Old Spanish wines and German Riesling
Last weekend was really hectic in terms of wine related events. On FRI evening I had dinner with Raluca and Oliver Bauer and tasted some older wines they brought. We shared these wines with Mr Sorin Petrescu(the owner of Vinimondo), his wife and Vlad, another friend of the Bauer’s. We met at the same restaurant where there is going to be a special wine tasting event on the 12th of March, organized by Oliver with old vintages of Bordeaux from 1970, 1985 and 1996 and a 2000 Magnum of Sauternes. There will be a total of 12 different wines with two wines served from Magnums. I’ll post more details about this event later on.
Coming back to the FRI evening the wines we sampled were three Spanish wines, a South African Cabernet Sauvignon and two German Rieslings. None of the wines was decanted and, with one single exception, there was no need for that. The oldest wine, from 1987, would surely have benefited from decanting as it remained closed until the bottle was empty. It actually emptied the first one and very quickly. Never underestimate the thirst of a group of wine geeks.
The color is dark red with light signs of aging. The nose has medium intensity, is clean and developed, with sweet balanced oak, with red cherry, chocolate and tobacco aromas. The taste is medium body, a bit hallow on the mid palate, with good acidity and earthy red and black cherry. There is a medium finish with a minty bitter-sweet finish. It feels this wine has peaked already. 87 points
1998 was a better vintage in Spain than the 1999 and this showed very clear when tasted the following wine. The Dehesa La Granja, made by the same producer as Pesquera, showed better this evening.
Color is dark red and no sign of aging. The nose is youthful and developed, with a medium+ intensity(more intense than the 1999 Pesquera), sweet balanced American oak, with aromas of dark cherry, cranberry, licorice and cocoa. The taste shows a medium+ bodied wine, with sweet tannins, well balanced and good structure, youthful, with flavors of cocoa, cranberry liquor and menthol-eucalyptus. The finish is medium plus long with a bitter-sweet black cherry aftertaste. The wine shows elegance and balance. 88 points
1993 Stellenryck Cabernet Sauvignon (South Africa)
For me, this was the surprise of the night. The Bauer’s spent their winter vacation this year in South Africa, visiting wineries and this was one of the wines they brought home. Based on their stories, the older vintages of South African wines are of no interest in that country. That is the reason why this wine didn’t cost more that just a few EUR. The style is so old French Bordeaux that you would easily take it for an old Pauillac.
The wine has a ruby red with dark tones color. The nose is intense and mature, with distinctive aromas of black currant, graphite, cedar wood, light green vegetables-asparagus and a touch of mushrooms; this is a very classic and elegant Bordeaux like nose. In the mouth this medium bodied wine shows a good and developed structure, with pencil shavings mixed with a pleasant greenness and earthy flavors. It finishes with a medium bitter mocha aftertaste. A bit more austere compared to the Spanish wines but, in my opinion, a more elegant and good structured wine with a silky mouth-feel. There is plenty of life left in this wine. 91 points
This wine needed decanting and we didn’t grant it. The wine was poured directly in the glasses and after an initial sip, left there to breath for about 30-45 minutes: not enough.
The wine has a clear light red Pinot Noir like color, with a brownish rim. The nose appeared closed to me, showing dusty and old cellar aromas, with earthy mushrooms. This wine needs at least a couple of hours to breathe. In the mouth the wine explodes with flavors. A medium bodied wine showing a lively acidity, with a sweet mouth-feel sensation and distinctive aromas of orange peel, nuts, earth and pure red cherry. The finish is medium with a minty good coffee aftertaste. 89-90 points
Once the meal and the red wines were finished we uncorked the Rieslings.
There is a deep yellow lemon color. The nose is intense, clean and youthful, with strong aromas of warm tire, apricot, lemon, green apple, wet rocks and pineapple. A fresh and balanced nose. In the mouth the wine feels off dry and elegant, medium bodied, with a lively high acidity and generous flavors of litchi, pineapple and lemon. The finish is medium plus with great freshness. Only 7% alcohol. 92 points
The color is bright yellow lemon. The nose has a medium intensity, more mineral, with plenty of wet stones, apricot, lemon, green apple and crushed rock. The taste is medium body, more mineral with great ample lemon and green apple flavors, a lifting acidity and good freshness. The finish is medium, mineral and intense. A really nice fresh and mineral wine. About 10% alcohol. 91 points
We also tried two Romanian wines that will be released on the market soon: a Merlot with strong barnyard aromas from Mr Petrescu and a blend of Merlot-Feteasca Neagra(Black Maiden) that I received as a sample from the producer. There is a new 50 ha winery in Romania that employs the services of Mr Willi Opitz as winemaker. More details about this new winery in a future post.
The dinner finished late in the night, but the experience was very enjoyable. SAT and SUN I was at the wine fair organized by Vinul.ro in the Old center of Bucharest sampling wines. I will post my impressions about the wine fair, the newly launched Romanian sparkling wine from Stirbey winery and some other wines I had together with the same Bauer’s on SUN evening over the next couple of days.
Thanks for reading!