A list of wines drank in April 2011
In April I traveled a lot. I was in Italy on the 7th, 8th and 9th attending Vinitaly 2011 and a dinner at Serego Alighieri estate, came back to Romania and left after two days to Belgium for almost two weeks. Since I was so close to France, together with my wife, we spent a lovely weekend in Champagne on 15th and 16th(more about this weekend in a special post). Belgium is a country were you can easily find wine merchants almost everywhere, therefore the offer is exhaustive. I visited many wine merchants and bought a lot of wine, most of it extremely low priced compared to what is available in Romania. I know: Belgium is very close to France and the shipping cost is lower. But on the same token, their mark up is also lower and more common sensed.
There were plenty of wines tasted in Italy, Belgium and France. I wrote tasting notes on some of them – not for the ones at Vinitaly as they were over 300, but very few have full tasting notes taken. Partly because many were tasted on the run, partly because I just wanted to enjoy my time without having to pay too much attention dissecting each wine during our meals. So here is a list with some of the wines I had in April and took pictures and tasting notes.
Color is yellow lemon with shades of green. The nose is clean and youthful with aromas of tropical fruits, lemon grass, quince and oak. The taste is medium body with nice structure and good intensity, rich, with similar flavors as on the nose, finishing with a fresh medium+ long aftertaste. Very nice complexity and aromatics on this young white Pessac-Leognan wine. 90 points
The wine was great with a home cooked lobster in a sauce made of aromatic herbs and melted butter.
1997 Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett
I bought 4 bottles of this wine for 13.28 eur per bottle. Unfortunately the merchant did not have more, as these were his last. I had huge problems pulling the corks out in one piece on all bottles . As a matter of fact the cork was so soaked in wine that it only came out in very small pieces. Decanting was not just an option, it was mandatory in order to filter all the remaining small pieces of cork that fell into the wine.
The color is deep amber. The nose is amazingly youthful and intense showing a great complexity with pure aromas of tropical fruits, caramelized pineapple, petrol, orange and peach peel, ginger . The taste is full body, the wine is absolutely gorgeous in the mouth – even though there are signs of oxidation – with a refreshing high acidity, great intensity of flavors, mixed tropical fruits and mineral flavors. The finish is medium+ and off dry with a pineapple and mandarin aftertaste. 92 points
2003 Chateau Fonlegade Saint Emilion Grand Cru
This was a really nice wine that we had with spicy Asian chicken, mushrooms and roasted potatoes.
The wine has a dark ruby red color. The nose is well developed with good intensity, aromas of dark chocolate, plums, small black and red forest fruits and a touch of pleasant greenness that brings freshness. The taste is medium body, well balanced, with intense flavors of cocoa powder, cedar wood, mint and plums, with ripe sweet tannins and a velvety mouth-fell. The finish is medium+ long showing again the good tannins structure and a lingering aftertaste. Classic wine that drinks marvelously now. The wine has an amazing drink-ability and it was greatly appreciated by the other 4 persons at the table. 91 points
2004 Chateau Fombrauge Saint Emilion Gd Cru (Bernard Magrez)
This is a totally different style of wine. The wine comes in a New World style: a heavy extracted fruit bomb dominated by oak. If the 2003 Fonplegade is like a graceful dancer, the 2004 Fombrauge is a big muscular guy on steroids. I hope my metaphor is plastic enough and able to deliver the picture of the two wines.
The color is almost black: opaque dark red with purple hues. The nose is rich and sweet, oaky, a real fruit bomb – for a Bordeaux (or at least the style I know) – with big aromas of plums, blackberry and cranberry, saved by some minerality. The taste is full body, a massive mouth-feel with flavors of toasted oak, ripe dark fruits and round tannins. The finish is medium+ long with sweet tannins and ripe dark fruits in the aftertaste. 88 points
The wine feels heavy in the mouth and more than 2 glasses per meal is a real challenge for me.
2001 Wijnkasteel Genoels Elderen Chardonnay Wit
I received this wine as a gift from one of the Belgium wine merchants I visited while there. I have to confess I did not know what to expect before opening it as I have little knowledge about the quality of the Belgium wine.
The wine has a deep yellow lemon color with a youthful appearance. The nose is developed with good intensity and rich aromas of butter, ripe apples and yellow fruits. In the mouth the wine is youthful with a dense structure, well balanced and focused mineral flavors mixed with fresh stone fruits. The finish is medium and very pleasant. 88 points
The wine was a very pleasant surprise as it was in a great shape at 10 years of age. Thanks a lot JP for the gift.
Champagne Robert Moncuit Brut NV Le Mesnil sur Oger
This is the first sparkling I had while visiting Champagne . We bought this wine from a shop in Epernay together with 2 glasses and they gave us the bottle in a plastic bag filled with ice. Now that’s what we may call a full service. We drove the car from Epernay and drank this wine straight in the vineyards of Le Mesnil sur Oger(about 20-30 km from Epernay if I am not wrong). The overall experience was just amazing, therefore the only thing I remember about the wine is that it was very focused, showing a beautiful minerality with the right acidity. The overall experience cannot be quantified by a score.
Champagne Michel Genet Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut Esprit
We had this sparkling back in Belgium together with other 2 friends and did not take any particular tasting notes. The wine is focused, refreshing, characterized by a great minerality with flavors of brioche and citric fruits and a medium finish. 88 points
While in Champagne we also visited the Moet Chandon cellars and at the end of the tour we were served a glass of Moet Chandon Brut Imperial. The wine is made in a very commercial style with too much dosage and very little personality.
Chateau L’Euziere 2000 Pic Saint Loup Coteaux du Languedoc
Tasted this wine in the company of the same JP that offered me the Belgium Chardonnay and sold me some bottles of old Bordeaux. No particular tasting notes taken, just from memory.
The wine had a deep dark red color with no trace of evolution. The nose was developed but the oak is still not completely balanced. On the nose and in the mouth the wine has rich aromas of small black and red forest fruits balanced by spices and finishes with a medium spicy fruit aftertaste. 88 points
Back in Romania, we were invited to visit some friends that just returned from Spain and brought some tasty Jamon Iberico. To compliment the hosts I pulled out a Spanish wine from my cellar in order to pair it with the ham. Probably a sparkling would have been a better match, but the sweet aromas of the 23 months French oak barrel aged 100% Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero did his job well.
2006 Aalto Ribera del Duero
There is an opaque purple dark red color – no trace of light goes through this wine. The nose is youthful, clean, marked by vanilla and yoghurt from the oak, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, rich black fruit aromas: blackberry, cranberry, mulberry, spice, but overall a beautiful classic sweet nose of a young Tempranillo. The taste is full body, with massive structure, a firm sweet tannins backbone, good acidity to balance this richness, thick layers of sweet fresh black fruits and dark chocolate, cocoa, gripy in the mouth but balanced. There is plummy fruit, big tannins, liqourice and oak. The finish is medium+ and intense, leaving a dry mouth with a sweet blackberry-minty aftertaste. (14.5% alc) 90-91 points
Thanks for reading!