Archive for March, 2012

Some very interesting Corsican wines

March 29, 2012 1 comment

I was invited by SERVE – producer of Terra Romana and Cuvee Charlotte – this week at a preview tasting just before the starting of Goodwine fair on FRI. The purpose was to see the feedback of wine journalists and wine bloggers to a couple of wines produced in Corsica by Comte Guy de Poix domain. Most likely these wines will be available on the Romanian market in the near future.

The introduction was made with a white 2011 Chardonnay Terra Romana, fully fermented in oak barrels, that unfortunately was served a bit too warm and did not put it on a good light. Will try it again at the FRI’s Goodwine fair.

Next we were served the two Corsican wines that were the main objective of this tasting. I confess that, probably just like the other people invited, I had no idea about the grapes grown in Corsica, nor about any of the wines produced there. So it was exciting to experience such wines.

The wines of Domaine Comte Peraldi come from Ajaccio AOC situated on the South-East part of Corsica, and the grapes used are both the indigenous Sciaccarellu, as Carignan and Grenache Niellucciu Cinsault.The wines have very nice Burgundian like labels.

When I found out that we are going to try Corsican wines, I was expecting dark colored, extracted and powerful wines, similar to the South of France regions. But I could not be more wrong. The domain started to produce wines from 1965 and we tasted two wines from the 2009 vintage.

The 2009 Domaine Peraldi rouge Ajaccio ( 60% Sciaccarellu, 30% Grenache Niellucciu Cinsault and 10% Carignan) is darker in color and the Grenache influence is rather pronounced both in its aromas as in the mouth filling. It is however silky, balanced and very easy to drink. This wine was aged for 6 months in oak barrels. Estimated maturity in 2013. 13.5% alc.

The 2009 Domaine Peraldi Clos du Cardinal Ajaccio – 98% Sciaccarellu aged for 18 months in new oak and 1 and 2 years old oak barrels – is produced only in the exceptional years by Christophe George, the domain’s winemaker. It was produced for the first time in 1986 and it is designed to give the best of what Sciaccarellu can offer. The color is evolved, red ruby with a pronounced brick rim. Intense and developed nose, it exhibits aromas of sweet spices, elegant oak, almonds and pure ripe red fruits. Medium body, well balanced, really silky texture and lively on the palate, the wine surprises with its vibrant red fruit, elegance and nice purity. Medium long, with almost completely dissolved tannins and fragrant finish. The oak is very well blended already and the wine has a really good drink-ability. Estimated peak in 2024 provided by the producer. 14.5% alc (88-89/100)

The domain produces another two wines: a white from 100% Vermentinu and a rose.

Categories: France

2009 Davino Flamboyant

March 28, 2012 Leave a comment

2009 was a truly remarkable vintage in Dealu Mare for more than a decade according to Mr Dan Balaban, Davino’s major stockholder. The same opinion was shared to me by Mrs Deaconu, Halewood’s winemaker. The weather was exactly as it supposed to be with a long vegetative cycle, providing perfect fruit at harvest season.

2009 Davino Flamboyant

Davino’s flagship red wine, Flamboyant is a blend of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon – the best that the winery grows – with Merlot and Feteasca Neagra, aged for up to 12 months in new Romanian oak barrels. This is also the wine with the highest potential for aging in Davino’s portfolio together with Davino Rezerva.

The 2009 Flamboyant is a prodigy, surpassing in quality any other wine produced in Dealu Mare during the same vintage. The wine comes from rather low yields, a normal practice at Davino. Dark red garnet color with purple reflections, the wine is loaded with extraordinary aromas of blue flowers, blueberry, cassis, mint, licorice and vanilla. The initial nose upon opening brings Feteasca Neagra’s aromas on the front stage with rich spiciness, red fruit and dry plums, but as the wine aerates it becomes very clear what is the dominant grape variety with its unmistakable aromas of green bell pepper and sweet cassis. The wine is distinctive through its opulence and structure, but also through its remarkable precision and freshness. As much as it is rich and extracted, the wine combines elegance and power, showing good balance in spite of its 14.8% alcohol. It reveals itself in stages as it aerates, with additional flavors of chocolate, coffee and ripe red fruit. It has a great purity and a long finish, with fine grained but assertive tannins, and lingering flavors of spices and fresh red and black fruits. There is a serious potential for aging and any wine lover should hold 12 bottles in its cellar and watch its development over the next 15 years or more. I can easily say that this is the best Romanian wine I had so far. This is a keeper that truly deserves its name.  (93-94/100)

I received this wine from Davino as a free sample for tasting.

Categories: Romania

2007 Chateau Puech Haut Tete de belier rouge

March 24, 2012 Leave a comment

I always enjoy wines from this producer. I liked a lot the 2004 and I was eager to try the 2007 because ’07 was a special, excellent vintage in the Southern France.

2007 Chateau Puech-Haut Tete de Belier rouge

Dark ruby red color. This is really young, plenty of red berries, licorice, spices and well mastered oak. Full bodied, well balanced, mouth-filling, quite smooth, with lots of flavors of ripe red fruits and coffee. What I enjoy the most about this wine is how well balanced is the 15% alcohol and also the great acidity that offers a weightless texture and makes it very pleasant to drink without feeling fat, heavy or too ripe. Medium plus finish with flavors of coffee, spices and red fruit jams. Too young for now. (88/100)

Categories: Coteaux du Languedoc

Dinner with Davino and Pegau

March 22, 2012 Leave a comment

I had dinner with two friends at Casa di David  last night and we were able to share and taste some really interesting wines. As I arrived a bit earlier and the plan was to do a mini vertical of Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee Chateauneuf du pape, I made the arrangements for a 2004 to be uncorked. While waiting for my friends, I took a first sip of this amazing wine that I had a couple of times in the past, just to check if the wine is corked or not. From the get go the wine showed healthy and interesting as I remember it.

Once my friends joined me, a 2000 Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee was uncorked and poured into a decanter to aerate, as it showed some light signs of being corked. We started the evening with a 2009 Davino Sauvignon Blanc, a wine that is no longer available on the market.

2009 Davino Sauvignon Blanc has a medium gold color and has a mild oily appearance. There is a well developed nose that shows intense aromas, while the wine is served at almost room temperature. It has a nice complexity. It seems however to be a bit unfocused in the mouth, so we ask the waiters to cool it a little bit. After it gets colder and closer to a proper serving temperature, it feels more restrained on the nose, gaining better freshness, a pronounced mineral dimension, but maintaining its lovely aromas. On the palate the wine is focused, it is perfectly round and balanced, rich, showing a lively, but dense structure, with great acidity and plenty of flavors of ripe apples, honey combs, lime and an unusual oak-like-sweetness, unusual because the wine never saw any oak. The finish is medium long, with good freshness and lingering ripe citrus fruit flavors. We have a wine that just starts to blossom, with enough acidity to keep it alive many more years from now. (88/100)

The wine goes very well with my appetizer: Sea Bass Carpaccio, Dried Miso, Yuzu And Garlic Flakes as the minerality compliments the raw fish.

The next wine is 2009 Davino Reserva Blanc, a predominant Riesling blend, aged in new oak for close to one year.

Pale yellow lemon color. The nose is very mineral at the beginning, but as it aerates, it starts to develop. Aromas of smart oak combined with ripe citrus fruit, mango and peach complement a more mellowed minerality. The wine is rich, lively and interesting on the palate, reminding of a white Bordeaux from Pessac-Leognan. As the wine gets warmer in the glass, flavors of vanilla and honey combs get more pronounced. It has mouth-watering acidity and shows more vibrancy that it did in December when I last tasted it. I am surprised how much it evolved and, if there were some question marks in December about its capability to hold on longer, the acidity that I experienced tonight eliminates any shadow of a doubt about its capabilities to age further. The finish is medium plus long, on the same line of elegance and racy acidity. (89-90/100)

We slowly make the move to the two reds that aerated partly in our glasses and partly in the decanter.

2000 Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee Chateauneuf du pape

Dark red color with a brick color rim. When initially uncorked, the wine had minor signs of being corked, but beautiful aromas of game and meat, combined with roasted herbs and red fruit jams are able to shine. Even in the mouth the wine seems maturing and open for business, with a lovely balance. So we are optimistic about it initially. Unfortunately, after almost 1 h of aeration, those lovely aromas dissipated entirely and the smell of bad cork takes the stage. In the mouth the same situation. The wine is beyond any redeem. Such a pity not to be able to drink this otherwise lovely wine. Not Rated

2004 Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee Chateauneuf du pape

Dark red almost opaque color. The wine is more closed than the 2000. As it aerates, it sports a well developed and youthful nose, with aromas of blackberry and cranberry jams, figs, smokey plum, bacon, roasted herbs, licorice, pepper and a touch of refreshing graphite. Full bodied, rich and denser than the 2000, this wine has great balance and concentration, a healthy ripe tannins structure that keeps everything in the right place, and a long peppery finish. It does not have the gamey flavors and the elegance of 2000, but it seduces with its powerful character. I tasted this wine several times in the past and I enjoyed it every time. (93-94/100)

We finished our dinner with a 2011 Davino Sauvignon Blanc Edition Limitee to clean the palates. It has a light yellow lemon color with green reflections. This wine shows a perfect Sauvignon Blanc typicality, with its intense aromas of horse sweat or ripe elder flower, lovely citrus fruit, green apple, passion fruit and also a touch of minerality. Full bodied and extremely vibrant, this wine possesses a killer acidity that lifts up and highlights all its flavors. Young, intense and lovely. It rivals the acidity of a Riesling. Medium plus long finish, fresh, mouth-watering, with lingering flavors. My favorite white wine of the evening. (89-90/100)

This was a lovely dinner that ended late in the night, spiced up with lots of fun and interesting wine related conversation.

Categories: France, Rhone, Romania

(P) Regal de vinuri de calitate la prima editie a Festivalului PROVINO la Cluj Napoca

March 20, 2012 Leave a comment

PROVINO a adus in inima Transilvaniei peste 300 de soiuri de vin si a antrenat publicul, atat specialisti cat si simpli vizitatori, intr-un maraton de evenimente dedicate vinului, la care au participat peste 5.000 de persoane. Complexitatea evenimentelor PROVINO si prezenta festivalului in spatiul public clujean in scopul promovarii vinurilor inscrise in festival au impus un nou standard evenimentelor de profil.

Evenimentele inedite organizate in cadrul Festivalului PROVINO au atras publicul vizitator si expozantii prin unicitate si calitate. “Festivalul PROVINO a fost o reusita avand in vedere ca nu a mai fost organizat din 2005 un eveniment dedicat industriei vinului. Evenimentul Black & Wine Party a fost un succes. Au participat tineri interesati sa invete, dornici sa asculte povestea vinului, sa acumuleze informatii. Consideram ca Provino Black & Wine Party a fost reusita festivalului PROVINO! Am avut placerea sa intalnim oameni iubitori de vin, iubitori ai vinurilor noastre, care sambata au vizitat toate standurile si la final s-au intors tot la noi”, a declarat Luminita Tzakis, Directorul National de Vanzari al Cramei Oprisor.

“A fost un eveniment important, care se impunea in aceasta regiune. Am avut parte de un public ce a acceptat prezentarile de vin, a acceptat sa cunoasca vinurile din Festival, a fost deschis sa invete, si care a recunoscut ca trebuie sa ne intoarcem la traditiile romanesti privind vinul. O idee geniala – PROVINO Black & Wine Party. Au venit oameni care au dorit sa deguste vinuri, care au venit sa ne cunoasca! De apreciat ca au venit persoane ce au respectat domeniul vinului prin tinuta si atitudine”, a apreciat evenimentul si Laurian Olarescu, Trade Marketing Manager al producatorului Viti-Pomicola Samburesti.

Vinurile au fost sarbatorite in cadrul Festivalului PROVINO atat cu ocazia celor zece sesiuni de degustari colective, cat si la Serile exclusiviste Art, Wine & Gastronomy. De asemenea, in pregatirea evenimentelor din cadrul Festivalului, Ambasadorii PROVINO i-au invitat pe clujeni la degustari in cele mai in voga cluburi si restaurante din municipiu in perioada 1-12 martie. La standurile amenajate in spatiul de desfasurare al  evenimentului au fost promovate vinuri din Spania (Crama Borha), Austria (Vital Activ), Franta (Vin de Vie), iar in cadrul sesiunilor de degustare participantii au putut savura vinuri de Jidvei (Clasic Feteasca Regala – sec, Premiat Sauvignon Blanc – demisec, Grigorescu Gewurztraminer – demisec) si vinuri spaniole importate de Crama Borha (Enate Tapan 2012 si Teorema). La serile HORECA si Art, Wine & Gastronomy vedetele au fost vinurile de la Vinarte (Castel Starmina Sauvignon Blanc 2011), Gramma (Aligote, Feteasca Regala si Cuvee Visan), Nomibo (Feteasca Neagra 2009, Tamaioasa 2011, Feteasca Alba 2011) si Recas (Cocosul dintre Vii Muscat, Cocosul dintre Vii Pinot Noir).

Festivalul PROVINO – Vin. Arta. Gastronomie a adus in premiera la Cluj-Napoca si unele dintre cele mai noi productii ale caselor de vinuri din tara: Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Chardonnay 2011 sec sau Tamaioasa Romaneasca 2011 sec s-au regasit in oferta Cramei Budureasca, Nomibo a prezentat in premiera vinurile rosii de calitate din rezerve Feteasca Neagra, Merlot si Pinot Noir, stabilizate si invechite 12 luni in baricuri de stejar romanesc lucrate manual, dar si Tamaioasa Romaneasca, Feteasca Alba si Chardonnay. De asemenea, la Festival au participat in premiera si Feteasca Neagra, din rezervele 2008 si 2009 si Tamaioasa Romanesca din 2010 si 2011, vinuri care se exporta in Antwerpen, Belgia. Crama Oprisor a lansat la Cluj-Napoca vinurile La Cetate, Tamaioasa Romaneasca 2011, Caloian Rose 2011, Caloian Sauvignon Blanc 2011 si Rusalca Alba 2011. O surpriza la prima editie a Festivalului a venit si de la Iasi, de unde Casa Gramma, pe langa noile vinuri din recolta anului trecut, Gramma Aligote 2011, Gramma Feteasca Regala si Gramma Cuvee Visan 2011, a adus si trei cupaje realizate sub brandul propriu pentru un om de afaceri clujean, pasionat de vin. De asemenean, unul dintre cei mai cunoscuti producatori de vinuri, Jidvei, va prezenta in premiera la Festivalul PROVINO noua imagine a produselor din portofoliu.

Una dintre surprizele primei editii clujene a Festivalului PROVINO – Vin. Arta. Gastronomie a fost degustarea de vinuri biodinamice importate din Franta de Vin de Vie. „Am participat pentru prima data la un festival de vin. Un Festival de Vin bine organizat, cu un public interesat. Pe noi ne-au luat prin surprindere oamenii de calitate prezenti in expozitie cat si in cadrul Black & Wine Party. Vinurile noastre au fost apreciate, iar oamenii erau interesati de industrie. Clujenii au fost surprinsi de elementele de noutate in gust si arome, de accesabilitatea lor si ceea ce ne-a placut este ca oamenii s-au intors la standul nostru cu prietenii si rudele lor”, a precizat Adrian Abrudan, administratorul Vin de Vie.

Recunoasterea vinurilor de calitate a fost realizata in cadrul Festivalului cu ocazia Concursului Vinurile Primaverii.  Scopul acestei intreceri a vinurilor, care s-a desfasurat sub forma unei degustari „in orb” a fost de a oferi producatorilor un sprijin in crearea de vinuri de calitate. Astfel, marii castigatori ai Medaliilor de Aur au fost Shiraz Peter Lehmann Barosa 2008 produs de Gallo, Rusalca Alba 2011 produsa de Carl Reh Winerz, Malbec don David 2010 produs de Michel Torino, Tempranillo Vicente Gandia Raiza Grand Reserva 2005, produs de Vicente Gandia si Feteasca Neagra Cocosul dintre Vii 2011 de la Cramele Recas.

 Prima editie a Festivalului organizata in Cluj-Napoca s-a bucurat si de sprijinul Asociatiei Degustatorilor Autorizati din Romania si al Organizatiei Somelierilor din Romania. Unul dintre evenimentele care au confirmat amploarea Festivalului a fost  Concursul National de Somelieri, Etapa Transilvania. in urma unei jurizari exigente si impartiale, ravnitul loc I i-a revenit somelierului Septimiu Crisan castigatori fiind desemnati si Bogdan Todor – locul II si Razvan Demian – locul III.

Unul dintre cele mai apreciate evenimente din suita de actiuni organizate in cadrul Festivalului PROVINO – Vin. Arta. Gastronomie a fost, cu siguranta, PROVINO Black&Wine Party. Peste 250 de persoane au participat la petrecerea exclusivista a carei vedeta a fost vinul de calitate. „Evenimentul Black & Wine Party de sambata a fost o reusita, iar participantii au fost exact din targetul nostru. Cred ca ABplus Events a creat  prin Festivalul PROVINO – scoala vinului, Degustari Colective, Black & Wine Party – un plus de valoare pentru consumatorul din Cluj.”, a declarat Ciprian Rosca, Directorul de vanzari al Cramelor Recas.

Petrecerea inedita a fost apreciata si de reprezentantii Domeniilor Ostrov. „Diversitatea expozantilor a fost bine gandita si nu in ultimul rand, diversitatea evenimentelor care au fost organizate in cadrul Festivalului, alternarea preparatelor romanesti cu cele orientale, degustarile si prezentarile facute de somelieri au avut mare succes. Publicul a fost foarte interesat si am fost surprins de atractia fata de vin a tinerilor. Un public de foarte buna calitate cu o tinuta de gala, mai ales la petrecere unde tinuta a fost chiar de gala. Per ansamblu s-a pastrat o linie de eveniment de inalta clasa”, sustine Daniel Zotu, somelier al companiei. De asemenea, clujenii au fost impresionati si de expozitia de arta amplasata in incinta Centrului de Conferinte si Expozitii a Grand Hotel Napoca. Lucrarile care au putut fi admirate pe intreaga perioada a Festivalului au purtat semnaturile studentilor si a profesorilor de la Universitatea de Arta din Cluj-Napoca. Evenimente exclusiviste, organizate in fiecare seara a Festivalului, Serile Art, Wine & Gastronomy au oferit invitatilor prilejul de a-si petrece timpul liber intr-un cadru rafinat. in prima seara a evenimentului bucatarii Grand Hotel Napoca au oferit show-uri gastronomice, alaturi de degustarea de preparate culinare si branzeturi Five Continents. Seara de sambata, 17 martie, a fost dedicata maestrului bucatar Dan Boerescu care i-a incantat pe cei prezenti cu un show gastronomic unic.

Festivalul PROVINO – Vin. Arta. Gastronomie s-a bucurat inca de la prima aparitie pe piata clujeana de prezenta unor producatori de renume, a caror reputatie depaseste granitele tarii. Printre acestia s-au numarat JIDVEI, CRAMELE RECAS, MURFATLAR, CRAMA OPRISOR, VINARTE, GRAMMA, DOMENIILE BOIERU, BUDUREASCA, SAMBURESTI, NOMIBO, CRAMA TELNA, NACHBIL, DOMENIILE OSTROV, SENATOR WINE importatori si distribuitori de vinuri din Spania, Franta si Austria VITAL ACTIV, VIN DE VIE, CRAMA BORHA. “Ne-am propus sa realizam un eveniment reprezentativ pentru industria vinului in Transilvania. Cu siguranta, impreuna cu partenerii nostri traditionali, Patronatul National al Viei si Vinului, Asociatia Degustatorilor Autorizati din Romania si Organizatia Somelierilor din Romania 2011, alaturi de profesionistii de la Grand Hotel Napoca, am reusit sa punem in valoare un festival in care am atras producatori de vin din Romania, degustatori experti, somelieri, bloggeri si presa de specialitate si, bineinteles, iubitori de vin de calitate”, a declarat Florin Mindirigiu, Director General ABplus Events.

Festivalul PROVINO –  Vin. Arta. Gastronomie a fost organizat de compania ABplus Events in colaborare cu Asociatia Degustatorilor Autorizati din Romania si Organizatia Somelierilor din Romania si cu sustinerea Primariei si Consiliul Local  Cluj-Napoca, Universitatea de stiinte Agricole si Medicina Veterinara Cluj-Napoca si Universitatea de Arta si Design Cluj-Napoca.

Categories: Pub

2011 Chateau Puech-Haut Tete de Belier Rose

March 19, 2012 3 comments

Had this wine accompanying a grilled turkey breast with roasted potatoes but also with dessert. It was versatile enough to go well with both dishes and I actually enjoyed it a lot. Ladies really loved it. Made from 100% Mourvedre.

2011 Chateau Puech-Haut Tete de Belier Rose

Light pink salmon color. Really fresh nose with mild sweetness, candied strawberry, ripe cherry, red apple, pink grapefruit and floral. Medium plus body, vibrant, lively on the palate, mouth-watering and very refreshing. Medium plus long finish, with lingering pink grapefruit and floral flavors. This is by far the best Rose I had so far and I am really no Rose fan I can tell you that. As good as a Rose can get. 13.5% alc (89-90/100)

2009 Chateau La Garde Blanc Pessac-Leognan

March 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Pale straw color with green reflections. Very smoky and mineral nose, with mild aromas of lime and green apple. This is so much different from the luxuriant nose of Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc 2007 or 2008 I had relatively recent. Medium to full body, lively palate, yet spartan on the flavors profile, but it does seem to open and develop some richness as it aerates. Medium finish, mineral, chalky, with tart citrus fruits. (89/100)

I believe that this can go very well with raw fish or raw sea food due to its pronounced minerality.

Categories: Bordeaux, France

A new visit at Cramele Recas

March 15, 2012 2 comments

Philip Cox, one of the proprietors

It does seem to me that this starts to become a regular annual event. Just like about one year ago, I received an invitation to visit Recas Winery at the beginning of March. The same means of transportation: one hour by plane as they are situated 550 km NW from Bucharest, but this time the crowd invited was slightly different than in the past. If last year the guests were only people writing about wine in a professional or amateur way, this year’s group was far bigger (25 people) and far more varied. There were also journalists from financial and food publications, owners or part-owners of restaurants from Bucharest and people from marketing agencies. You could not get a more diversified group of people visiting a winery.

The purpose of our visit was to taste their new wines, with emphasize on the new Castel Huniade range. Castel Huniade replaces the old Castle Rock brand and it covers the range of 15-17 Ron wines. Just as the management mentioned, this seems to be the preferred range of wines for weddings and it is demanded by most of hotels, restaurants and other enterprises involved in the hospitality business.

Mr Philip Cox was, just like last year, our host during the visit. The visit started with a tour of the premises and detailed explanations about each step involved in the wine making process. It seems that Recas winery is among one of the few very successful producers in Romania as last year they faced more demand than their actual production for some of the wines. Their premium wines: the red Cuvee Uberland and the white Solo Quinta were real blockbusters, completely sold out way before the new vintage was even harvested. Mr Cox explained that currently they produce about 12 Millions L of wine per vintage and the aim is to increase to 18 Millions by 2015. Their exports increased significantly – 130%, last year they sold about 1 Million bottles in UK through Tesco. The exports are expected to increase from 40% of the total production to 50%. The most most notable success, that Mr Cox is very proud of, was the selection of Solo Quinta 2011 by Maze – a British Michelin star restaurant belonging to Gordon Ramsay – as one of their white house wines.

this label can be found in Tesco stores

Mr Cox was very transparent about the company’s strategy and mentioned they are always looking in advance what are the global fashionable trends in wines and they try to go along those lines. This is a fairly big winery,with around 950 ha under production, and they started to extend more with acquisitions in Minis, near Arad area.

The visit was structured to start with an initial tasting of the Castel Huniade range in the morning, lunch, visit in the vineyard and then a tasting of Cocosul and Sole range, Cuvee Uberland and Solo Quinta in the afternoon. Castel Huniade range comprises of 8 wines: whites are Riesling, Feteasca Regala, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, a rose and three reds, Merlot/Feteasca Neagra, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot/Pinot Noir. Many of these wines are off-dry and semi-sweet which I find fatiguing to enjoy, but it does seem to appeal to a vast majority of consumers. If I were to point some favorites of this range I would choose the only dry of the reds: the Cabernet Sauvignon and the off-dry Feteasca Regala from the whites.

Lunch consisted of a five course menu prepared by their own chef that heads the winery’s restaurant. The dishes were matched with foreign wines, the winery having a significant portfolio of imports consisting of top International brands: MASI, Robert Mondavi, Piccini, Planeta, Louis Latour and many others.

The menu: salmon carpaccio with salad and parmigiano / grilled shrimps with green beans soup / duck breast with Gorgonzola, nuts, quince jam, rice and baby carrots / beef steak with cheese and black truffles sauce, tagliatelle and endives / dessert: pastry with apple and vanilla sauce.

The wines served during the meal were: 2010 Nederburg Chardonnay South Africa, 2007 and 2010 Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc New Zeeland, 2009 Planeta Chardonnay, 2009 Cono Sur Carmenere Reserva, 2005 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley and for dessert we had, just like the previous visit, a sweet 2005 Traminer produced from vines that are no longer existent.

I particularly enjoyed 2009 Planeta Chardonnay: gold yellow color, expressive nose, elegant, with plenty of flavors of butter, vanilla, yellow flowers,ripe yellow fruit, honey, unctuous on the palate, an oxidative character, rich, with a long finish (91/100).

2005 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon was a perfect choice for the truffles infused sauce served with beef. The wine has a rich nose, with plenty of aromas of truffles, meat, peppery, but also generous ripe black fruits and bell pepper like typical Cabernet Sauvignon aromas, finely grained tannins, good structure and, considering the 15% alcohol, it feels pleasantly balanced, with a medium long spicy finish. It is however the type of wine that feels too much after 1 or 2 glasses. (91/100)

2005 Traminer does not have a label. The wine was made in very limited quantity, was never released on the market and nor will it be. It is gold colored, and has very nice aromas of kerosene, smoke, apricot, lime and pear, rose petals, a vibrant acidity that balances very well the natural sweetness and an intense long, lively finish. It goes very well with the dessert. (91/100)

After such a generous lunch, a walk into the vineyards was most welcomed. We also got the chance to take some nice pictures of the area that provides the grapes for Cuvee Uberland. The soil is rich in white clay and can be easily seen in the middle of the hill next to the winery.

Back at the winery, we started the next tasting. The former Cocosul brand was also re-branded and is now called Cocosul dintre vii. We tasted a Sauvignon Blanc, a Dry Muscat and a Pinot Noir from this range. I enjoyed the Dry Muscat the most. We tasted Sole Feteasca Regala and Chardonnay 2011, Solo Quinta 2011 and Cuvee Uberland 2009 and 2011. I confess liking more the 2011 Sole Chardonnay than the 2011 Solo Quinta (which contains up to 80% Chardonnay). The Sole Chardonnay comes along as a more serious wine to me, not having the Muscat like profile of Solo Quinta.

2009 Cuvee Uberland is a lot more different than last time I tasted it from barrel more than 1 year ago. Back then, it felt really big, with a body builder like profile and very ripe fruit flavors. Now, the wine seems to have lost a lot of its over-the-top muscles and metamorphosed into a more supple wine. It is however very young, it has a wide spectrum of flavors, but I find it hard to enjoy at the moment, due to a pronounced presence of its tannins on the finish.

2011 Cuvee Uberland from barrels has all the attributes of a wine situated in full transformation. The acidity is over the board, but the layers of fruit are there, the structure is in place and it seems to have a supple, but yet full body.

Cuvee Uberland’s style varied a lot from its inception. The first vintage produced – 2006, was supple and marching on elegance rather than power. Then, 2007 was powerful more than anything else, closer to an Amarone, as they employed a similar technique of drying the grapes ( cut and left on the vines for 3-4 weeks). The next vintages are more of a balancing between the two different styles, using with the same technique of drying the grapes. Cuvee Uberland was produced in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011. The 2010 vintage did not offer the right conditions to produce grapes of the quality required to make Cuvee Uberland.

For more pictures from this visit please click here.

Rasfoieste online ziarul Provino

March 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Organizat sub forma unui eveniment expozitional, prima editie PROVINO reuneste la Cluj-Napoca producatori, importatori si distribuitori de vinuri, companii din industria conexa si auxiliara, precum si reprezentanti ai segmentului HoReCa, oenologi, somelieri, degustatori autorizati, maestri bucatari, pasionati de vinuri din Transilvania.

Pentru a rasfoi online ziarul Provino click aici.

Categories: Pub

2008 Binyamina Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee

March 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I had dinner last night with Marc Dworkin and he was kind enough to bring a bottle of one of the Israeli wines he’s making. I also learned that some interesting news will be launched at the coming edition of Goodwine’s fair in Bucharest. We also had the chance to taste a white wine of another soon to be launched producer from Lechinta, at the same March Goodwine’s fair. It does seem to me that this coming edition of this fair will bring more new launches of new wineries and new wines than any other previous editions. That should be interesting.

2008 Binyamina Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

This is coming from rather high yields of 70 hl/t from around 20 years old vines and was aged for about 18 months in French oak barrels. The color is deep dark red. Developing nose, young, oaky initially, but certainly gaining its Cabernet Sauvignon character with aeration. Full bodied and smooth on the palate, it exhibits ripe tannins and flavors of ripe raspberries, cassis, coffee bean and green bell pepper. Balanced and enjoyable. Medium finish. 13.5% alc.(86-87/100)

Categories: Israel

2011 Primobacio Moscato d’Asti

March 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I absolutely love Moscato d’Asti as its low alcohol (usually around 5%), its sweetness usually perfectly balanced by vivid acidity and its sparkling character makes it extremely versatile and very easy to drink especially during hot summer days. It can successfully pair ripe fruits and a large variety of not very sweet desserts, but can also be enjoyed simply on its own.

2011 Primobacio Moscato d’Asti

Pale yellow color, with a green-tinge and plenty of fizz upon opening. Very intense and sweet nose, with plenty aromas of white flowers, the classic Muscat character of ripe grapes, pear and peach. Fizzy and lively on the palate, very refreshing, with balanced sweetness and good freshness on the sweet finish. It is very hard not to enjoy this type of wine. 5% alc (90/100)

I also like the label that I find it perfectly characterizing the style of wine: refreshing, enjoyable, reminding of summer days and designed to offer pure, unsophisticated drinking pleasure.

Categories: Italy

(P) Peste 300 de tipuri de vin la festivalul de vin, arta, gastronomie Provino din Cluj Napoca

March 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Festivalul PROVINO – Vin, Arta, Gastronomie are loc la Centrul de Conferinte si Expozitii din cadrul Grand Hotel Napoca****, in perioada 15 – 18 martie 2012.

Festivalul este conceput sub forma unui eveniment expozitional si aduce in fata publicului clujean peste 300 de tipuri de vinuri de la cei mai importanti producatori din tara, dar si produse si servicii auxiliare si conexe pentru industria vinului.

Programul festivalului include:

– degustari si lansari de vin,

– cursuri introductive in domeniul vinului,

– show-uri gastronomice realizate de maestrii bucatari ai Grand Hotel Napoca, ai restaurantului Japonez TOKYO si  Dan BOERESCU.

Vizitatorii pot participa in zilele de 16, 17, 18 martie la sesiunile de Degustari de Vin PROVINO, pot petrece in compania muzicii si a vinurilor bune alaturi de invitatii salonului exclusivist “Art, Wine & Gastronomy” si se pot inscrie la cursurile de la “Scoala Vinului” organizate pe 17 martie. La evenimentele speciale PROVINO vor fi servite vinurile vedeta ale festivalului iar publicul va invata de la profesionisti cum sa  asocieze corect vinul preferat descoperit la degustari cu produse culinare rafinate. De la WINE SHOP vizitatorii pot achizitiona pentru acasa vinurile preferate prezente in Festival, la pret de producator.


16 -17 martie: 11.00 – 19.00

18 martie: 11.00 – 17.00

INFORMATII UTILE pentru vizitatorii Festivalului PROVINO

Accesul in Festival se face doar pe baza de bilet sau invitatie!

Pret Bilet intrare

10 RON

Pret kit PROVINO

20 RON

Kitul include un pahar pentru, port suport pahar, carnetel si pix pentru degustari.
Pretul nu include accesul in Festival.

Pret bilet DEGUSTARI DE VIN (6 tipuri de
30 RON/degustare
Pret bilet

Seara Art, Wine & Gastronomy

50 RON

Tarif curs
„Scoala Vinului”
310 lei


Categories: Pub

1996 Clos du Marquis St-Julien

March 11, 2012 Leave a comment

I was in the mood for some older wine this weekend so I chose a good old classic Bordeaux. Clos du Marquis is Leoville las Cases second wine and it is said to equally compete many reputable second or third Growth Bordeaux wines in quality. Lately, the prices of Clos du Marquis have – like any other Bordeaux classified Growth – gone north quite a lot, many people questioning this pricing.

This is a blend using the same grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and  Petit Verdot as Leoville las Cases, aged for 12-14 months in a less proportion of new French oak. It is less oaky, less extracted than the grand vin, and possibly more St-Julien in typicality.  This can be an excellent wine in good vintages. Clos du Marquis is no recent innovation, the first vintage produced was 1902. Much of the wine that goes into the Clos du Marquis comes from the vines closer to Chateau Talbot, together with the fruit of younger vines and declassified lots of Leoville las Cases.

I uncorked this wine and tasted it over 2-3 h while I did the cooking therefore I was able to properly see his full development. All aeration took place in the bottle and in the glass. The food was prepared only in goose fat saved from an early consumed bird: chicken livers with spices and different vegetables – potatoes, baby onions and carrots – first boiled and then roasted in goose fat in the oven and spiced up with freshly crushed fennel seeds. Both were equally divine and I actually enjoyed a lot the menthol aromas given to vegetables by the crushed fennel seeds – they give freshness. I believe I start to develop a real passion for cooking in duck or goose fat, very few things can equal this rich taste.

1996 Clos du Marquis St-Julien

Dark red with a very light brick rim. Fully developed and mature nose, but still retaining some of its primary, red fruit aromas. The nose is complex and exhibits a beautiful mix of smoke, red currant, graphite, coffee bean, red bell pepper and, as it aerates, it develops really intense aromas of truffles. Supple and extremely lively, it builds up on the palate as it breathes, developing a velvety texture. There is plenty of structure left, while the tannins are fully integrated and assertive only on the finish. The flavors that coat the palate are coffee, red and black currant, truffles, pencil lead, tobacco and old leather. Medium plus to long finish, fresh, with lingering flavors. A really well balanced wine, in its prime, showing freshness and very good drink-ability. (92/100)

Categories: Bordeaux, France

2007 Philipp Kuhn Luitmar

This is an unusual wine from Pfalz in Germany. This cuvée is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Laurent, Blaufränkisch and Sangiovese, aged for up to 18 months in oak barrels. I had this wine next to a chili con carne type of dish made with beef minced meat, red beans, tomatoes and chili. Not the best pairing possible but still pleasant.

2007 Philipp Kuhn Luitmar

Dark red garnet color. Developed nose with aromas of fresh red fruits, blackberry, earth, ink and pencil shavings. Supple wine, with pleasant mouth feel and lively, it surprises with its good freshness. Coats the palate really well and exhibits mineral flavors. Medium finish with a certain bitterness in the aftertaste. 14% alc (87/100)

Categories: Germany

(P) Noutati despre festivalul de vin Provino din Cluj

March 8, 2012 6 comments

Vinurile Nachbil vin la PROVINO!

Enologii pivnitei sunt Johann Edgar Brutler, tatal si fiul, ce produc vinuri de calitate. Un rol important in crezul lor il are naturalitatea, pastrarea originalitatii fructului. Cei ce degusta aceste vinuri sunt atinsi de pasiunea enologilor, de dragostea si de respectul lor fata de aceasta meserie.

Soiurile strugurilor cultivati sunt diverse: Riesling, Traminer, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Pinot gris pentru vinurile albe si Cabernet sauvignon, Merlot, Blaufränkisch, Pinot noir si Syrah pentru cele rosii.

„Suntem o crama mestesugareasca, pentru noi este foarte importanta naturaletea produselor, ceea ce inseamna o productie ecologica in vie si o interventie cat mai redusa in pivnita. Ar fi foarte important nu numai pentru noi, ci si pentru toti participantii, ca specialistii de la HoReCa sa ne viziteze la acest eveniment. Speram ca editia Provino de la Cluj ne va deschide portile inspre HoReCa”, spune Csilla Serli Director Executiv Nachbil.

Universitatea de Arta si Design din Cluj-Napoca partener al PROVINO Cluj Napoca

Universitatea de Arta si Design din Cluj-Napoca a raspuns afirmativ invitatiei de a deveni partener institutional al Festivalului de Vin, Arta si Gastronomie PROVINO.

Cu sprijinul Universitatii vor fi realizate expozitii de pictura si sculptura in cadrul Festivalului PROVINO, precum si ateliere de creatie neconventionale pe durata intregului program expozitional.

Premiere in editie limitata oferite de BUDUREASCA

Budureasca lanseaza cu ocazia Festivalului PROVINO Cluj – Napoca 2012 noua gama de vinuri albe dedicate HoReCa, maiestrite cu aceeasi grija de catre Stephen Donnelly – vinificatorul de la Budureasca, vinuri ce se remarca prin calitatile lor speciale.

Astfel, BUDUREASCA va prezenta in premiera la Cluj:

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 sec, un vin cu inflexiuni verzui şi aromă puternică de agrişe. Este foarte echilibrat, cu un foarte bun caracter erbaceu, remarcabil prin aciditatea vioaie a finalului.
Chardonnay 2011 sec, un vin cu o culoare aurie, cu arome puternice de fructe tropicale si usor condimentat.Este un vin bine echilibrat, bogat in arome de fructe coapte si un finish lung, de stejar.
Tamaioasa Romaneasca 2011 sec, un vin cu o culoare verzuie, arome complexe de iasomie si flori de soc si cu note de miere. Este un vin echilibrat, iar aromele sale completate cu nuante de lamaie verde confera vinului un final curat, vioi.

Tot din gama HoReCa, Budureasca prezinta in editie limitata – doar 2000 de sticle facute, un Pinot Noir din 2009 sec, un vin de culoare rubiniu deschis, cu delicioase arome de fructe de padure, in care gustul de zmeura este completat de taninurile moi ce ii confera un final fructuos si lung.

Categories: Pub
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