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Cinele gourmet marca real,- wine boutique

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Saptamana trecuta au avut loc 2 evenimente gourmet in cadrul magazinului real, din Arad in sectiunea de vin real,-wine boutique ce au introdus o serie noua de vinuri perfecte pentru aceste zile calde de vara. Este vorba despre ‘Totul pentru gust‘ si ‘Wine club‘ in cursul carora participantii au aflat povestea clasicelor vinuri spumante de Cremant, a celebrelor rose-uri din Provence, dar si noutati din portofoliul amplu detinut de Bernard Magrez.

Pentru cine nu este familiar cu acest nume, Bernard Magrez este proprietarul a mai multor domenii din Bordeaux: Chateau Pape Clement fiind cel mai cunoscut dintre ele, Chateau La Tour Carnet, Chateau Fombrauge, dar si din alte parti ale Frantei si ale lumii. Produce impreuna cu actorul Gerard Depardieu vinuri in Languedoc-Franta si in Maroc, dar are detineri si in Argentina, Chile, Japonia, California (USA), Uruguay si Spania. Calitatea este ceea ce caracterizeaza vinurile pe care le produce, pasiunea sa pentru excelenta fiind remarcata si prin asocierea cu celebrul Chef si proprietar de restaurante cu stele Michelin: Joel Robuchon si deschiderea restaurantului ‘La Grand Maison de Bernard Magrez’ din Bordeaux.

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Cele doua evenimente marca real,-wine boutique s-au desfasurat in zilele de 30 Iunie si 1 Iulie si au fost initiate cu un spumant creat dupa metoda traditionala de producere a sampaniei ce presupune a doua fermentatie in sticla si invechirea pe drojdii cel putin 12 luni inainte de a fi degorjat. Cremant Langlois Brut este produs din struguri de Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc si Chenin Blanc, si provine din regiunea Loarei. De un galben deschis, acest cremant prezinta miros de citrice si pere, completat de un gust proaspat si fructat. Prezinta o aciditate medie si un perlaj fin. Este versatil fiind potrivit si pentru realizarea diferitelor cocktail-uri avand un raport calitate/pret excelent.

Noutatea acestor evenimente este faptul ca preparatele culinare sunt gatite live in fata participantilor de catre chef Liviu Chiorpec, in timp ce asocierile culinare si motivele alegerii lor sunt explicate de catre consultantul Ladislau Kristof si unul dintre reprezentantii furnizorului sau al producatorului de vin.

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Chateau Tour des Gendres Cuvee de Conti 2014 este realizat din Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc si Muscadelle, avand o particularitate speciala, mai ales ca acesti struguri sunt culesi foarte copti si partial sunt trecuti prin procesul de „passerillage” (strugurii sunt lasati pe vie sa se stafideasca si apoi sunt vinificati). Stilul vinului este unul bogat si intens, cu arome dulci de fructe galbene si o densitate buna in gust. Asocierea cu Tokana de fructe de mare a scos in evidenta o usoare nota salina a vinului.

IMG_3600Bernard Magrez Aries Estate 2014 este un Malbec tipic din regiunea Mendoza din Argentina ce a fost deosebit de apreciat pentru notele sale fructoase de cirese negre, mure si de ciocolata neagra, cu tanin fin si senzatie de carnos in gust. Stocul a fost lichidat repede, in acest moment vinul fiind disponibil cu precomanda pe site-ul realwineboutique. Asocierea cu coaste de porc la cuptor slow cocked cu piure de cartofi cu susan i-a scos in evidenta complexitatea.

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Bernard Magrez Casa Magrez 2013 este un vin special produs in Uruguay din struguri de Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon si Tannat, fiind o reala surpriza pentru participanti. O asociere clasica pentru un vin atat de dens si de intens a fost file de vita cu legume, taninul bogat al Tannat-ului dand savoare preparatului.

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Evenimentul ‘Totul pentru gust‘ a fost dedicat vinurilor rose produse in diferite regiuni ale Frantei: Kressmann Bordeaux Grande Reserve Rose 2014 (Bordeaux) fiind asociat cu filet de biban cu sos de Lime, Hecht&Bannier Rose 2014 (Languedoc) cu somon posat pe un pat de salata verde si Maison Fabre Cuvee Villa Garrel 2014 (Provence) cu muschiulet de porc cu legume. Au fost remarcate diferitele culori ale vinurilor in functie de tipul de struguri din care au fost produsi, corpolenta, prospetimea si intensitatea gustului.

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Grand Tasting Dinner

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Last TUE evening on May 5th I attended a special dinner at Le Bistrot Francais near Ateneu organized for 10 people that included some fancy wines paired with a tasting food menu. Each wine was matched with a dish meant to enhance the overall culinary experience.

The tasting food menu was: Cinco Jotas Jamon Iberico de Bellota 36 months aged, Special Oysters Daniel Sorlut No1 and La Perle Blanche No 3, Fish carpaccio, lime flakes, crispy chickpeas sticks with rosemary, Braised sea bass, mashed potatoes with olive oil, truffles sauce, “Crispy-fondant” pork belly, ravigote sauce, crispy vegetables, potatoes puree, Wagyu entrecote, potatoes puree à la Joël Robuchon, Exotic fruits, coconut sorbet, meringue, Dried plums ice cream with Armagnac.

The food was again top as my last visit here, my favorites were the Special Oysters Daniel Sorlut No1, Braised sea bass, mashed potatoes with olive oil, truffles sauce and “Crispy-fondant” pork belly, ravigote sauce, crispy vegetables, potatoes puree.

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Champagne Duval-Leroy Authentis Cumieres Brut 2003 is made from 100% Pinot Noir de Cumieres (Premier Cru), organically grown grapes and aged in fut de chene. The color is a light amber so there is a clear oxidative character to this wine that hits you the moment you smell the glass: quite intense aromas of apple cider, caramel-toffee, nuts, brioche and dry citrus fruits. There is intensity and tension on the palate but the 2003 hot vintage shows its mark by a lower acidity. Quite an opulent style and this is an acquired taste Champagne that divides opinions. For me a bit too oxidative. (88/100)

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Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2009 was served next to oysters and its intense smoky nose seemed to be a good choice. The color is deep gold. Very intense and opulent nose as the palate, with strong aromas of smoked vanilla, tropical fruits and peach, vibrant fruit on the palate but again it feels the medium to low acidity starts to lose the balance with the lush sweet fruit. Long finish, elegant and complex wine. (93-94/100)

IMG_20150505_203534Fish carpaccio, lime flakes, crispy chickpeas sticks with rosemary

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2009 Joseph Drouhin Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru “Clos de la Garenne” was a refreshing Chardonnay, its aromas jump from the glass. An initial flinty character gradually leaves room for aromas of fresh citrus, apricots and wet stones. There is intensity on the palate, with lively citrus fruit and flint and overall great freshness. Long finish. (93/100) Pairing with fish carpaccio was a happy choice.

IMG_20150505_205657Braised sea bass, mashed potatoes with olive oil, truffles sauce

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Domaine Abbatucci Cuvée du Général Jean Charles Abbatucci 2012 from Corse is a blend of 6 grapes: 25% Carcajolu Biancu, 25% Paga Debbiti, 20% Riminese, 15% Rossola Brandica, 10% Biancone, 5% Vermentinu, aged in 600 L demi-muids and is labelled as Vin de Table. Quite a pricey Vin de Table as it averages around 100 Eur. The color is medium yellow gold. The first nose when the wine was the coldest reminds of a German Grosses Gewachs Riesling due to its petrol-kerosene nose. However, when the wine warms up in the glass it gets a Southern France – Chateauneuf du pape blanc profile, with intense dry yellow fruits, dry apricots and Asian spices: turmeric aroma is really strong. The palate is rich and heady, the same dry fruits are sustained by medium acidity and as it getter warmer starts to lose a bit of balance. A heady and opulent white wine. (90/100)

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Chateau La Grande Clotte 2002 made by Michel Rolland was not on the initial wine list and was a spontaneous offer from the host. The color is amber and the wine shows strong signs of being too old. The same apple cider aroma as the Champagne but more intense and overwhelming. There is bright acidity on the palate but you have to be generous to enjoy it now. Probably a strong cheese pairing as was suggested at the table would put this wine on a better spot.

IMG_20150505_213537“Crispy-fondant” pork belly, ravigote sauce, crispy vegetables, potatoes puree

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Pork would probably not be my first choice to pair with a Pinot Noir but tonight’s pairing was a brilliant unexpected surprise. Hospices de Beaune Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru ‘Cuvee Madeleine Collignon’ from Joseph Drouhin has a medium ruby red color. It has a refreshing, elegant and complex nose that includes fresh raspberries, red cherries, sous-bois and potpourri in its aromatic profile. Medium to full body, with sappy tannins and a savoury sweet and bright cherry fruit on the palate, and a medium to long fresh finish that leaves a flavorful  black tea aftertaste. (92-93/100)

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Another spontaneous offer from the host. Made by Michel Rolland and named after his niece from one of his properties in Argentina in a very limited amount: only 600 bottles made, pure Malbec from a very high altitude, over 2000 m, that was offered for sale at around $3000 – at least this was the story version offered by the generous host. Mariflor Camille 2007 has a deep red garnet purple and opaque color. There is high intensity of aromas, the rich and profound nose shows plenty of sweet blackberry and mulberry essence, bacon fat, spices, rich dark chocolate. Opulent and lush on the palate but still fresh and elegant, with powerful tannins, layers of sweet black berries and dark chocolate, with a long and lingering finish, refreshing sweet tannins that stick to your gums. Very expressive even if it was open on a short notice. (93-94/100)

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Chateau Margaux 2001 is an event wine by itself and does not need further introduction. Deep red garnet color. It was open 3 h in advance. Rich, elegant, intense and complex wine. Strong aromas of smoked paprika, cassis, pencil shavings on the nose with pure and clean aromas. Full bodied, silky smooth but assertive tannins, rich flavors on the palate, similar to its nose with additional caramel and fresh espresso, but changing nuances with every sip. Very harmonious and balanced, with an overall impression of class and esteem elegance. Long finish. (94/100)

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Chateau Leoville Las Cases 2007 (St-Julien) was another spontaneous wine not appearing on the initial list. This is already drinking very well. The color is red garnet almost opaque. This is showing the exceptional pedigree of this producer that even in a poor vintage like 2007 made a stunning wine. The most striking difference between the Margaux and Leoville Las-Cases is that the smoky side is more prominent in the Margaux, while the Leoville has a bigger and more intense mineral side. The nose is very intense and complex, the graphite – pencil shavings seems to have been liquified and poured over fresh and sweet cassis, red bell pepper and anise seeds. Medium to full bodied, assertive tannins, quite rich and intense flavors, with plenty of cassis, chocolate and tea leaves. Medium to long finish, refreshing and mineral. (93/100)

Exotic fruits, coconut sorbet, meringue were paired with a 1996 Chateau Rieussec from Sauternes, a wine that I last tasted about 2 years ago and I enjoyed tremendously. It has a deep amber color. Very rich and intense nose, quince jam, Asian spices, saffron and orange marmalade just steal your senses. Rich and opulent on the palate, the 1996 was the first vintage when they started to use barrel aging for the wine. Long and intense finish. (93/100)

It was great culinary experience, a line up of top wines that puts me in a great challenge to pick a top 3.

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)

Rolland’s Collection with David Lesage

November 23, 2012 Leave a comment

I was invited to attend a very interesting tasting organized by Le Manoir, the Romanian importer and distributor of Michel Rolland’s wines. I believe, or would like to believe, that any person that likes and consumes wine, or at least is interested in wine, heard about Michel Rolland. As debatable as his wines are perceived for being too extracted or too oaky, most of the prestigious Chateaux in Bordeaux employ his consulting services. He is definitely a great blender.

Last night Mr Rolland’s son-in-law, David Lesage, presented some of the wines included in the so-called Rolland’s Collection. I actually met Mr Lesage one year ago when he conducted another wine session presenting the same Collection but some from different vintages, session organized also by Le Manoir. His presentations are interesting and engaging, filled with technical details but also spiced up with “behind the curtain” information.

I found out last night that in Bordeaux it became mandatory to mention the alcohol level on the labels starting with the ’70s. If the alcohol level is above the appellation’s rules a producer might not be able to use the AOC for that particular vintage. Mr. Lesage mentioned how Michel Rolland had the initiative to measure the alcohol level in a legendary wine: 1947 Chateau Cheval Blanc and the result is just staggering: 14.8%. Should the 1970s regulations have been in place in 1947, Cheval Blanc would have not carried the Saint-Emilion Grand Cru appelation. Interesting information for a wine geek. So the blamed high alcohol levels we see often today on Bordeaux wines are not a first.

We started with a white wine made from a 1 ha plot from Lussac-Saint-Émilion, normally a red wine appellation, labelled as a Bordeaux Blanc and produced in a relative short supply. The wine is aged for up to 12 months in new French oak barrels. The use of new French oak barrels is a common thing to all wines in the Rolland’s Collection. Chateau La Grande Clotte 2009 is a white blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Gris, Semillon and up to 50% Muscadelle. The wine is opulent, both on the nose, as on the palate, oaky and elegant is the last word that comes to my mind when describing this wine. A wine that grabs your attention immediately but a bit too much for me.

Next two wines were 2002 and 2005 Chateau Le Bon Pasteur Pomerol served in parallel from two separate glasses to better compare them. The 2002 is completely open and ready to drink, showing pronounced aromas of green vegetables, green bell pepper and grass, (2002 was a rainy and hard to ripe vintage in Bordeaux) mixed with smoke, red fruits and a touch of minerals. Full bodied and filling the palate, fresh, structured, with assertive tannins. The wine is a pleasure to drink right now and has no problem holding further years. (90-91/100)

2005 Le Bon Pasteur is at a different stage. The wine feels tempered and restraint compared to 2002, but it has a depth and a complexity not matched by its older brother. Well structured, grippy tannins, fresh, ripe, full and hiding a lot of potential. Long and best to be left alone for now. (92/100)

Next wine was Le Defi de Fontenil, a 100% Merlot made only 5 or 6 times since 1999: 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009 (if I understood correctly). Even though the property sits in Fronsac, the wine is labelled as a simple Vin de Table because INAO  did not approve the experiment started  in 2000 by Dany and Michel Rolland to place plastic sheeting on the soil between the rows of vines on some plots in Château Fontenil to prevent rain penetration during the month preceding the harvest. It is probably one of the most, if not the most expensive Vin de Table produced in France. The berries are fermented in open oak barrels custom made for the Chateau, while the temperature is controlled by the use of dry ice. Aged for 18 months in new French oak barrels, this is an opulent, super concentrated and hedonistic expression of Merlot. We had the 2005 vintage which is extremely youthful, oaky, concentrated, structured, with fine sweet and fully ripe tannins. Long finish with opulent aromas and flavors of plums, cassis and prunes. Too young to be fully enjoyed at the moment. Probably a guy on steroids would mirror the image of this wine. A style that has its own fans.

Being a Vin de Table the producer is not allowed to mentioned the vintage on the label, however on the back label it is specified differently this information: 2005 appears as 05 and similarly for other vintages.

The 2003 Remhoogte Bonne Nouvelle made in South Africa, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinotage shows a more classic line, in complete antitheses with Le Defi de Fontenil. It is a style that I like more and it is hard to stay away from its pleasant smoky profile. Really balanced and perfectly enjoyable. At almost 10 years of age it is youthful and capable to hold many more years.

Last two wines were both Malbec’s made in Argentina: Val de Flores 2004 from vineyards sitting at 1000 m altitude, and Yacochuya 2004 from vines sitting at over 2000 m altitude. The climates are completely different as the properties are separated by over 1000 km. Both wines show an incredible high alcohol level: 15% for Val de Flores and a staggering 16.5% for Yacochuya, both are powerful wines but show amazing balance, ripe sweet tannins, structure and concentration to hide the heat.  Yacochuya is massive and super-concentrated, probably one the most concentrated wines I tasted so far and yet silky on the palate. (91-92/100) for Val de Flores 2004 and (93-94/100) for Yacochuya 2004.

There was also a Spanish Tempranillo made in Toro: 2003 Campo Eliseo (Champs Elysées in French), a wine made together with Jacques Lurton. A modern expression of Tempranillo.

The tasting was fun and interesting and after so much alcohol I left home a happy man. Before this event I actually had the chance to taste 3 other great wines: 2001 Masi Mazzano (92-93/100), 2006 Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco showing already a good approachability (91/100) and a very young and woody 2009 Tignanello (91/100).

2006 Trapiche Single Vineyard Vina Federico Villafane

April 18, 2012 Leave a comment

I tasted this wine several times over the last 3-4 years and I was able to observe his evolution. It is said that most top notch New World wines do not evolve after their 5th or 6th year from the vintage. Being able to sample at least a bottle per year since 2009, I observed a smooth transition from really big oaky flavors with plenty of coconut, caramel and creme brulee, and almost opaque, deep dark red-purple color, to where the wine it is today.

2006 Trapiche Single Vineyard Vina Federico Villafane

Deep dark red garnet color. Intense nose but rather shy compared to the blockbuster that it used to be; it certainly gives the impression of a  more elegant wine. There are however rich aromas of ripe fruit mixed with coffee, toffee, tobacco and spices on the nose. Full bodied and dense on the palate, it is the first time that it shows a backward character. The tannins are ripe and sweet, it is well balanced, but the wine is no longer generous in flavors. It maintains a good structure and has a long fruity and spicy finish, but I feel that it is somehow closing down. This has to be followed and see how it develops in time. 14.5% alc (91/100)

Categories: Argentina

2006 Trapiche Malbec Single Vineyard Federico Villafane

January 2, 2012 1 comment

This was one of the first wines I enjoyed when I discovered my passion for wines. The Single Vineyard category is a selection of the best three Malbecs that Trapiche chooses every year from the vineyards and the producers they work with, while these wines become their statement for excellency. These wines spend 18 months in new French oak. It’s been more than one year since my last tasting of this wine.

2006 Trapiche Malbec Single Vineyard Vina Federico Villafane

The color is dark purple, opaque and youthful, with absolutely no signs of evolution. The nose is developed, sweet, with intense aromas of coconut, caramel, ripe blackberry and raspberry, mocha and spices. Full bodied, with an extremely silky mouth-feel and a firm tannins structure, the wine is opulent and rich on the palate. The finish is long and intense, with sticky sweet flavors that do not let go of your cheeks and a healthy grip of tannins that provide freshness to this massive, otherwise concentrated wine. (91/100)

I am very curious if this wine will evolve and develop other subtleties in time. I guess that remains to be seen. Meanwhile the wine is extremely open and available for drinking as it is.

Categories: Argentina

2004 Enrique Foster Malbec Limited Edition

December 27, 2011 1 comment

This is the oldest Argentinian Malbec I had so far and it was a big curiosity for me to see how a New World wine evolves with age. The wine is dominated by primary aromas an there is no sign of evolution. My knowledge so far with these type of New World wines is that they cease any particular evolution after their 4th or 5th year from the vintage and what happens is that eventually, the wine dries out, losing the sweet, fruity aromas that usually dominate them, leaving very little that can excite the palate. Naturally, the exceptions can be interesting to sample.

2004 Enrique Foster Malbec Limited Edition

Dark red purple color and really thick legs on the glass. A very complex nose, complex, well developed and oaky, peppery, a mix of black fruits, coffee and floral. Full bodied, heady and super concentrated, with depth on the palate and rich flavors of black fruits jam, ripe blackberry, cranberry and gooseberry, with touches of coffee and pepper; very ripe and velvety tannins, but also a good grip just to give enough freshness and stop it from being a massive fruit bomb. Sumptuous palate. There is good balance and real complexity in this wine. A long finish with rich flavors of black fruits and spice with assertive tannins. (91/100)

Categories: Argentina
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