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Gleanings from week 11

spot the most profitable asset in this chart

Mr Alfred Binder organizes courses about wine and I was invited, last THU, at the session dedicated to France, to talk about the investment in wine as a guest speaker. You can read more about his courses here.

The people attending the course were receptive at the idea of wine as an investment and pertinent questions were raised. Using charts and comparisons between the performance of different assets including Dow Jones Industrial(DJI), Gold(an example of a passive investment in gold as an Exchange traded fund-ETF), Emerging markets index and Fine wine index(plotted by Liv-ex) for the 2000-2011 interval, one might have a big surprise to find out what were the best two performing sectors. Charts are easy to understand and they say the story better than a million words. Naturally, like any other asset, investment in Fine wine has its own risks, rules that need to be followed and cautiousness is mandatory. Exponential increase is the best thing that can happen to your investment, but assets cannot go up forever either. Unfortunately, I believe that in Romania this concept is still a bit too revolutionary and time will have to pass until it will be taken seriously.

Coming back to wine tasting and the pleasure it can give simply as a drink, I could say that I had some great moments this weekend with fantastic wine.

On SAT, with home made food I had a Chardonnay from Pouilly Fuisse accompanied by seared St Jacques, plenty of salads and spinach. A sweet Sauternes was opened to match the foie gras.

seared St Jacques

2007 Daniel Barraud Pouilly Fuisse En Buland Vielles Vignes

There is a deep gold color. The nose is clean, medium intense, with generous aromas of butter and vanilla sticks, yellow flowers, lemon peel and a sweet touch of stone fruits. In the mouth the wine is medium to full body, with a good roundness, a bit heavy on the palate, but with good concentration, and echoing flavors of the aromas from the nose. There is a touch of minerality that balances the low acidity. The finish is medium and a bit too oaky for me. 88 points

This Pouilly Fuisse went well with the St Jacques and I wanted to do a little experiment and see how it matches the foie gras. That wasn’t a bad combo either. However, both my wife and I liked more the sweet Sauternes with foie gras.

2006 Chateau Lafon Sauternes

I received this wine as a sample from Le Manoir to taste it.

The wine has a deep gold color with shades of amber. The nose is clean and intense, with rich layers of apricots, saffron, ginger, pineapple and a nice mineral aroma. This full bodied wine is unctuous in the mouth, rich, with a reinvigorating mineral flavor that balances well the sweetness and leaves a long tropical fruits aftertaste. The wine has good balance, it is not flabby and the sweetness not over the top. 89-90 points

Later the same day we visited our good Greek friends, Christiana and Iannis, for an extended home cooked dinner and a game of cards. The meal, as always when cooked by Christiana, was utterly delicious and the only fault I can see is that it is so good that I cannot stop from eating. There is something special about every dish, even on the most simple ones, that makes it so delicious.

mashed potatoes baked in the oven

meat pie

chicken with gravy

The wines we had were a real treat. We had a Syrah from the Northern Rhone and a Riesling from Nahe, Germany.

2008 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese

This was praised by all the people around the table and the ladies were instantly seduced by it. A bright yellow lemon colored wine with intense aromas of petrol, tropical fruits, quince, litchi, caramelized pineapple, lemon peel, spices box and a great balance in the mouth with a refreshing high acidity and depth. A long and intense finish with an off dry aftertaste and thick layers of tropical fruits and lemon peel. Incredible balance between the sweetness in the mouth and the off dryness in the aftertaste. 94 points

2006 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard

The Reynard cuvee is made from grapes harvested from vines of Syrah older than 40 years and aged for about 18 months in French oak. The color is an opaque purpledark red. The nose is clean, intense, elegant and complex but still tight, with black pepper, bacon fat, juicy beef steak, a beautiful minerality, everything mixed with aromas of dark fruits: cranberries, plum and red currant on the background. The dark fruits aromas are not dominating, on the contrary, they just add more complexity to the spicy-mineral-meaty nose. In the mouth, the wine is medium to full bodied, well balanced, with a great back bone built around a high acidity and ripe tannins, with flavors of bacon fat, black pepper, an absolute refreshing minerality and layers of cranberry and blackberry. The finish is long, intense and spicy, with a touch of dryness without being aggressive. This masculine wine exhibits a perfect balance. The right acidity make it outstandingly easy to drink. A spectacular wine that can easily last for 15-20 years. 95 points

For the moment, the wine is quite closed. I have no doubts that in 10 years time this wine will build even more complexity and easily reach 97-98 points. Even at this stage the wine is irresistible and the hand wants to reach for the 2nd, the 3rd and the 4th glass from this absolutely balanced wine. 

It is useless to say that all people enjoyed both wines and together with the food and the good company we had, SAT evening was fun and entertaining.

The dessert marked the end of this tasty dinner, but not the evening.

Thanks for reading!

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  1. July 22, 2011 at 13:54

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