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1996 Robert Weil Spatlese Halbtrocken Rheingau Riesling

June 25, 2012 2 comments

Tasted this wine during a lovely vacation in Lefkada in Greece, on the beach. The 11% alcohol level was a blessing for a sunny summer day. I would dare to say that Riesling has never tasted better than this for a long time.

1996 Robert Weil Spatlese Halbtrocken Rheingau Riesling

Deep yellow gold color. Well developed, complex and really intense bouquet, overall sweet on the nose, extremely youthful, with very nice aromas of pinneaple, peach, melon, warm rubber, citrus fruit – red pinked lemon, yellow spice and basil. Full bodied, lively and refreshing acidity, rich on the palate, off dry, but the acidity keeps everything in perfect balance and keeps it extremely fresh and closer to a dry wine. The wine has really intense flavors and drinks very well. Medium plus finish, with ripe citrus fruit and mouth-watering acidity. This wine has a very long life ahead, there is absolutely no sign of being tired. It can stay at this level for at least a decade, but it is drinking already so well. Great example of an aged Riesling. (91/100)

I admit it: I am a Riesling addict.

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Categories: Germany Tags: , , ,

Le Web Journal du Champagne Number 5

Le Web Journal du Champagne celebrates one year since its inception and continues to bring a lot of interesting and useful information for all Champagne lovers, but also for people that want to discover the wines from Champagne.

This new edition (number 5) contains articles about:

– the still wines from Champagne (surprised that there are not only sparkling wines produced in this region ? );

– info about a Champagne fair that took place on April 15-17 2012 in Epernay and Avize;

– profiles of two producers (Champagne de Sousa and Champagne Henri Giraud*) with tasting notes for some of their wines;

– more tasting notes on different still and sparkling wines;

– how to match Champagne and sushi;

All this information is available here:

http://www.champagne-webjournal.com/numeros/005/

Enjoy reading it !

*Champagne Henri Giraud – this is an absolutely lovely and rich Champagne that I enjoyed a few weeks ago.
Categories: Champagne, France

1999 Cramele Halewood Pinot Noir Special Reserve

June 6, 2012 11 comments

This wine won the Grand Gold Medal at the 2002 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, being, for many years, the only dry Romanian wine that won such an award. It is the first time I taste it, and my curiosity and excitement grew immensely ever since I received this bottle, a few weeks ago, from Cramele Halewood where it was stored since its bottling. Both, the fill level and the cork were flawless.

1999 Cramele Halewood Pinot Noir Special Reserve

Saturated ruby red color with no signs of aging. Well developed and maturing, but still youthful, dominated by rich primary aromas, absolutely amazing. Intense aromas of pure red fruits, flowers, eucalyptus, with real depth and complexity given by game, chocolate and truffles aromas. Full bodied, with perfect balance between good extraction, bright acidity, completely integrated tannins and velvety texture, with intense flavors and a real pleasure for the senses. Medium plus finish, really fresh and lingering flavors. This wine is extremely youthful, you can think of more recent vintages when you sip it, but certainly not of a 13 years old wine. The wine is probably at its peak now, however it can stay on this plateau for another 5-7 years easily (perhaps even more) offering great drinking pleasure to the few fortunate owners that still have bottles left. Kudos to Aurelia Visinescu, the winemaker at that time, and Cramele Halewood for this wine that drinks so well today.  (92+/100)

Categories: Romania Tags: , ,

Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve range @ Hilton Bucharest

On May 31, 2012 I attended a tasting of 6 wines from Kendall-Jackson organized by Lerida, the Romanian importer of these wines, at Hilton Hotel in Bucharest. The event was organized as a small wine fair, where people could go from one table to another and taste each individual wine, and started with a short presentation of the producer and its wines given by Mr Sergiu Nedelea.

I found out that Kendall-Jackson controls approximately 6,000 ha of vines in Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Barbara County and is producing wines for nearly three decades. The Romanian importer offered two whites and four reds from the Vintner’s Reserve range for the tasting.

As an overall impression, these cannot be characterized as subtle wines – especially the whites that march rather heavily on toasty oak flavors, while the reds are intended for relatively short to medium term drinking. All wines are pleasantly balanced and have good, relatively low alcohol levels (13-13.8%), with minty aromas (the reds) that make them easier to drink and enjoy.

2010 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc can benefit from a little aeration in the glass. It starts with a pronounced smoky nose initially, but, as it settles down, it gives some nice floral aromas underneath the ripe white fruit. Round and mouth-filling with a honeysuckle finish.

2010 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay is deeply gold colored and has intense aromas of toasty oak and butter, full bodied and creamy on the palate, with intense tropical flavors and a medium finish. This is a bit too oaky for me.

I also tasted:

2008 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Noir, highly extracted, but balanced overall;

2008 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Merlot that shows a good structure, probably the best of the 4 reds tasted, and feels supple on the palate;

2008 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Shiraz with pronounced spicy aromas, a dense and rich nose, but also showing some unusual metallic flavors (other people I discussed with sampled the same wine from a different bottle that showed a cooked character, so it seems there are some bottle variations for Shiraz). Balanced and enjoyable overall.

2007 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was rather closed both on the nose as on the palate, and only after a few good tens of minutes in the glass showed a more expressive, fruit driven profile.

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