Archive

Author Archive

Dinner with Cuvee Elisabeth Salmon, Unico, Evangile and more

March 15, 2016 Leave a comment

IMG_20160314_204109

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)

IMG_20160314_200623

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.

IMG_20160314_214215

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)

IMG_20160314_215612Also 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)

IMG-20160315-WA007

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)

IMG_20160314_232324

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.

Lunch with Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2013

March 12, 2016 Leave a comment

12783709_10208790477185115_3297002779517731975_o

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)

12772035_10208790576547599_4249968269065882771_o

Paired this wine with pumpkin flowers filled with Romanian “urda” cheese as appetizer and sea bass as a main course.

Categories: Bordeaux, France

Dinner with Bouchard, Pegau, Billecart-Salmon, Cristal and more

March 11, 2016 Leave a comment

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.

980752_10208811806878344_201455331009921307_o

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)

12772005_10208812746261828_1042185324542983677_o

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)

12795237_10208813029388906_4974183644131743552_o

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)

10687878_10208813229953920_8467462768891110508_o

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)

12828920_10208813340916694_3528653955605789613_o

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)

10619988_10208813510760940_7482245474444878541_o

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.

Lovely lunch with 2 from Davino and a Vega-Sicilia Unico

IMG_20160215_171842

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)

 

Between Les Clos: Moreau and Droin

IMG_20160220_230640

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.

Some great whites: Olivier Leflaive, Billecart-Salmon, Tement etc

February 28, 2016 Leave a comment

Had a lovely dinner on WED evening at La Brasserie restaurant in Herastrau with some beautiful wines. Started earlier with a stunning Puligny Montrachet by Olivier Leflaive.

IMG_20160224_150450

2012 Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Les Pucelles’ needs at least 45 minutes in a decanter to open up and when it does it is simply kaleidoscopic. Color is medium yellow gold. Nose is profound and luxuriant, stone fruit, papaya, toast and butterscotch center the stage. Rich and vibrant yellow fruit pours lavishly on the lively palate, with intense and long rich citrus fruit and chamomile finish. Simply gorgeous. (95/100)

IMG_20160224_192901I was invited to blind taste this wine at the beginning of our dinner and I managed to spot there is an older Sauvignon Blanc from Austria. Tement as far as I read is the best producer of Austrian Sauvignon Blanc. Perhaps I am wrong here.

2007 Tement Zieregg Rezerve IZ is indeed a Sauvignon Blanc that spent 30 months in oak barrels. The wine has amazing richness both on the nose and the palate. Nose is filled with generous aromas of slate minerality, cut hay, white melon and passion fruit. Very rich on the palate with medium acidity, it shows abundant yellow fruit and flowers. Quiet long and ripe. (92/100)

1999 Champagne Billecart-Salmon Nicolas Francois Billecart comes with a razor sharp acidity after Tement. This has a classy nose of smoked citrus fruit, baked apples and biscuit, tense and precise, with a citrus infused long finish. (94/100)

2005 Thierry Allemand Cornas Chaillot needs to be properly decanted of its sediment and to breath for at least 45 minutes. This has a mineral, gamey and red fruit generous nose that just keeps on getting better. Supple on the palate, it has a Burgundian character written all over it. Syrah for Pinot lovers. (94/100)

More wines followed but did not manage to pay the proper attention to take notes on: 2007 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino, 2009 Davino Rezerva Rosu, 2006 Vinarte Aniversare Merlot Rezerva, 2012 Davino Rezerva Blanc. Night ended with a second bottle of 2012 Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Les Pucelles’. Sometimes you can just have it all.

Great wines from a busy Monday: Rousseau, Pavie, Angelus, Krug, Dom Perignon etc

February 26, 2016 Leave a comment

Pavie

Siting quietly at the end of the week and analyzing all the wines I enjoyed on MON I have to give big credit to my liver for taking it all so bravely.  Week started on a high note on MON evening with a great dinner well planned in advance. It was initially planed to be for 7, but then it ended up with 10-11 participants. It was initially planned for 5-6 bottles and it turned up to be over 12 bottles.

IMG_20160222_194737

Started with two Pinot Noir’s from 2 great producers:

2009 Clos des Lambrays has a surprisingly developed profile and just by sniffing it you would give it more age that it actually has. Nevertheless, the wine is drinking superbly by now and it has quite a ripe and black fruit dominated nose for a Pinot, where sour cherry and small berry fruits mix with spices and undergrowth. Very smooth and silky tannin, lots of fruits and aromatic black tea in the mouth. Medium plus long finish. (93/100)

2012 Clos de la Roche by Armand Rousseau is a beauty even as young as it is. There is freshness and elegance in this wine. Freshly picked red cherries, strawberries, cedar and potpourri on the nose, it has layers. Supple but well structured mouth, with assertive smooth tannin, plenty of red fruit and spices. Long finish, very much like an English black tea. Enjoyed more the Rousseau and finished the bottle almost alone. (94-95/100)

Our crowd was not a Pinot aficionado so next flight brought some smiles at the table. Two highly praised wines from St-Emilion, both classified in the top Class A category.

IMG_20160222_201107

2007 Chateau Pavie is was more restrained than I expected and needed more time in the decanter to barely express itself. Dark color, aromas developed interestingly in time and showed plums, black cherry, cedar and spices, and oak still seems to be there. It has ample body and layers, velvety and fresh tannin. (92-93/100)

2007 Chateau Angelus was just better for me. It had a more clearly defined profile, sweet fruity tannin and overall more freshness. (94/100)

IMG_20160222_213933

As night progressed and outside it became darker, so did the wines. The two crowned producers of Amarone: Quintarelli and Dal Forno have completely different styles yet both aim for the highest quality.

2003 Quintarelli Amarone shows superb freshness at 13 years old. It has a red fruit profile, with plenty of dried currants, red cherry, rum and chocolate, very smooth on the palate, while its thick texture gets freshness from the tannin structure. Long finish. (95/100)

2008 Dal Forno Amarone is all about black fruit, like a Dark Knight. Everything is more pronounced here: deep black cherry fruit, prunes, dark chocolate. Mouth is full, profound and richly layered, rich and abundant velvety tannin, heady, with lavish amounts of fruit. Long finish. (95/100)

I am a bit puzzled here because I enjoyed Quintarelli more for its red fruit and freshness, but somehow got myself attracted to the dark side of Dal Forno. I am really not a fan of Amarone style wines simply because there is too much sweetness and ripeness for my taste. Also, these are heady wines where alcohol is usually around 15-16% and 1 or 2 glasses feels just too much. However, I simply cannot deny the craftsmanship and quality of these 2 wines.

2010 Palazzi from Tenuta Trinoro is a 100% Merlot and there are plenty of similarities to an Amarone. Deep opaque dark red color. Nose is rich and intense with prunes, chocolate, spices and meat. Velvety tannin, lavish black fruit and chocolate palate, it is long. (93/100)

IMG_20160222_205556

Patrick Piuze is a rising star in Chablis and it was a first time for me to try one of its wines. 2012 Patrick Piuze Chablis Terroir Decouverte shows a riper yellow fruit profile that you would not expect from such a young Chablis. There is white melon, peach and toast on the nose, while it explodes on the palate with rich layers of stone fruit, butterscotch and citrus, with a distinct stone like minerality. Medium long and very surprising. If there is something missing here I would say a certain precision. (92/100)

IMG_20160222_224005

2011 Olivier Leflaive Corton-Charlemagne seems to have it all: precision, depth, freshness and balance. Nose is all about citrus fruit and gun powder, with slight amounts of butter and toast, mouth is all about precision, freshness and elegance. There is richness of fruit, a lively and vibrant acidity and a fairly long finish. Wine was open at lunch and properly aerated. (93/100)

A Dom Perignon Magnum 2000 started the flight of Champagne’s. Very mineral, almost like a Riesling from Mosel, but very intense both on the nose as on the palate. This is starting to drink very well now. (93/100)

IMG_20160222_225402

Champagne Krug Rose Brut was the first rose of the night. This is a Rose for the day. It has a light coppery color, fresh and intense nose of small berries, slate like minerality and grapefruit. Amazing weightless texture, layered and rich, you can drink a lot. A second bottle was opened, that well it drinks. (94/100)

Champagne Dom Perignon Vintage Rose 2003 is a rose for the night and it is not for its more intense darker coppery color. This is fuller and heavier in the mouth, but also with a vinous character. Rich, layered and decadent palate, it makes an impression on you. (94-95/100)

IMG_20160222_232515

We already passed midnight, but there was more wine. 2008 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion was opened and briefly decanted before being poured in glasses. The wine is classic textbook Bordeaux, but from the high class: rich but tempered and elegant. Lots of cassis, pencil shavings and typical Pessac-Leognan character. Red cherry, cassis and gravely tannin, very fulfilling on the palate. Long. (94/100)

IMG_20160222_220440Not to mention that by this time everybody was full and when Batman came to fancily deliver a bottle of Champagne Krug Clos du Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Vintage 2000, everybody foolishly (retrospectively) refused to open it. At that moment it felt like it was enough. Today I believe big things can happen in the spur of the moment.

IMG_20160223_000532

Champa

Burgundy wine tasting announcement

February 19, 2016 Leave a comment

unnamed

If you’re a man then you know that February-March is a harsh time. You have: Valentine’s Day, Dragobete, March 1st and March 8th. If you’re a woman it’s probably the merriest time of the year.

We are offering both of you a great escape. A relaxing evening in the middle of the hurricane when women could show their sympathy and support for all the nice moments offered and effort men put. And what is better than wine ? Perhaps more wine.

Burgundy is one of France’s most complicated and hard to understand regions. You only have two grapes: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, yes there is little Aligote also, so you might think how hard and different can it be ? Well, the reality is every small appellation has its own characteristics, and there are usually a bunch of producers sharing it. As many producers, as many styles of wines. Add the classification of Village, Premier Cru and Grand Cru wines and things really start to get complicated. What is the difference between these classifications and why is the price gap so wide ?

We will try to explain as many things as possible during the Burgundy wine tasting we prepared for you on THU, February 25th, 2016.

Here is the line-up of wines we prepared, our intention was to take you through as many appellations as possible in order to understand differences. Yes, there is order in chaos and it can be understood.

Whites:
NV Bailly Lapierre Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Réserve
 2011 Olivier Leflaive Chablis Premier Cru ‘Montee de Tonnerre’

Reds
1996 Hospices de Beaune, Beaune Premier Cru ‘Cuvee Brunet’
1998 Chicotot Nuits St-Georges 1er Cru “Les Vaucrains”
2006 L & A Lignier Morey Saint-Denis “Clos des Sionnieres” (91 points)
2007 L & A Lignier Morey Saint-Denis “Clos des Sionnieres”
2008 Philipe & Vincent Lecheneaut Gevrey-Chambertin (92 points)
2011 Jean Fery Vosne Romanee 1er Cru “‘aux Reas”

Again, we will meet on Thursday, Feb 25th, 19:30. NaaN Restaurant (Strada C. A. Rosetti 26, București) is the meeting point. We loved the place for the Roses tasting.

The cost is 269 lei pp (wine, entree and water). The main course can be ordered a la carte from the restaurant menu, if you want. Confirmation is required, as well as advanced payment.

Please book your seats by email at cosmin.grozea@gmail.com or by phone at +40723 240 102 .

IMG_20141005_150550

Categories: Burgundy, France, Wine-dinners

An out of ordinary dinner in Bordeaux: 1925, 1955 and more

February 18, 2016 1 comment

IMG_20151001_222729

Last year I spent a whole week in Bordeaux between September 29th and October the 2nd. Every day I visited 4-5 wineries and I ended the week with a very special and unusual dinner organized by Olivier Bernard and his wife, the owners of Domaine de Chevalier from Pessac-Leognan and several other properties in Bordeaux, at their residence which coincides to be the actual winery of Domaine de Chevalier.

I was told in advance by the person who invited me there, how things would go: there are no more than 10-11 people that attend, mainly wine critics and people from the wine business, and the event happens only once per year. The uniqueness of this dinner is that, Olivier Bernard chooses and serves all wines blind, only the very first wine is shown what it is. From that moment on, all wines served should have only one thing in common: the last digit of the first wine’s vintage will remain the same for the whole line-up of wines. Otherwise, sky is the limit in terms of region, appellations, countries of origin and span of the vintages.

Before dinner there was obviously a pre tasting of different wines (about 15-20) made by Olivier in several appellations of Bordeaux and a visit of the whole Domaine de Chevalier winery. I noticed the most unusual one single barrel of fermenting juice and grapes made by Domaine de la Solitude (same ownership) from a tiny, very old parcel of 200 years old vines that has a life and reputation of its own. Only 1 single barrel made of this very special wine.

IMG_20151001_203409

Dinner brought together several British wine critics, an American negociant with a reputation in Bordeaux and Internationally as big as the Statue of Liberty, the two Bernard’s and some lost Romanians that made it together with me at the event. I hope my friends will not take any offense. 🙂

Dinner started in their living room with small finger food appetizers and a Magnum of 1975 Champagne Veuve Clicquot Carte d’Or Brut which at that moment in time was the highest quality level Champagne of Veuve Cliquot. La Grande Dame came into existence a few years later, around 1980. This was a surprisingly vibrant sparkling that naturally shade most of its bubbles by now, but filled with live acidity and a rich toffee caramel like nose and dense taste. Simply stunning. (94/100)

IMG_20151001_204306

From this moment on, we were on thin ice. Olivier takes great joy from putting wine specialists and people from the trade into hot seats. I’m saying this in the most candid possible way as I have great sympathy and respect for this Gentleman.

We took our seats at the impeccably arranged table in a separate room and first flight of wines was served: two whites, similar color, completely different aromatic profiles. One was vivid and reminded of a well aged Riesling with a very clean nose of stone fruit, the other showed a more pronounced aging, a citrus dominated nose and not as clean or generous. The American negociant nailed what I believed to be a Riesling: it was a superb 1985 Puligny-Montrachet from Domaine Leflaive, a time when Domaine Leflaive was the pioneer of quality in white Burgundy. Outstanding quality at that village level. Second was Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 1985, still alive but more of an aged man.

IMG_20151001_211900

First red wine of the night was a first for me. The oldest wine I have ever tasted. Its color was not showing it, because there was still some medium ruby red next to the brick rim, while the nose was full of tertiary aromas. On the palate there was just a tiny, discreet pale of some dried red currant. Not necessarily something that you would enjoy as a whole bottle, but for what it was, it transcended time: 1925 Chateau Cos d’Estournel. It is not a wine I would recommend for acquisition, but if you would get the chance to find it at a good price, you should try it. Of course, it is more of a gamble as provenance is crucial, so if you feel adventurous follow your urge.

IMG_20151001_213026

The second red served of the same flight showed a more intense presence of red fruit, but somehow didn’t seem to hold much better that the 1925. The 1955 Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste was not the wine that other people reminded to be from other tastings as I was told. At this point nobody had any clues about these two wines.

IMG_20151001_213626

New flight consisted of three wines and had several things in common, but for us being offered blind the most important was the vintage. As a start. Then came the origin and the actual wine producer itself.

Now I have to confess that I take great pride in being able to surprise the audience and, more importantly, the host the this lovely dinner that started to see me with different eyes from that moment on, when I nailed the best wine of the flight and probably the red of the dinner.

I do have to share with you the circumstances of this impressive – even for me – achievement. The first thing that I noticed was the color: having a 1955 before and knowing that 1965 was not a good vintage in Bordeaux – well I knew these wines were Bordeaux from their nose – I saw that based on the color and intensity of nose it was older than a 1985, and knowing we have only 5 ending vintage wines, it has to be a 1975. I got that confirmation from Olivier.

We eliminated the Right Bank as the originating appellations. So we were left with the Left Bank. Now there are several outstanding wines made in 1975 and we took out Pauillac as being one of the appellation of these wines. So the fact that I had some Leoville Las Cases several times in the past, gave me the upper hand to make a good impression for Romania: nailed the 1975 Chateau Leoville Las Cases. That felt good indeed.

IMG_20151001_214837

1975 Chateau Leoville Las Cases is just a great wine. Still going strong on red fruit, it has cedar and pencil shavings freshness, very smooth and appealing on the palate. The other two wines were 1975 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge – it was the vintage when Olivier Bernard took over Domaine de Chevalier and it was the last vintage produced by the previous manager – and 1975 Chateau Cos d’Estournel. Cos d’Estournel showed more intensity and grip, while the Chevalier Rouge was just a pale shadow of once good wine.

IMG_20151001_220413

Dessert came paired with two sweet wines. I did guess the vintage but not the appellation, nor the producers. Chateau Guiraud 1975 and 1975 Chateau Gilette ‘Creme de Tete’ – I said Barsac but they were both from Sauternes – were both nice, but Guiraud showed a fresher vibrant acidity and cleaner defined sweet caramel, saffron, orange and quince marmalade aromas. It was simply delicious.

IMG_20151001_221703

This was an absolutely unique experience where everybody paid really close attention to wine for the whole dinner and the stirred discussions were the best case study you can do into the history of Bordeaux.

IMG_20160218_172556

We were extremely fortunate to experience all these great wines because history shows that most successful vintages in Bordeaux ended in a 5. Rumor is this year’s dinner will be all about 6.

IMG_20151001_220322

 

Noi vinuri grecesti la real,-wine boutique

February 10, 2016 Leave a comment

Poza 1

Am regasit cu bucurie o noua gama de vinuri grecesti pe magazinul online real-wineboutique.ro , vinuri pe care le-am baut cu mare placere de cate ori am fost in vacanta vara pe plajele din Grecia. Aceste vinuri sunt disponibile si la raft in cele patru magazine real,-.

Ceea ce as recomanda in mod deosebit ar fi:

poza 2

Gaia Wines Thalassitis 2014 care este un Assyrtiko pur din Santorini, insula in care acest strugure straluceste in mod deosebit si capata o personalitate distincta fata de celelalte vinuri din alte zone ale Greciei. Thalassitis este un vin intens aromat la nivelul nasului si surprinde prin aciditatea mare care-l face proaspat si tonic, mineralitate intensa, arome citrice si saline ca de cochilie ce domina in gust. Un vin sec care merge de minune vara si care te duce cumva cu gandul la un Chablis.

Poza 3

Biblia Chora Alb a fost primul vin grecesc care m-a impresionat. Se intampla prin 2010 in Thassos alaturi de un Dentex de 2,5 kg pe care l-am servit la taverna Musses din Limenas alaturi de cativa prieteni. A ramas o amintire frumoasa a acelei vacante pe care o impartasim de cate ori vorbim de Thassos. Vinul si-a pastrat calitatea cu consecventa si atributele care m-au facut sa-l indragesc: arome intense, aciditate vie si ideea de vacanta.

62065_1601679087728_6621871_n

Gerovassiliou este considerat cel mai bun producator al Greciei, el are meritul ca a reabilitat un soi de strugure care intrase intr-un con de umbra: Malagousia, punandu-l pe acelasi palier de calitate ca mai faimosul Assyrtiko. Malagousia Gerovassiliou 2015 este un vin care impresioneaza de la primul nas prin aromele intense de piersici si caise, cu note de citrice si de fan proaspat cosit. In gust este gras si dens, cu note bogate de fructe galbene si echilibru perfect. Iti va place de la prima inghititura.

Poza 4

Recunosc ca pun albele grecesti mai presus de cele rosii, dar am gasit un Xinomavro foarte interesant care m-a dus imediat cu gandul la un Nebbiolo din Piedmont. Ramnista Kir-Yianni 2010 are note intense de cirese, pamant si tutun, un vin elegant, cu structura buna ce creaza o impresie frumoasa in pahar. Pentru cei care indragesc vinurile Barbaresco sau Barolo, eu gasesc multe in comun cu acest vin. Pretul este considerabil mai mic.

Poza 4

Grecia mai are si alte surprize pe care le puteti gasi in sortimentatia real-wineboutique.

Categories: Greece

Valentine’s day it’s all about love and roses

February 2, 2016 1 comment

Valentines

The weather outside says spring is almost here. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It is usually a tough day for men as most of the time ideas don’t come easy. One has to be brave and inventive to make it through. Fortunately, your wine guys did the job for you.

We made a selection of some top roses: Romanian and French, and when you say roses there is love in the air. Roses and rose wines is the name of the game for Valentine’s day.

So here’s the list:
2015 Prince Stirbey Rose
2015 Davino Domaine Ceptura Rose
2014 Miraval (Brangelina) Rose (91 points)
2012 Miraval Blanc
2014 Chateau Puech “Haut Prestige Rose” (92 points)
2014 Chateau Puech “Tete de Belier Rose” (93 points)
2014 ONE by Les Jolies Filles
2014 Chateau La Gordonne La Chapelle Gordonne (91 points)
2014 Chateau Minuty Cuvee Rose et Or
2014 Chateau La Sauvageonne Wild Woman Rose

(you can also buy the ones you like, that evening or later on, if you want to try them in a more intimate environment)

We will meet on Thursday, Feb 11th, 19:30. There is a new location, NaaN Restaurant (Strada C. A. Rosetti 26, București). Yes, it is an Indian restaurant. We challenge you to try this daring paring and see how good Indian food and rose fit together !

The cost is 160 lei pp (wine, entree and water). The main course can be ordered a la carte from the restaurant menu. Confirmation is required, as well as advance payment.

For reservations please contact us at cosmin.grozea@gmail.com or nicusor.cazan@gmail.com or by phone:

Cosmin: 0723 240 102 or Nicusor: 0722 141 879

frog

Categories: France, Romania, Wine-dinners

Prima comanda de la real-wineboutique.ro

January 22, 2016 Leave a comment

Am comandat saptamana trecuta cateva sticle de la noul magazin de vinuri online lansat recent de real-wineboutique.ro si logisitic totul s-a desfasurat usor si lin.

Sunt mai multe lucruri care m-au surprins placut:

  • am comandat 5 sticle in valoare totala de 300 Ron pentru a beneficia de transportul gratuit pentru comenzi peste 250 Ron si am optat pentru plata la livrare.
  • as fi putut procesa comanda chiar si fara a fi nevoie sa-mi creez un cont pe site-ul lor dar am ales sa o fac  pentru a putea fi informat de eventuale promotii sau alte noutati.comanda real
  • am comandat 3 vinuri de Bordeaux si unul din Portugalia care mi s-a parut interesant si mai era si in promotie.
  • in afara de mailul cu factura primit imediat dupa lansarea comenzii, am mai primit un mail care m-a notificat ca produsele comandate sunt in stoc si ca pachetul meu este pregatit pentru livrare avand din nou atasata factura, si altul care m-a notificat ca pachetul a fost preluat de catre curier si este in tranzit.
  • ultimul mail continea de asemenea un link direct de urmarire al pachetului pe site-ul curierului DPD. Mi-a placut faptul ca sunt notificat si stiu exact in ce stadiu este comanda mea si ca automat se trimite link-ul de urmarire.
  • imediat dupa lansarea comenzii am fost sunat pentru confirmarea ei. M-au informat ca acest telefon de confirmare este dat la lansarea primei comenzi doar, si ca ulterior la urmatoarele comenzi nu va fi nevoie de o alta confirmare telefonica atat timp cat lansez comanda de pe contul creat. Mi se pare de bun simt.

Am primit sticlele la 2 zile de la plasarea comenzii. Sticlele vin impachetate foarte bine in cutii de carton cu separatoare individuale astfel incat probabil ca incidenta accidentelor cu spartul lor este foarte mica.

IMG-20160121-WA005

IMG-20160121-WA006Ca bonus cred, mi-au trimis si cateva drop stopuri cu brandul real,- wine boutique. Din experienta stiu ca sunt extrem de utile cand torni in pahare fara sa mai trebuiasca sa folosesti un servetel sau o carpa pentru a preveni caderea vinului pe fata de masa sau pe haine.

IMG-20160121-WA008

Urmeaza mai multe comenzi din partea mea cu siguranta.

Categories: Romania Tags: ,

Four great wines: Pierre Yves Colin Morey, Bruno Giacosa, Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc and Duhart Milon

January 20, 2016 Leave a comment

Had a lovely dinner on Monday evening at a friend’s house and four people managed to go quickly through 4 bottles of wines in just a couple of hours. It was not intended as a speed contest but when the wine is that good it just dries quickly from the glass.

12493489_10208454374662762_5732656699647541848_o

2012 Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Santenay 1er Cru “La Comme” was a stunning surprise for all of us. It’s the first time I’m buying and tasting this producer and for sure it won’t be the last time. In fact it just opened my appetite for discovering more of his wines. This Chardonnay from a less famous Burgundy appellation needs to spend some time in the decanter in order to reveal its exotic and exuberant aromatic profile. Rich and decadent, it exudes very intense aromas of ripe tropical fruits, yellow melon and mango, with complex shades of toast and vanilla. Again rich and highly textured in the mouth, it shows a perfect balance between sweet tropical fruit, stone minerality and vibrant acidity. Long finish, fresh with sweet fruit lingering in the aftertaste. I see lots of similarities with a great 1er Cru Puligny Montrachet. (95/100)

Second white was 2013 Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc that shows good richness of citrus and tropical fruit, with vanilla and honeysuckle nose. It is more supple, with higher acidity typical for a Sauvignon Blanc, but overall a well balanced, rich and complete wine. (94/100)

12513964_10208455384568009_1017384037328727131_o

2007 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco spent about 1 h 30 min in the decanter before being poured. In the Burgundy Zalto glass this wine opens up very nice and quickly. It shows a rich aromatic profile where tar, fresh raspberries and rose petals take the center stage, and as it breathes more profound aromas of savory truffles jump from the glass. Supple and very smooth for such a young Barbaresco, it is full and supple on the palate, with silky smooth tannins, sweet and pure red cherry and raspberry fruit, spices and savory cured meat. Long finish, very elegant and feminine wine. (94-95/100)

2010 Chateau Duhart Milon spent only 20 minutes in the decanter before being poured in the glass, and it is surprisingly open already. It shows sweet cassis and pencil shavings, with refreshing cedar and brett. Full bodied, strong but polished tannins, good intensity of the fruit on the palate that balances the tannin structure. Long finish. (94/100)

Nine shades of Syrah/Shiraz ! (Tasting event WED January 27th)

January 19, 2016 Leave a comment

unnamed

Shiraz, or Syrah, is a very popular grape variety with lots of fans all over the world. And what is not to like about it? The wines are friendly, juicy, fruity and spicy, and the best cases are highly complex, richly textured and profound. It is a grape variety worth exploring.

Its recent reputation came also from the New World of wine, mostly from Australia and specifically from the Barossa Valley. We are all expecting young, very ripe and fresh wines from New World Shiraz, but we were recently amazed by a few mature wines made of, exactly, New World Australian Shiraz.

This is how the idea popped up to explore a step further and to compare with other different terroirs across the world and discover each individual variation. And this is what this wine tasting is all about:

Nine shades of Syrah/Shiraz !

2010 Aurelia Visinescu Anima Syrah, Dealu Mare, Romania

2012 Nachbil Syrah, Dealurile Sătmarului, Romania

1998 Rolf Binder Veritas Winery Heysen Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia (93 pct.)

1994 Elderton Command Single Vineyard Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia (92 pct.)

1995 Elderton Command Single Vineyard Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia (95 pct.)

2012 Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drezery Tete de Belier, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (93-95 pct.)

2006 La Peira Terrasses du Larzac ‘Las Flors de la Peira’, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (94 pct.)

2012 E. Guigal Saint-Joseph ‘Cuvee Lieu-Dit Saint-Joseph’, Rhone, France (91 pct.)

2011 M. Chapoutier Hermitage Monier de la Sizeranne, Rhone, France (92 pct.)

We will meet at Restaurant Dada at 19:30. The cost is 275 lei pp (wine, tapas and water). The second course can be ordered a la carte from the restaurant menu, if you want. Confirmation is required, as well as advance payment. For reservations please contact us at cosmin.grozea@gmail.com or nicusor.cazan@gmail.com or by phone:

Cosmin: 0723 240 102 or Nicusor: 0722 141 879

S-a lansat noul magazin online real,- wine boutique

January 13, 2016 Leave a comment

real online

Noul an a venit cu o lansare mult-asteptata pentru pasionatii de vinuri premium: Real,- Hyper Magazine intra pe piata vinurilor online din Romania cu REAL,- Wine Boutique, un magazin online cu livrare nationala. Magazinul poate fi accesat la urmatoarea adresa, si este optimizat pentru cele mai folosite browsere, Google Chrome si Mozilla Firefox:

www.real-wineboutique.ro

Site-ul este friendly cu utilizatorul iar comenzile se pot plasa atat de catre membri, cat si de catre simpli vizitatori prin completarea unui formular scurt de comanda. Site-ul nu duce lipsa de promotii, insa unele sunt adresate exclusiv membrilor deci crearea de cont aduce beneficii imediate celor care se inscriu. Site-ul este facut special pentru ca utilizatorul sa poata gasi vinurile preferate in cel mai scurt timp: filtrele sunt usor de folosit, sunt prezente inca din prima pagina si vin cu un numar variat de optiuni. Astfel utilizatorul este la doar cateva click-uri distanta de produsele preferate.

rating real

Magazinul online va contine intreaga gama de vinuri care sunt listate in acest moment in cele patru magazine din tara, in plus isi va largi portofoliul cu numeroase alte vinuri de la crame din Romania si va avea de asemenea importuri proprii si vinuri in exclusivitate. Coletele se livreaza in decurs de 24-48h de la plasarea comenzii, in deplina siguranta datorita cutiilor speciale folosite pentru transportul acestora.

Extrem de interesante mi se par vinurile de Bordeaux pe care le au la vanzare cu preturi bune si ratinguri mari:

Bdx

Revin cu mai multe detalii pe blog, dupa ce plasez si primesc prima comanda.

 

Categories: Romania
%d bloggers like this: