The International wine round table Ep 1
Last SAT, on March 12th, about 14 wine lovers, some accompanied by their wives or girlfriends, got together at restaurant Trattoria Roma Opera for the 1st edition of the International wine round table for 2011 in Bucharest. The event started at 18:00 and while there were still a few people to come, all guests had the chance to taste the sparkling from Stirbey while the introductions were made. The event brought together two winemakers: Oliver Bauer and Ghislain Moritz, seven wine bloggers and the rest of the attendants simply wine lovers. The wine bloggers that attended this gathering were: Ciprian, Sorin, Mihnea, Nicusor, Raluca and Oliver and myself. The atmosphere was warm and friendly and everybody excited in the expectation of the actual tasting.
Together with Oliver, I started to uncork the wines and I have to say that three bottles were a bit of a challenge to get the cork out in one piece. Oliver pulled the cork on the 1970 Magnum and as the cork was completely soaked it just did not want to come out in one piece. I experienced the same challenges with the 1985 Smith Haut Lafitte and the 1996 d’Angludet. Both corks were soaked and just broke into two pieces. I managed to get the 2nd remaining part of the cork from the Smith Haut Lafitte clean and smooth but not in the case of d’Angludet. All the wines were put in decanters while we had the first 2 flights with Champagne and Riesling.
Oliver was a great host and told the story of each wine before being poured in glasses. His explanations were right on point, informative and easy to follow even for beginners. We started the tasting with the flight of Champagnes and they were served in the exact order of my tasting notes.
2000 Grand cru Blanc de Blancs Demiere Ansiot
A Champagne made from Grand Cru vineyards from le Mesnil sur Oger. This producer makes only 3 wines from 2.5 ha and this is a 100% Chardonnay sparkling.
The color is yellow light gold color with smooth and rich bubbles. The nose is elegant, medium intense, rich, yeasty with a mineral-stones touch, lime, stone fruit and an interesting aroma of caramel. The taste is medium+ body with a pleasant mouth feel, the smooth bubbles show absolute no aggressiveness, intense flavors, mineral palate, with a medium(+) finish and nice flavors of rock, lemon and green apple in the aftertaste. The most mineral sparkling of the flight. 89 points
H. Goutorbe Cuvee Prestige 1er Cru NV brut
Blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The color is pale yellow-gold, a bit more intense than the first one with smooth bubbles and less bubbling. The nose is medium intense, with aromas of yeast, brioche, baked apple, apricot and lemon showing a more developed wine. The taste is rich, with higher acidity and a bit more aggressive than the first one, medium(+) bodied, with flavors of apricots, lemon, a creamy palate, feels more concentrated, with citric fruits and biscuit in the aftertaste. 88 points
The color is light pink salmon, bigger bubbles, a rich and intense bubbling. The nose is yeasty, round, with rich aromas of light red fruits, strawberry, brown sugar and brown apple. It tastes full body, intense, mineral, with light red fruits, grapefruit, a creamy palate and a medium(+) finish with red fruit and grapefruit peel in the aftertaste. My favorite of the flight. 90 points
The group rating was 1. 2000 Demiere Ansiot 2. both Loriot-Pagel NV and H. Goutorbe Cuvee Prestige 1er Cru NV with the same number of votes.
Next flight was Riesling from Austria.
2007 Riesling Smaragd Kellerberg Domaine Wachau
Light gold clear color. The nose is medium with aromas of lemon, wet stones, mineral, warm rubber, pineapple, light peach. A medium to full body wine with an intense sensation of sweetness on the initial attack, good acidity, and flavors of petrol, rock and pineapple. It is a bit bitter in the finish but a nice dry lemon-apple aftertaste with a reinvigorating acidity. 88-89 points
2007 Riesling Hochacker Nigl
The color is lighter and paler compared to the first wine with a yellow lemon color. The nose is more mineral, with citric aromas and chalky. In the mouth this wine shows a great contrast compared to the nose: rich sweetness, flavors of petrol-tire, pineapple, peach, a pleasant mouth-feel with a mineral palate, high acidity and a medium intense finish. 88-89 points
2000 Riesling Smaragd Loibner Berg F.X. Pichler
There is a beautiful deep gold color with an oily appearance. The nose is intense, with Riesling typicality, great aromas of petrol, warm tire, apricot, peach, pineapple, overall a nice and elegant nose. The initial attack shows an intense sensation of sweetness, balanced by a high acidity, a full body mouth feel, good mineral flavors intermixed with citric and stone fruits aromas. The finish is bald, with good minerality and tropical fruit flavors. A rich and intense Riesling. 91 points
Group’s favorites: 1. 2000 FX Pichler 2. 2007 Nigl 3. 2007 Domaine Wachau
With this wine we started our Bordeaux wine tasting, the actual purpose of our event.
1970 Chateau La Tour Figeac Grand cru classe in Magnum
The color is surprisingly young of dark ruby red with a bit of brick tones on the rim. The nose is clean, elegant, intense, mature and well developed, really classic Bordeaux, with beautiful aromas of cedar wood, blackcurrant, cassis, warm forest floor, truffles, sweet earthy red fruit flavors and cigar box. The taste is medium bodied, very youthful considering its age, with already dissolved tannins, but an absolutely silky mouth feel. There are flavors of red fruit, coffee, a bit of vegetables, leather and chocolate. The finish is medium(+) long with a minty red fruit flavor and good freshness. This wine is characterized by great balance and now at its peak. 93 points
The wine of the night for me this 1970 La Tour Figeac.
1985 Grand cru classe Chateau Fonplegade
There is a ruby red color with a bit of an orange rim. The nose is a bit off for me, the smell of a dump old cellar, a developed nose, showing light red fruit and more earthy aromas. The wine is medium to full body, with a contrasting sweet sensation, red fruits, a bit of heat, anise, ginger bread and a medium finish. 85 points
1985 Grand cru classe Chateau Smith-Haut-Laffite
Unfortunately this wine was cooked, on the nose and the taste the wine was maderized. Not rated.
1996 Cru bourgeois exceptionelle Chateau d’Angludet
The color is ruby red with light signs of aging. The nose is clean, appears the least developed, with some pronounced shades of vegetables, spicy, with marzipan, dry tomatoes, asparagus, mint-eucalyptus and red fruits. The taste is medium body with spicy red fruit, a lively acidity and a medium finish. 87 points
1996 Grand cru classe Chateau l’Arrosee
The color is ruby red with a bit of a light brick rim. A much nicer nose than the d’Angludet, with a beautiful Margaux typicality, clean, developed, showing a bit of cork taint, with nice aromas of leather, cedar and plum. The taste is medium body, really youthful, with good flavors of cedar wood, red currant, coffee bean, a light touch of vegetables, but an overall good and pleasant mouth feel. There are firm tannins, but not aggressive, that give a good structure to this wine and a nice mocha aftertaste. 89 points
2000 Chateau Rayne-Vigneau Sauternes 1er cru classe in Magnum
There is a beautiful clean amber color. The nose is clean, developed and intense, with rich aromas of stone fruits: apricot, peach,with caramelized like pineapple, honey, orange peel and a mineral oily tone. The taste is full body, a lovely mouth-feel, unctuous without being sticky, well balanced, intense flavors of apricots, honey, caramel are very well invigorated by a good acidity. The finish is lively and crisp with floral aromas. 92 points
My favorite wines of the tastings were:
1. 1970 La Tour Figeac, 2. 2000 Rayne-Vigneau Sauternes, 3. 2000 FX Pichler, 4. L’Arrosse, 5. Rose brut Loriot-Pagel NV, 6. 2000 Demiere Ansiot
Once the thematic tasting was over, Oliver and Raluca prepared two of their whites: a 2006 Feteasca Regala Genius Loci and a 2008 Sauvignon Blanc Vitis Vetus for the ones still in need for some more wine. I found it impossible to have any more dry wine after the sweet Sauternes.
The atmosphere during the wine tasting was relaxed, but also spiced with pertinent discussions about each wine. I am certainly looking forward for the next gathering.
Thanks for reading!