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Dinner at Joseph’s

April 30, 2015 4 comments

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I attended a private dinner this week with a relatively small group of friends at one of Bucharest’s best restaurants owned by Joseph Hadad. It was a an event well prepared in advance with a clear list of wines selected by me and the food pairing selected by a friend. As a first time visit to this restaurant the food was excellent and the pairing happily chosen. Food is really at the highest level. There were 7 wines proposed initially but we ended up with 11 eventually.

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Champagne Billercart-Salmon Brut Reserve NV was offered as a welcome drink. I like the soft notes of citrus fruit, yeast, its rich and lively palate. (91/100)

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First course: Semi-row salmon sashimi, shiitake mushrooms wrapped in seaweed tempura, ginger vinaigrette, coriander, tapioca, mango and maple syrup was a match for 2012 Von Winning Kalkofen GG. The wine has a sweet exotic nose of high intensity, where peach, apricot, pear and pineapple mingle together with discreet shades of kerosene. Lively and dry on the palate, its racy acidity suggests a bit of patience until next bottle will be open. Very intense and refreshing. (92/100)

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Sauted Saint Jacques scallops, celery mousse flavored with truffle oil, tomato tartar, chives, smoked duck breast were served next to a great Pinot Noir: 2012 Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru. This is a 7-8 ha Grand Cru monopole owned since 2013 by the famous LVMH group so prices are expected to soar. There is a 60 m altitude difference between the start and the end of this vineyard so there are significant differences between the style of each parcel of vines, differences that actually build the complexity in this wine. The nose is developed and intense, but there is so much elegance and class in it. Fresh raspberry and cherry fruit, tea leaves and subdued undergrowth all make a profound nose. Silky smooth on the palate, with rich red fruit, coffee and savoury palate, there is depth and elegance. Very long finish that lingers. For me it was the wine of the night (95/100). Scallops actually enhanced the fruitiness and somehow gave it even more depth and complexity.

We also tasted an interesting Pinot Noir from Dao, Portugal, a pure un-oaked and unfiltered wine: Quinta de Bella – Dom Bella Pinot Noir 2012 that shows a warmer profile due to its origin, dominated by ripe cherry and sour cherry fruit.

From there on my menu was slightly different than the others as I chose to replace all meat with different fish.

Three wines were served with the next dish. 2011 Carmen Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile that stays true to its provenance and welcomes you with the unmistakable aromas of very ripe black fruit and mint into a very forward style (87- 88/100). It was an abrupt fell from the heavenly Clos des Lambrays.

2012 Quinta do Vale Meao was served initially a bit too warm. There is exuberance of ripe fruit and cream on the nose with shades of hot stones and tar, chocolate flakes, beef blood and rum. It is rich and lush on the palate with layers and layers of ripe fruits but well balanced by smooth tannins and acidity. Medium to long bitter-sweet dark chocolate and black fruit liqueur finish. (91-92/100)

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Then came the favorite wine for a big portion of the participants: 2008 Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou from a classic vintage. There is sheer class in this wine. Its color is red garnet and opaque. It is not very expressive on the nose for the moment, but you could recognize its Cabernet typicality. There is cassis, paprika, black currant leaf and coffee bean that shine the most today. Full and well structured on the palate, it is a massive wine. Its fine-grained tannins, its rich texture all point to a great evolution in time. Really good. (94/100)

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2004 Elio Grasso Barolo ‘Ginestra Casa Mate’ came for me with a dish based on sea bass, eggplant and nuts and it worked very well. There is a lot of pleasure drinking this wine today, however it has a long life ahead. Very pure ripe cherry fruit, dry rose petals, tar and mushrooms are just some of the aromas found in the complex profile. There are firm but smooth tannins with enough fruit and texture to make it a highly pleasurable experience. (92/100)

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2000 Domaine de la Mordoree ‘Cuvee de la Reine des Bois’ Chateauneuf du pape is a maturing wine today. The nose and the palate combine successfully pure sweet red Grenache fruit and spices with tertiary aromas of bacon fat, cured meat and truffles. It is intense and complex, with silky smooth tannins, savoury red fruits and spices, Provencal herbs, fresh, but it feels like it is at its peak. Long finish. (93/100)

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1998 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du pape was unfortunately corked beyond any chance of revival. Such a pity as I had high expectations to be the wine of the night.

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Desserts were quite spectacular and were paired with a Martha’s Porto – Tawny 20 years.¬†

Last but not least there was a bottle of 2007 Chateau Musar rouge with its bretty and gamey aromas, wild red fruits and leather. Firm and structured, with grippy tannins and spicy cherry fruit. (90/100)

 

 

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 ūüôā ) 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

Premiile de excelenta Vinul.ro – rating propriu

November 18, 2013 2 comments

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Saptamana trecuta in intervalul 12-15 noiembrie 2013 am participat ca membru al juriului la concursul anual Premiile de excelenta Vinul.ro. Au fost in jur de 350 de vinuri degustate de catre cele 4 comisii in decursul zilelor de concurs. Fiecare comisie a fost alcatuita din 4 jurati romani si un presedinte de comisie din afara tarii Рtotal 5 membrii care au punctat vinurile. Presedintele comisiei mele a fost dna Anne Serres  din Franta, iar colegi de jurizare au fost Cesar Filip, Razvan Avram, Marian Timofti si Bogdan Dobritoiu. Vinurile au fost degustate in orb. S-au eliminat extremele: cea mai mica si cea mai mare nota si s-a facut media. In ultima serie de vinuri a fiecarei zile la final a fost degustata proba X care era repetarea unui vin din ultima serie fara a se sti care pentru a vedea daca punctarea este similara.

Mai jos este lista cu vinurile pe care le-am degustat si notat personal separat pe zile si categorii:

ZIUA 1

Seria 1 – Vinuri albe seci (4-6 Eur) Retail

– Sarba Beciul Domnesc 2011 (77/100)

– Riesling Castel Huniade 2012 (84/100)

– Sauvignon Blanc Arbora 2012 (83/100)

– Sauvignon Blanc Jirov 2012 (82/100)

– Sauvignon Blanc Maiastru 2011 (83/100)

– Chardonnay Noblesse 2012 (80/100)

– Chardonnay 3 Ha 2012 (85/100)

– Chardonnay Special Reserve Barrel Matured 2012 (79/100)

– Chardonnay Domeniile Samburesti 2011 (65/100)

Seria 2 – Vinuri rose seci si demiseci (6-10 Eur) – non retail

– Byzantium Rose Euxine – ecologic 2013 (81/100)

– Rose Classic Villa Vinea 2012 (76/100)

– Mysterium 2012 (84/100)

– Rose Alira 2012 (84/100)

– Rosamara Chiareto 2012 (86/100)

– Pinot Grigio La Favole Tenute Cadorin 2011 (72/100)

– Busuioaca de Bohotin Colocviu la Paris 2012 (85/100)

– Busuioaca de Bohotin Cotnari Domenii 2011 (84/100)

Seria 3 – Vinuri rosii seci (6-7 Eur) – non retail

– Negru de Dragasani Negrini Premium 2012 (66/100)

– Rara Neagra Purcari 2011 (79/100)

– Feteasca Neagra Glia 2011 (81/100)

– Feteasca Neagra Terra Romana 2011 (77/100)

– Cabernet Sauvignon Negrini Premium 2012 (84/100)

– Terra Romana Milenium Rosu 2011 (84/100)

– La Musat Rosu 2011 (87/100)

– Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon Hacob’s Creek 2010 (72/100)

ZIUA 2

Seria 1 – Vinuri albe seci (6-8 Eur) – non retail

– Cramposie selectionata Avincis 2012 (80/100)

– Riesling de Rin Premium Villa Vinea 2012 (84/100)

– Sarba & Plavaie Epicentrum 2012 (77/100)

– Sauvignon Blanc Cuvee d’Excellence 2012 (78/100)

– Sauvignon Blanc Reserve Domeniile Ostrov 2011 (86/100)

– Chardonnay Alb de Petro Vaselo 2012 (87/100)

– Chardonnay Reserve Domeniile Ostrov 2011 (82/100)

– Chardonnay Budureasca Horeca 2011 (85/100)

– Byzantium Blanc de Transylvanie 2013 (83/100)

– Aligote & Muscat Epicentrum 2012 (85/100)

– Fume Budureasca Horeca 2012 (83/100)

Seria 2 – Vinuri albi demidulci si dulci (3-5 Eur) – non retail

– Tamaioasa Romaneasca Bristena 2012 (77/100)

– Tamaioasa Romaneasca Cotnari 2008 (82/100)

– Grasa de Cotnari 2008 (80/100)

Seria 3 – Vinuri albe dulci (peste 15 Eur) – non retail

– Icewine Purcari 2012 (91/100)

– Grasa de Cotnari 2000 (88/100)

– Feteasca Alba 1994 (40/100) – mort

– Grasa de Cotnari 1989 (87/100)

– Grasa de Cotnari 1984 (90/100)

– Grasa de Cotnari 1979 (67/100)

Seria 4 – Vinuri rosii seci (11-13 Eur) – non retail

– Feteasca Neagra Stonewine 2011 (81/100)

– Cadarca Stonewine 2009 (84/100)

– Primitivo Le Pitre 2010 ( 89/100)

– Merlot Valdivieso Single Vineyard 2009 (83/100)

– Shiraz Origini 2011 (83/100) – proba X (81/100)

– Cabernet Sauvignon Budureasca 2011 (85/100)

– Cabernet Sauvignon Valdiviesco Single Vineyard 2010 Chile (83/100)

– Lauri Cuvee Rasova 2011 (40/100)

– Enate Crianza Tempranillo + Caberner Sauvignon 2007 Spania (79/100)

ZIUA 3

Seria 1 – Vinuri albe demiseci (5-7 Eur) – retail

– Aligote Metaph 2012 (74/100)

– Sauvignon Blanc Budureasca 2012 (78/100)

– Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc Blanc Velvet 2012 (86/100)

– Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc & Pinot Gris Silk 2012 (82/100)

– Gewurtztraminer Jidvei 2012 (Nud de femeie) (75/100)

– Gewurtztraminer Crepuscul 2012 (74/100)

– Dry Muscat Jidvei 2012 (Fata in iarba) (81/100)

– Budureasca Fume 2012 (88/100)

Seria 2 – Vinuri rosii neimbuteliate (* mostre din tanc care nu se stie exact in ce vinuri si in ce proportii vor fi in final)

– Pinot Noir Lacerta 2011 (79/100)

– Feteasca Neagra Via Domnului 2012 (83/100)

– Feteasca Neagra Vitis Metamorfosis Tanc 4 2012 (83/100)

– Feteasca Neagra Lacerta 2012 (88/100)

– Feteasca Neagra Cotnari Domeniile 2011 (80/100)

– Merlot via Domnului 2012 (89/100)

– Merlot Ostrovit 149 2012 (85/100)

– Shiraz Lacerta 2012 (91/100)

– Cabernet Sauvignon Via Domnului (82/100)

– Cabernet Sauvignon Ostrovit 71 2012 (78/100)

– Cabernet Sauvignon Vitis Metamorfosis Tanc 5 2012 (84/100)

Seria 3 – Vinuri rosii seci (peste 15 Eur) – non retail

– Feteasca Neagra Melgis 2012 (78/100)

– Feteasca Neagra Alira Grand Vin 2011 (88/100)

– Merlot Alira Grand Vin 2011 (89/100)

– Cabernet Sauvignon Alira Grand Vin 2011 (90/100)

– Cabernet Sauvignon Cantus Primus 2009 (86/100) – proba X (88/100)

– Rubin Villa Vinea 2011 (78/100)

– Alira Grand Vin Cuvee 2011 (88/100)

– Montepulciano Marina Cvetic 2008 Italia (93/100) [acelasi punctaj dat de Antonio Galloni 92-93/100]

ZIUA 4 – redegustarea vinurilor care in primele 3 zile de concurs au obtinut peste 80 de puncte

Seria 1 – Vinuri albe seci

– Chardonnay Alb de Petro Vaselo 2012 (86/100) [notat 87/100 in ziua 2]

– Sauvignon Blanc Cuvee d’Excellence 2012 (77/100) [notat 78/100 in ziua 2]

– Sarba & Plavaie Epicentrum 2012 (74/100) [notat 77/100 in ziua 2]

– Aligote & Muscat Epicentrum 2012 (88/100) [ 85/100 in ziua 2 ]

– Feteasca Regala Liliac The Wine of Transylvania 2012 (80/100)

– Riesling de Rin Selection Villa Vinea 2012 (77/100)

– Feteasca Regala & Pinot Gris Avincis 2012 (75/100)

– Sauvignon Blanc Cuvee Petit 2011 (79/100)

– Tamaioasa Romaneasca Colocviu la Roma 2011 (83/100)

– Feteasca Alba Colocviu la Atena 2011 (83/100)

– Grasa de Cotnari Colocviu la Moscova 2011 (78/100)

Seria 3 – Vinuri rosii seci

– Cabernet Sauvignon Rosu de Petro Vaselo 2012 (83/100)

– Cabernet & Merlot Epicentrum 2012 (86/100)

– Nedeea 2011 (76/100)

– Cabernet Sauvignon La Cetate 2011 (85/100)

– Shiraz Neptunus 2011 (77/100)

– Feteasca Neagra & Merlot Liliac Wine of Transylvania 2011 (85/100)

– Shiraz Origini 2011 (88/100)

– Cabernet Sauvignon Budureasca 2011 (84/100)

– Syrah Secret de Viu Manent 2010 Chile (84/100)

– Cabernet Sauvignon Valdiviesco Single Vineyard 2010 Chile (91/100)

– Barbera Dodicidodici 2009 Italia (75/100)

– Merlot Valdivieso Single Vineyard 2009 Chile (88/100)

Lista vinurilor medaliate poate fi regasita pe site-ul Vinul.ro sau la urmatorul link.

Categories: Chile, Italy, Romania

Terra Romana Milenium white 2010 and some other wines

March 10, 2011 Leave a comment

As we are slowly approaching the Good wine fair, this week was above average in terms of wine consumption for me. Whether it is a coincidence or not, I do not know. I only know that the right circumstances occurred. For some wines I failed to put down complete tasting notes, but here they are anyway. I started on MON with a wine from Tenerife, Spain that I purchased a few years ago and a 2006 Italian Chianti Classico.

2007 Pagos Reveron Tinto Joven

This was a very mediocre wine. I did not like it at all and forced myself to have several sips eagerly trying to find some positive things about it. Unfortunately I could not. The wine went down the drain. It is a real pity as I actually bought this wine directly from the property when I was there.

I opened the next bottle of wine, received as a gift, hoping for a more pleasant experience this time.

2006 Risalto Chianti Montalbano Sensi

Even though it is only from 2006 this wine has an evolved color and appears oxidized. The nose is dominated by stinky barnyard aromas with light red fruit. The wine is medium body with a high acidity, that gives a surprising good lightness but not lack of flavors, with simple red fruit, earthy flavors and a medium finish. Not a blockbuster but not bad either. 81 points

On TUE, on March 8th, to celebrate Woman’s day, I had dinner with family in a more extended version at home and had two wines. A white received from Serve and a red Bordeaux.

2010 Terra Romana Milenium white

I received this wine this week, via courier, as a free sample sent by winery together with their new 2010 Terra Romana Sauvignon Blanc. In the package there was also a letter containing technical specifications about the wines. I have to compliment them for adding technical specifications as I find it very useful and good to know. Here is the technical information:

– blend of Sauvignon blanc, Riesling and a drop of Chardonnay

– 12.8% alcohol

– residual sugar 3 gr/L

– acidity: 3.8 gr/L

– the grapes come from newly planted vineyards with yields of 8 tones/ha. 15% of the wine was aged in new oak for 3 months.

Color is light straw with an oily like appearance. The nose is fresh and clean, of medium intensity, balanced, with aromas of yellow flowers, melon, lemon, pear and a touch of minerals. Overall there is good freshness. The taste is medium+ body and an oily like feeling, balanced, good intensity of aromas, fruity and floral – yellow and white flowers, good acidity and a sense of roundness – probably from the oak which is well blended and the drop of Chardonnay. The finish is medium with discreet grapefruit bitterness. I find the nose charmer than the taste, but overall it is a clean and well made wine. I am not sure what is the selling price for this wine. 82 points

2004 Chateau d’Aiguilhe Cotes de Castillon

I already had a bottle of this wine a few weeks ago and you can read full tasting notes here.

Tonight this bottle seemed a bit more evolved than the last one and this was apparent in its color. The wine retains the same aromas and flavors as my last bottle with the sensation of heat still there. However, served chiller than normal and matched with grilled turkey the wine was a real enjoyment. 89-90 points

On WED evening we had dinner with  friends and brought Lebanese food at their place. For appetizer we quickly prepared some finger food with smoked salmon, fresh mint, capers and lemon to go with the bottle of sparkling. As I am still in the mood for bubbles, I brought a bottle of the sparkling I bought recently from Stirbey. Our dinner partners liked the wine and the pairing with salmon.

For Lebanese I brought a 2010 Cono Sur Gewurtztraminer that I think went fairly well. The intense flavors of litchi and rose petals were a fairly good match for the richly aromatic Lebanese food. I think this Gewurtz is a crowd pleaser as everybody like it and they all asked me where can they find some.

It is nice to surprise people with good wine. Usually this is how all passions start: with a spark.

Thanks for reading!

Categories: Bordeaux, Chile, Italy, Romania, Spain

Solo Quinta 2010, Cono Sur Carmenere Reserva 2009 and L’Oustal Blanc Naick 7 rouge

February 10, 2011 1 comment

Yesterday I had dinner with my buddies Dan and Alex at a friend’s restaurant so I was able to bring my own wines. I was looking forward for this dinner as I wanted to taste two of the wines I received as samples from Recas wineries (Cramele Recas): Solo Quinta 2010 and 2009 Cono Sur Carmenere Reserva plus a Vin de table rouge from Minervois brought by a friend. So here are my impressions about the wines.

Solo Quinta 2010

Blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Feteasca Regala (Royal Maiden grape), Muscat and Feteasca Neagra (Black Maiden made in white).

The color is pale straw. The nose is clean and fresh with a medium intensity and sweet aromas of tropical fruits, peach, apricot, muscat and rose petals. In the mouth the wine is medium bodied, round, balanced, lively and fresh with a sensation of sweetness and honeyed yellow flowers flavors. The finish is medium with floral and honeyed flavors. A dry wine with great freshness from the beginning to end and much better than the 2009 version. Will be great this summer. (88 points)

The wine was bottled recently so a couple of months more in the bottle will most likely make it even better. I remember tasting this wine in November during the Good Wine fair at Recas booth as they had some tank samples and I can say now this is a completely changed and much improved wine compared to November.

A purple colored wine. The nose is tight with a certain heat and petrol dark fruits. A medium bodied wine with drying tannins, light red fruit and a short finish. (79-80 points)

2007 L’Oustal Blanc (Isabel et Claude Fonquerle) Minervois Na√Įck 7

An opaque dark red color. The nose is youthful but closed with a light intensity of ripe dark fruits and plenty of heat. In the mouth the wine is medium bodied with firm and dry tannins, red fruit flavors and a short finish with sweet fruity flavors but dominated by alcohol. The wine is unbalanced and the 15% alcohol is dominating this wine. (78 points)

The white wine was by far the star of the dinner and appreciated by all the participants around the table. Most likely the Solo Quinta will develop and be scored higher in a couple of months. Let’s see.

Thanks for reading!

Cono Sur Gew√ľrztraminer 2010

February 4, 2011 8 comments

I received this wine as a sample from Recas wineries (Cramele Recas) a couple of weeks ago and last night as I had some Asian food I thought it would be a good match for it. And what a great surprise it was. I am a big fan of Gew√ľrztraminer, Riesling and Gruner Veltliner but did not try any from the New World. My tasting experiences with these grape varieties were only from France and Austria.

nicely colored label

2010 Cono Sur Gew√ľrztraminer

The wine has a pale light yellow lemon color. The nose is fresh and clean with big lychee aromas, lemon zest, grapefruit and passion fruit flower in the background. A very fruity and refreshing nose. In the mouth this medium bodied wine is off dry with lively acidity, rich with more lychee flavors, grapefruit and lemon peel. The finish is medium, off dry with a very pleasant freshness and a grapefruit bitterness in the aftertaste. 84-85 points

I am not sure of the price but if it is under 25 RON (6 EUR) this will become a blockbuster for the summer. My wife loved it and this is not happening often. Try it.

Thanks for reading!

Categories: Chile
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