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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.

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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
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