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2003 Mas de Daumas Gassac

January 26, 2015 Leave a comment

10152026_10205911823980584_9019934674532120754_nHad lunch with friends yesterday and this was offered for tasting. I had several vintages of this wine in the past and I still remember liking a lot 1998 and 2000. Usually a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon with more than 10 grapes completing the blend, the back label contains the producer’s advice to decant the wine 12-24 h before drinking. For us it was about 30 min to 1 h.

2003 Mas de Daumas Gassac rouge

Medium ruby red with a slight orange rim and a lot of sediment in the bottle and the decanter. Initial nose is strange with pronounced iron and herbal, but after swirling in the glass it opens up. Better after 1 h. The nose comes a bit rustic and tertiary, with beef blood and cured meat, tobacco, undergrowth and sweet fresh cherries. Full mid-palate, soft and assertive tannins, savoury currants and tobacco palate, it has enough structure and persistence to last a few more years. It has freshness in spite of the 2003 hot vintage. A wine that delivers, but not at the same level as 1998 or 2000. (90/100)

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Davino 2011 the newly launched red wines

January 21, 2015 Leave a comment

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Last week together with the participants to our event we had the chance to taste the new red wines launched by Davino from the 2011 harvest. I am going to point just a few things and not complete tasting notes as, between pouring in the glasses and talking to people, there was not much time left to actually sit down and take proper tasting notes.

We were 23 people all together and it was nice to see how many people decided to join our event. The white wines polarized the impressions: some people appreciated the Domaine Ceptura Blanc 2013 as the best white wine served – others preferred Davino Reserva Alb 2011. For me Reserva Alb 2011 seems to lose its vibrant acidity and the wine starts to feel a bit too heavy and dull.

Sauvignon Blanc Edition Limitee 2013 does not appeal in same manner as previous vintages and it is the producer’s intention to take a new direction for this wine. Less battonage and more New World style. 2014 will follow in the same line.

The reds are a different story. Iacob red 2012 and Iacob Feteasca Neagra 2011 are great deals in their price range and they sell well also abroad.

The new Davino red range from 2011 seems to be some of the best reds made by Davino. Purpura Valahica Feteasca Neagra 2011 has enough concentration and ripe fruit to balance the 14.9% alc with a spicy (basil and cinnamon) chocolaty finish.

Domaine Ceptura Rouge 2011 and Flamboyant 2011 are the best wines made by Davino so far. Both wines were matured for 9 months in Romanian oak barrels, and starting with 2012 the aging process will increase to 12 months. Domaine Ceptura Rouge 2011 has lush and decadent aromas of ripe red fruits and spices, tannins are powerful but polished and, in spite of its youthfulness, this wine drinks extremely well already. It is probably the first DCR newly launched that drinks so well after a proper aeration and still has potential for development. Flamboyant 2011 has a more discreet nose than DCR, but the level of concentration on the palate is deeper and more profound, with very powerful tannins that require time to rest in the bottle, really nice and promises an interesting development.

When the new wines are so much better than the old vintages it comes the question: what should we buy for storing ?

Categories: Romania, Wine-dinners

Vinuri de top de peste 90 puncte – Degustare 28 ianuarie 2015

January 21, 2015 Leave a comment

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Viața este prea scurtă ca să bem vinuri proaste! Ghidându-ne după vorba asta de duh, ne-a venit idea unei degustări de vinuri foarte bune din toată lumea. Ca si criteriu am ales numai vinuri de peste 90 de puncte. Si iata ce a iesit:

  • 2012 Clos des Lunes “Lune d’Argent”  – Bordeaux Blanc sec produs in Sauternes, Franta – 91 puncte
  • 1998 Lopez de Heredia Reserva Tondonia Blanco – Rioja, Spania – 93 puncte
  • 2003 Guado al Tasso Antinori – Toscana, Italia – 92 puncte
  • 2004 Pasanau Finca La Planeta – Priorat, Spania – 95 puncte
  • 2003 Chateau Musar Rouge – Liban – 92 puncte
  • 2006 Trapiche Single Vineyard Malbec Bibiana y Christina Coletto – Argentina – 95 puncte
  • 2007 Modus Ruffino – Toscana, Italia – 96 puncte #25 in Top 100 Wine Spectator 2010
  • 2004 Chateau La Tour Figeac (St-Emilion) – Bordeaux, Franța – 91 puncte

Ne gândim să facem degustarea “in blind” în pereche de câte două vinuri. Adică nu vă spunem ce turnăm în pahare decât după ce degustăm și ne facem o părere. Ce ziceți?

Degustarea va avea loc miercuri, 28 ianuarie 2015, de la ora 19:30, la Restaurant Dada (Str. Matei Voievod 94bis). Sunt 12 locuri disponibile și fiecare costă 235 lei, sumă care include vinurile, o sticlă de apă și prezența noastră agreabilă.

Pentru rezervari contactati-ma pe cosmin.grozea@gmail.com sau la telefon 0723 240 102 Cosmin sau prin completarea formularului de mai jos cu datele de contact si numarul de locuri dorite.

(Pentru cei nefamiliarizați cu sistemul de 100 de puncte pentru vinuri, vă spun doar că ce este peste 90 de puncte sunt vinuri deosebite, iar ce este peste 95, well, sunt considerate exceptionale, adică foarte puține, deosebit de bune și de obicei foarte scumpe)

Romanian vs Hungarian wines

January 14, 2015 Leave a comment

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This year starts already interesting. Last night was a very interesting tasting with some of the best wines produced in Romania and Hungary, and the aim was to make some comparisons and more importantly to see how what chances do top Romanian wines have for the export market. It is no mystery that Hungary has a better reputation for its wines and is more advertised abroad than Romania is but as long as there is quality wine produced here the recognition will come for ours as well.

Last night it was about meeting new people, making new friends and sharing a great wine tasting experience. It was uninspired to place Vinarte Aniversare 2006 after the first 4 Cabernet based wines and I’m taking the responsibility for this.

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2011 Gere Kopar Villanyi Cuvee has developed already a great nose that mixes gracefully primary ripe red fruit aromas with cured meat and tobacco leaf, being extremely youthful and fresh. Full palate, assertive but very smooth tannins, lively and good mid-palate sensations of chocolate, red and sour cherry with a medium to long, chocolaty aftertaste. It was matured for 16 months in French and Hungarian oak. (91/100)

2010 Davino Flamboyant has a deeper and more pronounced nose with brooding complexity, starting to show savory aromas of cured meat, coffee and beef blood next to its fresh and ripe black and red fruits. Seems denser on the palate, with assertive, polished and refreshing tannins, lush cassis and dark chocolate, with an exotic touch of basil from Feteasca Neagra. Medium to long finish with a red fruit chocolate. I had this wine several times in 2014 and found it unrewarding many times, but this time it seems to open up and start to drink nicely. (92/100)

10636639_822422634485410_4928535267337886110_oThere is no other wine from Hungary that I wanted to try more than the wines from Bock. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Merlot, this wine was aged for 24 months in oak barrels.

2009 Bock Villanyi Bock Cuvee is very shy on the nose and surprises with an explosion of flavors on the palate. There can be no bigger surprise. At 15% alc this wine reminds very much of an Amarone with its dense and concentrated palate, velvety tannins, and intense flavors of rum, sour cherries in alcohol and dark chocolate. The acidity is medium to low, and the wine gives a very sweet sensation on the first attack. Finish is medium and a bit sweet. It must be the glycerine, high alcohol and low acidity that creates this sensation of sweetness on the palate. (91/100)

2009 Davino Reserva Rosu can easily be compared to a Super Tuscan. This is very elegant on the nose and shows a bright future for aging. Dry paprika, violets, cassis, black cherry, spices and cured meat make a complex, youthful and well developed nose. Full and dense on the palate, it shows the same line of elegance from the nose. Bitter-sweet chocolate, juicy black fruits and ink, show good definition on the palate. Long taste, lingering. (94/100)

2006 Vinarte Aniversare seems more Burgundian when compared to all these 4 examples of power and concentration. The nose shows a more developed wine but pleases with its fragrant and delicate flavors. I normally like this wine a lot on its own, but last night was put on a blind spot.

Two more Hungarian wines were served: Villaniy Cabernet Franc 2008 that has a rather more pronounced nose than its palate (87/100) and a 2009 Vylan Mandolas with a riper profile and more density and concentration on the palate (89/100).

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The night was closed with a 2005 Cristal that has yeasty and cheese aromas, that dissipates after some time in the glass leaving a lovely smoky vibrant citrus fruit. Lively and acidic palate, there is force and tension here, with the same appealing smoky citrus flavor. Long. Great wine but somehow I did not enjoy it much last night probably because of reminiscences of a healing cold. (93/100)

Categories: Champagne, France, Hungary, Romania

Classy Spain

January 8, 2015 Leave a comment

Over the last few months I drank several wines from Spain, most of them worthy of being mentioned. It is always interesting to see how one single grape: Tempranillo, can show so many and different facets depending on the climate where it was grown, yields or wine-making style. Known more as providing the cheapest wines of Europe, Spain has its own jewels of the crown.

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Termanthia is produced from a small parcel of 4.78 ha of very old Tempranillo from a high altitude – 120 years old pre-filloxera vines, from Toro. Currently this winery is owned by the LVMH group that also owns Chateau Cheval Blanc and Chateau d’Yquem in Bordeaux.

Termanthia 2009 is an opaque, dark red colored wine. Highly complex and elegant nose, with very intense and pure aromas of ripe black forest fruits, dark chocolate, smoke, cured meats and licorice, that constantly evolves in the glass and impresses at every sip. The palate is dense, fleshy and concentrated, with refreshing, silky smooth but assertive tannins, vibrant acidity and a whole kaleidoscope of layers and flavors. The finish is very long, savory dark chocolate with blackberry essence lingering well in the aftertaste. There is a natural elegance in this wine that I found in many of the First Class French or Italian wines that is just astonishing. Nature’s own elegance. (96/100)

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Two older wines from Rioja made by what are known to be classic Old School producers: Lopez de Heredia and Muga, the wines cannot be more different. These 2 wines were drunk over 2 weeks distance.

Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Cosecha de 1994 has a pale medium ruby red color with a brick rim. This is a highly sensual and elegant wine, with a complex and layered aromatic profile that combines pure dill and fresh orange peel, sweet ripe cherries and currants, with a light touch of oriental spices and tertiary notes of undergrowth, tobacco and old leather. Mature, very feminine and almost weightless on the palate, the fully resolved velvety tannins and its vibrant acidity make a supple wine with pronounced flavors of tobacco, spices and red fruits. Finish is medium to long, very refreshing. I can see this wine pairing very well with a more delicate game dish – partridge, and even with a red meat fish. (92/100)

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Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva 1991 came even as a bigger surprise. In spite of being 3 years older than Tondonia, Muga feels at least 7-8 years younger. The color is deep ruby red. It takes about 2-3 h for the wine to open up completely – the wine is good to drink even after 20 min, and when it does it is a whole concert. A youthful complex and intense nose with rich aromas of ripe red cherry and strawberry, orange peel, sweet spices, pipe tobacco and old leather, with very delicate shades of dill. Full bodied, smooth like silk, a lush palate and plenty of vibrant and spicy red fruits. Medium to long finish, fresh and compelling. This feels as an immortal wine that will stay on this plateau of drinking decades from now. (94/100)

The most interesting Spanish wine I had in 2014 was at a friend’s birthday in October when a Magnum of Vega Sicilia Unico 1996 was popped. This wine came after a bottle of Krug Rose and while the expectations were high, the wine never ceased to amaze.

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1996 Vega Sicilia Unico has a dark red garnet color. After almost 4 h sitting in the decanter, the wine shows a youthful and maturing nose, highly complex and profound, with layers and layers of pure and intoxicating aromas of fresh blackberries and black cherries, refined oak and tobacco, a compelling freshness given by assertive orange rind and dill aromas, with savory cured meats and beef blood. Full and very dense palate, assertive smooth tannins and very detailed nuances of black fruits, spices and dark chocolate. Finish is very long, bitter espresso and sweet cranberry essence making a refreshing aftertaste that goes on and on. This is a monumental wine. (97/100)

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Aalto PS 2011 is probably one of the best deals from Spain for wines under 100 Eur. I had this wine 2 or 3 times last year and I always enjoyed it more even when drank with more expensive wines like Artadi Pagos Viejos or Cirsion from Roda. It’s full and expansive on the palate, with classy ripe black fruits, smart oak and refreshing espresso and dark chocolate aromas, while the finish is long and layered. (93-94/100)

Figeac 2007, Gaja Rossj-Bass 2005 and more

January 7, 2015 Leave a comment

Winter holidays came with an unwelcome soar throat and cold so drinking had to be postponed until further notice. Nevertheless soon after Christmas and after medication my condition did swing in my favor and I was able to enjoy some really nice wines.

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2008 Don Maximiano Errazuriz was the appropriate choice for Christmas when most of my senses were still annihilated by a finishing soar throat and cold. It seemed to be the best selection as the intensity of aromas is almost overwhelming (not a bad thing 🙂 ) even when a runny nose is troubling. Intense and complex aromas of creme de cassis, black cherry, dark chocolate, red paprika, smoky oak and cedar make the nose. Full bodied, rich, concentrated and fleshy, sweet and velvety tannins, highly aromatic palate with big cassis and chocolate flavors, long and intense finish. (93/100)

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At a friend’s house a brilliant Pinot Noir that needs at least 2-3 h to open up. 2003 Bouchard Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus has medium ruby red color. Nose is youthful and intense, with lush aromas of black and red cherry fruit, oriental spices and undergrowth. Lush, savory and rich palate, sappy, silky smooth palate, very round and balanced, everything seems to be in the right place. Vibrant acidity and really refreshing. Long finish, intense and lingering. (93-94/100)

First day of the New Year was all about Spanish Jamon, friends, good company and excellent wines.

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2005 Gaja Rossj-Bass has a glowing gold yellow color. Complex honey and butter aromas with ripe citrus and stone fruits, with beautiful floral-acacia aromas. Very smooth and elegant wine, with vibrant but rich palate. Absolutely brilliant, reminding of a Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru. (93/100)

10882110_10205684448896349_374803373154632373_nAn interesting comparison between 2 Merlot based wines – Bordeaux is Merlot/Cab Franc, Lamaione is 100% Merlot. More life and intensity in Lamaione, while Chateau d’Arthemis is a more feminine and perfectly mature wine.

2001 Chateau d’Arthemis is a fully mature wine, combining sweet red and black cherry fruit with graphite, new leather and gamey aromas. Supple, vibrant palate, with a faint grip given by the fully resolved tannins, this is still a very convincing Bordeaux. (89/100)

2001 Lamaione Frescobaldi is youthful, with a deep red garnet color. Complex and intense aromas of tar – someone said the smell of city after the rain, black cherry, plums, tobacco and spices build on the nose as it breathes – it needs 2 h to open up. Full, smooth but assertive tannins, well structured and full of life. There is a lot going on here. Fruit is very vibrant, while the finish leaves bitter-sweet dark chocolate in the aftertaste. (91-92/100)

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First week back to work and first meeting with my wine club put Chateau Figeac 2007 on the spot. This is usually a very nice wine (2001 drank at the Chateau at 10:00 in the morning in 2011 during Vinexpo still brings fond memories), but 2007 lacks concentration and intensity. While the nose is convincing and expressive with aromas of cassis, plums, cedar and sweet spices, the palate is rather dull, falling short in both intensity of flavors as its short finish. Not a long lived wine. (87-88/100)

Categories: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Chile, France, Italy
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