A bunch of wines from the weekend
SUN was a very good day for wine. I had lunch at home with a friend and cooked fresh fish from the new wildfish.ro shop opened in Pta Dorobanti, but also received an invitation from a different friend to pay him a visit later on. There was a very important event to be celebrated and he uncorked some special wines. Knowing my passion for old vintages he thought about me when he opened Vega Sicilia Valbuena from the late ’70s.
At home I had 2011 Serve Cuvee Amaury that sports a fresh and floral nose, with clean and enticing aromas that shift from white and yellow flowers , to citrus and pear. Lively and rich in the mouth, it is a great success. (88/100)
It took a lot of effort to uncork the 1969 Chateau Nenin Pomerol that had a mid-shoulder level. So far it proved to be the most demanding experience to uncork an old bottle of wine. As much preparation and care I took, the cork did not want to get out. I had to take it out piece by piece, but fortunately there was limited amount of cork that fell in the bottle.
The wine has a good saturated ruby red color with brick rim. It also had an oxidized appearance as soon as it was poured in the glass. I am not sure if it was because I moved the bottle a lot during my efforts to uncork it or was the contact with air. What is certain is the wine was absolutely clean and transparent in the bottle prior to my efforts to uncorking it.
The bouquet is very nice, clean and still preserves discreet primary aromas of red and black currant. As it breathes the fruity aromas increase their intensity and get more nuanced. There are intense aromas of new leather, truffles, tobacco and cedar. Medium bodied, fully resolved tannins, outstanding acidity and balanced, it offers good drinking pleasure. Medium finish and fresh. It is a maturing wine and now on a downside slope, but the wine is surprisingly good considering its age and the quality of the 1969 vintage. (88-89/100)
After lunch I accepted my friend’s invitation and paid him a visit. Over there a merry group was waiting and challenged me to a blind tasting contest which I accepted. They had 5 wines opened for a couple of hours: 4 reds and a white. I did manage to impress:
– I guessed the first red by country, region and grape variety: 2007 Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino. This had the sunny and warm nose that I find in Tuscany wines. Intense on the nose, sweet, with plenty of red fruits and toast. (91/100)
– the second as being the oldest on the table based on its color and cloudy appearance: Vega Sicilia Valbuena from the late ’70s. This is Non vintage Valbuena (it does exist yes !) bottled in 1979. It was a bit cooked and smelled like a Madeira. Such a pity. Not rated.
– the third had the most intriguing nose with pronounced aromas of earth and dill. Somebody said dirty socks. 🙂 I would call it earthy, with a little bit of brett. I thought initially old Rioja, but then the purity of its flavors and its medium body made me think about Pinot Noir from Germany. Managed to recognize the wine down to its producer and vintage: 2007 Philip Kuhn Steinbuckel Pinot Noir Grosses Gewachs Pfalz. At this moment the group was deeply impressed. This was one of the wines of the evening. It is a wine with such a great personality, intensity and focus that you cannot remain unimpressed. (93/100)
– fourth wine was more challenging. Due to some signs of oxidation, it initially sported dry fruits similar to an Amarone. In the mouth it was still good and eliminated the suspicions of an Amarone. I said initially Italy based on the nose, but based on the taste I said South Africa. It was indeed SA. Could not guess more but it was quite close. Hanneli R 2005 has some problems on the nose, but it is clean and intense on the palate. A very good wine if it would have not been the signs of oxidation on the nose.
– the fifth wine was the white. The moment I smelled the glass I said German Riesling Auslese or Spatlese. The wine had strong and sweet aromas of pineapple, peach and apricot, ripe citrus fruit and very discreet signs of petrol. Based on the nose it was an Auslese. In the mouth it fooled me because the outstanding acidity made it taste less sweet than an Auslese. I said Spatlese from Germany. It was 2001 Weingut Dr Crusius Riesling Auslese. Such a beautiful wine. It has amazing purity, richness, intensity and mouthwatering acidity. (94/100)
The evening was still young so 2 more red wines followed but not blind this time. I suggested to try 2007 Meerlust Rubicon which I absolutely loved. It strongly resembles a red wine from Medoc. Youthful, well developed and intense on the nose, it has rich aromas of green bell pepper, cedar, violets, black currant and a distinguishing peppery aroma. Fresh, powerful, balanced, seamless texture and great tannins structure, the wine is very convincing. It has deep and intense flavors of blackberries, dark chocolate and spices, and the structure to last. Long finish, with long aging potential. I was seduced immediately. (92/100)
2006 Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino Campo de Drago is a huge, concentrated and well structured wine. Not very expressive on the nose for now, but the wine has all the attributes of becoming very interesting in time. It has depth, richness and huge amounts of tannins in the mouth, but it also has balance and layers of flavors. Long chocolatey finish. (91/100)
Great day for wine.