Had dinner last night with a small crew of friends and between the 4 of us we shared some excellent wines. Started the night with Champagne Krug Grande Cuvee NV (I did not take a note of the ID sadly as Olivier Krug pointed to me early in the morning on Instagram) that is fresh and intense, showcasing great craftsmanship. It sports smoky citrus fruit, Granny Smith apple and fine pastry on the nose, and cleanse the mouth with razor sharp acidity and great freshness. Weightless on the palate in spite of its good intensity, it fades quickly from the glass. (94/100)
First red wine, 2001 Chateau Pavie, was decanted and aerated for about 2 h before being poured and it just got better with time in the glass. Very dark red garnet color. Initially a bit heady but quickly recovered and showed a complex and maturing but youthful nose filled with clean aromas of ink, plums, mint and cedar, later shifting to truffles. Beautiful nose. On the palate it is full and supple, gravely tannin still assertive on the finish, with good richness of texture, layers of blue fruit and mineral freshness. Long finish that lingers. This is superb today. (94-95/100)
A big surprise for me was Contador 2011, a Spanish red wine from Rioja that sells at super premium prices. It might have been too young today but I do not see the hype for it. The color is purple opaque. Nose is intense but today is too much oak influence. Rich aromas of dolce de lecce and Christmas cake cover any other aromas. It is smooth on the palate, with plenty of rich black fruit, and there is more focus here. Fairly long finish with dark chocolate and blueberry fruit. (91-92/100)
Popped and decanted on site with very little time to breath was the spectacular 2010 Chateau Troplong Mondot, a 99 points wine according to Robert Parker. The wine deserves it. This has a deep dark red garnet color. Nose is complex, youthful and so rich and intense. The wine states 16% alcohol on the back label but this is so well hidden and balanced under its rich layers of black fruit, fresh minerality and a skyscraper structure of smooth tannin, and every sip is like a revelation. Rich, heady, lavish sweet fruit, chocolate and ink on the palate, this is really good. Long finish. This might very well become a 100 points wine on the 10 years tasting from the vintage. (98/100)
There was a 2006 Chateau d’Yquem served from a half bottle but somehow it did not manage to find my glass. So last wine was Champagne Dom Perignon Rose 2003, a wine that I am personally worried how often I tasted this year. The inconvenient side is that every time it usually ends a long line of great wines and I cannot get the full grip of it. However, its vinosity is unquestionable, this is a wine especially designed for fine gastronomy. And considering its high price, how could that be different ? (96/100)
Ended the night sooner than other times but the two red Bordeaux wines were stunning and I am still thinking about them the second day.
Whites, reds, Margaux, St-Julien, Moulis en Medoc, St-Emilion, 100 points, 99 points, mature Bordeaux, young Bordeaux, vertical wine tasting, this event has it all.
We welcome you to join us and discover why is Bordeaux the most sought after wine.
2013 Clos des Lune ‘Lune d’Argent’, 91 pcts.
2010 Chateau Labegorce, Margaux, 94 pcts.
2009 Chateau La Tour Figeac, St-Emilion, 93 pcts.
2010 Chateau Leoville Barton, St-Julien, 100 pcts.
2010 Troplong Mondot, 1er Grand Cru Classe St-Emilion, 99 pcts.
1996 Chateau Chasse Spleen, Moulis en Medoc, 90 pcts.
2002 Chateau Chasse Spleen, Moulis en Medoc, 90 pcts.
2003 Chateau Chasse Spleen, Moulis en Medoc, 91 pcts.
The price is 320 lei pp and includes the wines, water and the starter. Main course can be order “a la carte” from the restaurant menu.
Please send an email to email@example.com or call +40744 240 108 and make your reservation. Advanced payment is mandatory.
Met my usual group of wine aficionados again last night for dinner and had some amazing wines. Started with this sublime vintage rose Champagne that I remember having last time about 1-2 years ago, but from a different vintage, 2000 if I remember correctly. We had all Champagne’s from the Zalto white wine glass that I find it complements a lot the way Champagne tastes like. Probably the only issue here would be that it does not stimulate enough the bubble persistence as the regular sparkling glass does. As aromas are concerned, I believe it focuses very well the full aromatic profile of the Champagne.
2002 Champagne Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Elisabeth Salmon Rose has a light coppery color with small and rich bubbles. This is a Champagne to keep in the glass and smell it over and over as it changes its aromas constantly. It starts fresh and classy with small red berries, dough and a salty seashell aroma, and, with air, it develops pomegranate and pink grapefruit. Gracious but powerful in the mouth, it has a strong backbone of acidity and discreet tannin, with layers of flavors that build like a skyscraper on the palate, creating a sense of immersion and depth. Long finish that goes on for good seconds. This is a very elegant and classy rose that I absolutely love. (96/100)
First red of the night was a high roller that got awarded a perfect 100 points by the Wine Spectator. The 2005 Chateau L’Evangile was decanted for about 2 hours before being consumed. The color is dark red garnet. Nose is already expressive and very complex, with a ripe but fresh profile. Lavish aromas of plums, sour cherry, dark chocolate and ink build a complex aromatic profile that just continues to develop new aromas in the glass. Silky smooth on the palate already in spite of its high velvety tannin structure, it is profound and rich, with lush flavors of chocolate and black cherry, gravel minerality and paprika. Long finish, combines fruit and bitter sweet chocolate in the lingering aftertaste. It disappeared from the glasses fairly quickly. (97/100)
A friend said that today it is at its peak and there is not more to develop from now on. I believe it will be on this plateau for many years to come and that it will develop into an even more interesting wine. Future will tell.
2010 seems to be THE vintage for Brunello di Montalcino. I believe most of the wines coming from reliable producers will develop and surprise wine drinkers in time. It should be a strong addition for the cellar.
Pieve Santa Restituta Sugarille Brunello di Montalcino 2010 from Gaja is a youthful and powerful wine today. It sports a deep red garnet color. Even after 3 h in a decanter the wine continues to be shy in revealing its full aromatic profile. There are of course fruity aromas of black cherry, sour cherry and blackberry, well complemented by spices and blue flowers, but you can feel that not everything is disclosed yet. On the palate it is powerful, with assertive velvety tannin well dressed into rich layers of red and black fruit and spices, with fresh aromatic herbs that give depth. Long finish, tannin is assertive again and indicates patience is required. (94/100)
Also decanted for about 3-4 h, the 2007 Vega-Sicilia Unico is a wine to keep on smelling and discovering in the glass. It has a deep red garnet color, and since my last encounter this bottle shows a slightly different aromatic profile. Yes the oak is still there but not that prominent, and there’s a new layer of dill and orange peel that did not feel it before. Rich and powerful on the palate. (94/100)
Two more Champagne’s were served. A 2003 Dom Perignon Rose that has a deep red onion peel color with abundant mousse, a rich and vinous mouth-feel. It feels denser and has a completely different personality compared to the previous Cuvee Elisabeth Salmon. If that was ethereal, the Dom Perignon Rose is robust and swings in full throttle. (95-96/100)
Last wine of the night and a first time for me was the 2004 Champagne Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame. It has a light yellow lemon color, with tiny and rich bubbles. Fresh but complex on the nose, it has lots of citrus fruit, brioche and nuts, with a rich palate of pear and Granny smith apples, mouth watering acidity and appealing elegance. Long and refreshing citrus fruit finish. (94/100)
That was the end of a fun and engaging dinner with friends.
Went for lunch at the lovely Mahala restaurant on Calea Rahovei, a place I recently discovered and immediately fell in love with its food. The place is owned and run by the former chef from Casa di David and focuses on Romanian food. Excellent cooked. It was a family lunch and we celebrated the birthday of a dear person.
Had this great Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2013 that was decanted for about 30 minutes before being poured in the glass. The wine has a medium yellow gold color. Nose is intense and layered, filled with rich aromas of tropical fruits: mango, papaya and passion fruit, lemons and luxurious oak. Same story on the palate, abundant layers of yellow fruit mixed with smart oak and butterscotch, with lovely vibrant acidity and a perfect Pessac-Leognan sense of place. Long fruity and floral finish that lingers. (93-94/100)
Paired this wine with pumpkin flowers filled with Romanian “urda” cheese as appetizer and sea bass as a main course.
A friend from abroad was in town this week so we ended up having dinner at a favorite for me now: La Brasserie Bistro&Lounge. As we both fancy wine, there was a good line-up prepared and as usual there were initially planned 3 bottles, but eventually we ended up having more between our small group of 4.
Started the night with this 2003 Bouchard Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus that was popped and poured and barely had time to breath over the 1 h it lasted. This is a most unusual Pinot Noir in the sense that it has the mark of the hot 2003 vintage with ripe fruit and medium to low acidity. The color is deep ruby red. Nose is already expressive and developed well into a complex mix of sweet blue and red fruit, Asian spices and some discreet shades of undergrowth, keeping fresh. It has a denser than you might expect mouth feel, with a fleshy texture where velvety and smooth tannin mixes well with lavish layers of ripe red fruit and tea leaves, preserving balance and freshness. Long finish, aromatic tea leaves and red fruit jam. Really enjoyed it. (94/100)
A bottle of 2010 Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee Chateauneuf du pape was opened and left to breath since lunch time so it had about 8 h to aerate. Nose was interesting as usual but the mouth feel was bad. There was just too much VA in it to be able to enjoy it. Certainly not the wine that I had several months ago. (Not rated)
Decided to shift palates to more tension and bubbles so a 1999 Champagne Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Nicolas Francois Billecart was served. This is a wine that I had several times already this year and I like it more and more. It feels the wine is in the right spot today and should be holding well for several more years, but why wait when it is so good. It’s got a rich mousse with plenty of tiny bubbles and a nose that sports intense aromas of smoky citrus fruit, caramel and biscuit. Very tense and razor sharp acidity after the reds, with smoky seashell and bright grapefruit palate. Long. (93-94/100)
Decided to stay on a similar note with high acidity and citrus fruit so a 2013 Christian Moreau Chablis Grand Cru Valmur was opened and decanted. Yes decanted. This has lots of chalky minerality, citrus fruit and Granny smith apple aromas. Mouth watering acidity, it combines very well ripe citrus fruit, wet stone minerals with riper flavors of grapefruit and chamomile. Medium plus long finish, lively citrus fruit. (92/100)
When in doubt and want some tenser and riper refreshment go for a rose sparkling, preferably a Vintage. Champagne Bollinger La Grande Annee Rose 2004 is a Champagne for the long run and mostly a keeper. Some Champagne should be decanted. We did not do it, but I would recommend it. Light coppery color with small and rich bubble. Complex from the beginning it just got better in the glass in time. Intense and fresh nose filled with pink grapefruit skin, small red berries, citrus fruit and minerals. Very tense on the palate, it feels it has a Baroque type of structure of tannin and acidity that still hides its aromatic layers. Good potential here. (94/100)
Last wine of the night was Champagne Cristal 2007. This punches the nose with smoky aromas of seashell, dried meat and citrus fruit. Razor sharp acidity at this stage, it needs time in the glass to get softer to reveal lively lemons, slate minerals and smoke, with a clean and sharp focus. Medium plus long finish, very fresh and a weightless mouth feel that makes it so easy to drink. (94/100)
Ended the evening quite late and had a hard time finding a cab to get home. That was a first and very unpleasant to stand up in the cold street waiting for a taxi to take my order.
Has a lovely lunch about 2 weeks ago with a couple of friends and tasted some top Romanian wines and an iconic Spanish wine from Vega-Sicilia. There is a huge gap price wise between these wines: Spanish vs Romanian, and one has to think thoroughly if it is worth it. I have a few friends that are Unico ambassadors by choice, but hey who wouldn’t like to drink Valbuena, Unico or Reserva Especial every day ?
Vega-Sicilia Unico 2007 was opened already for 24 h and 1 glass was taken out. So, properly aerated. Even at this stage the oak influence is quite assertive both on the nose and the palate. There is rich and elegant fruit here, it has depth on the nose, but it does not confirm yet the same sheer class on the palate. It is young but I do not see it at the same level as the 2000 or 2004. The oak flavors seem to upfront for now. (94/100)
Davino Flamboyant 2010 was decanted for about 45 minutes and drank over 1 h. Deep dark red color. Its aromatic profile resembles a Super Tuscan, with the sunny ripe and spicy black fruit. Rich on the palate, high tannin that needs big food to feel smooth, lots of black fruit and spicy. Medium to long finish. (92/100)
Davino Rezerva Red 2010 was also decanted for 45 minutes and drank over 2 h. This is closer to a Bordeaux. There is more freshness and red fruit here than in Flamboyant. It has a paprika, black currant and meat stock profile. A bit more flesh, refreshing tannin that seems to be smoother on the palate. Longer finish with lots of dark chocolate. Loved the freshness here. (93/100)
Had dinner at home over a weekend and wanted to spice up the meal with a comparison of 2 wines made of the famous and celebrated Grand Cru from Chablis: Les Clos. 2 different vintages and certainly different style of wines. However both share the quality factor.
2013 Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos is a wine I Coravined since December 29th 2015 and tasted it at least 3-4 times prior and had the last 2 glasses only now. The wine has a pronounced citric fruit and wet stone nose, with fresh and vibrant lemon and grapefruit palate, mouth watering acidity and gun powder like minerality. Medium plus finish with a saline, oyster shell lemon aftertaste. (92/100)
2010 Christian Moreau Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos is slightly different. There is a riper profile, with more exotic yellow fruit here, color is medium yellow gold. Nose is richer and dominated by white peach, grapefruit and chamomile, with slate and gun powder minerality. Richer on the palate, it mirrors very well the same flavors as the nose with lavish yellow fruit and a more settled acidity that makes it round and appealing. Medium to long finish, with yellow flowers and lemons. (93/100)
Both wines have a long life ahead and in my opinion would both benefit from a short decant to open up properly. I actually enjoyed the Moreau so much I bought all the very few bottles left of 2010 Les Clos from real-wineboutique as it seemed to be the only one with any bottles available.