines (alberello trained) on the nothern side of Etna. Grape varieties are nerello mascarello (90 %) and 10 % nerello cappuccio. Whole clusters were put into closed fermentors for six weeks without any intervention until tannins have been miraculously extracted. Very surprisingly, they don’t seem to be pressing the grapes during this time and conduct no customary punch downs or pumping over after pressing either.  Grapes are gently pressed using super low sulphur levels (almost none) and raising the grape juice in small neutral vats. A very interesting producer in deed and one with focus on true terroir and whose ambition we really fancy.

2014 vino rosso, Vino di Anna

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A very simple label on their etna rosso with alberello bushes on a steep hill

Colour is luminous, but not opaque; rather blurry (obviously not filtered or fined) with bright red orange and slightly brownish core with cerise somewhat bluish outer part and pink edges.

A very subtle and reticent, but complex nose currently dominated by vibrating, smokey minerals, dusty gravel, under vegetation, some dried herbs and oil paint. After several hours, a deep and vey careful scent of dried rose petals and complex blue flowers slips through. A very small and holding back nose now, but very personal and obviously hiding something special.

On the palate it is very closed, introvert and currently not a charmer, but impressively dense and concentrated. Less straw berries in this etna rosso where fruit is more black with prominent blackberries, dark cherries and unexpected notes of black currant. In addition, smokey, dusty minerals, savoury aromas now and under vegetation. Less sweet and alcohol is pleasingly low at 13.5 %. Acidity is clean and vivid adding lots of energy. It is quite persistent too and focused. All framed in soft, very thick, chewy and marking tannins that are ripe, but of course young. This long-cycled vintage of 2014 is all classic and I am surprised they release them this early.

A very honest, but currently a very analytic wine that will need a lot of time to settle and come around. There is a resemblance to a very young and classic barolo from Mascarello in terms of aromas, but different style. A very interesting and uncompromising wine focused on terroir that will be interesting to follow and one that is hard to score fairly at this point, but there is obvious potential in this great vintage. A guess is to wait until 2020 or later.

93-94p/100