Incepem noul sezon al degustarilor cu o clasica comparatie a catorva superlative din doua zone celebre ale lumii vinului frantuzesc: Bordeaux si Chateauneuf du Pape. Am ales etichete foarte bune, foarte bine sau maxim cotate de catre profesionisti si, pentru o experienta completa, din vintage-uri variate.
2006 Weingut Wittmann Westhofen ‘S’ Riesling Trocken, Rheinhessen, Germania (88 pct)
1996 Chateau Sociando-Mallet, Haut-Medoc, Franta (91 pct)
1995 Chateau Leoville Barton, Saint-Julien, Franta (95 pct RP)
2010 Chateau Leoville Barton, Saint-Julien, Franta (100 pct WE)
2006 Chateau Pape Clement, Pessac-Leognan, Franta (95 pct RP)
2010 Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Reservee, Rhone, Franta
(98 pct RP)
2006 Le Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, Franta (93 pct WE)
1999 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, Franta (94 pct WF)
Ne intalnim joi, 23 februarie, de la 19:30, la Seva Cuisine (Lakeview Building, Barbu Vacarescu 301 – 310).
Sunt 12 locuri disponibile si fiecare costa 390 de lei (vinurile, o gustare si apa). Pentru confirmarea rezervarii este necesara plata in avans. Ma puteti contacta pe firstname.lastname@example.org sau la telefon 0723 240 102.
A friend from abroad was in town this week so we ended up having dinner at a favorite for me now: La Brasserie Bistro&Lounge. As we both fancy wine, there was a good line-up prepared and as usual there were initially planned 3 bottles, but eventually we ended up having more between our small group of 4.
Started the night with this 2003 Bouchard Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus that was popped and poured and barely had time to breath over the 1 h it lasted. This is a most unusual Pinot Noir in the sense that it has the mark of the hot 2003 vintage with ripe fruit and medium to low acidity. The color is deep ruby red. Nose is already expressive and developed well into a complex mix of sweet blue and red fruit, Asian spices and some discreet shades of undergrowth, keeping fresh. It has a denser than you might expect mouth feel, with a fleshy texture where velvety and smooth tannin mixes well with lavish layers of ripe red fruit and tea leaves, preserving balance and freshness. Long finish, aromatic tea leaves and red fruit jam. Really enjoyed it. (94/100)
A bottle of 2010 Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee Chateauneuf du pape was opened and left to breath since lunch time so it had about 8 h to aerate. Nose was interesting as usual but the mouth feel was bad. There was just too much VA in it to be able to enjoy it. Certainly not the wine that I had several months ago. (Not rated)
Decided to shift palates to more tension and bubbles so a 1999 Champagne Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Nicolas Francois Billecart was served. This is a wine that I had several times already this year and I like it more and more. It feels the wine is in the right spot today and should be holding well for several more years, but why wait when it is so good. It’s got a rich mousse with plenty of tiny bubbles and a nose that sports intense aromas of smoky citrus fruit, caramel and biscuit. Very tense and razor sharp acidity after the reds, with smoky seashell and bright grapefruit palate. Long. (93-94/100)
Decided to stay on a similar note with high acidity and citrus fruit so a 2013 Christian Moreau Chablis Grand Cru Valmur was opened and decanted. Yes decanted. This has lots of chalky minerality, citrus fruit and Granny smith apple aromas. Mouth watering acidity, it combines very well ripe citrus fruit, wet stone minerals with riper flavors of grapefruit and chamomile. Medium plus long finish, lively citrus fruit. (92/100)
When in doubt and want some tenser and riper refreshment go for a rose sparkling, preferably a Vintage. Champagne Bollinger La Grande Annee Rose 2004 is a Champagne for the long run and mostly a keeper. Some Champagne should be decanted. We did not do it, but I would recommend it. Light coppery color with small and rich bubble. Complex from the beginning it just got better in the glass in time. Intense and fresh nose filled with pink grapefruit skin, small red berries, citrus fruit and minerals. Very tense on the palate, it feels it has a Baroque type of structure of tannin and acidity that still hides its aromatic layers. Good potential here. (94/100)
Last wine of the night was Champagne Cristal 2007. This punches the nose with smoky aromas of seashell, dried meat and citrus fruit. Razor sharp acidity at this stage, it needs time in the glass to get softer to reveal lively lemons, slate minerals and smoke, with a clean and sharp focus. Medium plus long finish, very fresh and a weightless mouth feel that makes it so easy to drink. (94/100)
Ended the evening quite late and had a hard time finding a cab to get home. That was a first and very unpleasant to stand up in the cold street waiting for a taxi to take my order.
Had dinner with friends last night at restaurant Joseph where I always return with great pleasure, especially with the same people from last evening. Our group of 10 had many persons from the West part of the country that were just visiting Bucharest. I was asked to make the wine selection for the night, which I did, and I proposed to serve them blind. My initiative was warmly welcomed so preparations had to be done: put foil on all bottles in a back room in the restaurant before all guests arrived.
What is nice about blind tastings is that it really gives a feeling of humbleness as you are put to test your knowledge and face your ego, but on the other hand it is good that is pushes one to pay attention to the wine, considerably more than if you would be just drinking the wine for dinner knowing what you taste. Unfortunately for me, I was the only one that knew what was in the glass. Each wine was revealed as it was served after discussions and last drops were poured. You would want to give everybody the chance to re-taste the wine as much as they wanted as long as it still was something left in the bottle. Then came the reckoning. And it came hard in a few cases.
First wine was Champagne Egly-Ouriet VP Grand Cru from a producer I adore. Some people said possibly Cava, some said definitely Champagne. Made from 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay from Grand Cru parcels, this is kept for 78 months on the lees, and this bottle was disgorged January 2015. Medium yellow color it was served from white wine glasses that did not help the bubbles stay. Intense aromatics of citrus fruit, marzipan and yeast, it explodes in the mouth with youthfulness, tannin, citrus fruits and great acidity. Very tense, but well focused and robust. (94/100)
First white wine was a sudden addition and not put on the initial list. Some were mocking and said Liliac Sauv Blanc. It was not but we had fun. It means Liliac is doing a great marketing job if people talk about it.
2014 Gaia Thalassitis is a 100% Assyrtiko from Santorini, Greece that exudes freshness. Very pale yellow color, the nose is a mix of lemons, smoke and schist. Sharp acidity and really bone dry, medium plus bodied, with chalky minerality finish. Very interesting wine and clear value for its price. (89/100)
Next white wine was on the menu and it was announced as a barrel aged wine. I informed that I was interested only for the region, country or grape variety. For each wine I informed if it was a single variety or a blend.
Just 2 barrels of Puligny-Montrached 1er Cru ‘La Garenne’ are produced by Henri Prudhon every year, which is usually aged 15 to 18 months in old wood. The 2010 Henri Prudhon Puligny-Montrached 1er Cru ‘La Garenne’ is a wine that needs to be served closer to 16 degrees than cold in order to open up and stir your senses. Medium yellow color it has a shy nose initially that does not really change much during the night. However the taste reveals its true essence and origin, through its vibrant stone fruit, tropical fruits and exotic oak flavors. Medium plus long, fresh and not entirely open yet. (91/100)
From all the wines I prepared for dinner, the first red of the night was the one I was eager to get reactions from. 2007 Stirbey Novac Art Deco was praised as an International wine. Great job Oliver Bauer !
Some people ventured to order 4 cases each of this wine if it was Romanian (mocking was part of the game this evening). Bottom line: it stood great next to the other red wines. Color was medium ruby color. Nose is quite intense with mature red fruit, spices and herbs, palate is supple, mellow tannin, bright acidity, and good lingering intensity. It is a wine of charm and elegance. A smart buy. (91/100)
Novac was served back to back with 2011 Robert Chevillon Nuits Saint Georges ‘Les Roncieres’, a Pinot Noir from 52 years old vines. Color is almost opaque ruby red. Nose has more intensity with fresh red cherry and red currant, stems and black tea. Fuller palate, smooth tannin, intense red cherry fruit, herbs and spices, medium finish. There was one lady that chose it as the Wine of the night and I can understand why: it is just flowing well in the mouth with its weightlessness. (92/100)
I have to point that pairing with beef tartar (with roasted pine seeds and lemon confit) is a brilliant match both for Novac and Pinot Noir. It leaves the refined aromas of these 2 delicate varietals to take center stage. One person said Novac in spite of others reluctance to that. More interesting some people said Merlot for Chevillon Nuits Saint Georges. Back to school !
Next wine is an absolute stunning discovery for me. If all Crianza ages like this, I am sucker for it. Many people said 7-8 years old Bordeaux. We had Spain nominated by the same person that confidently stated Merlot for Nuits Saint Georges, after I mentioned it is a single variety. So I have to give him some credit back.
2001 Pesquera Crianza from Alejandro Fernandez is a symphony in the glass. For me it is the epitome of a well maturing wine that has everything you would want and one would expect: fresh red fruit, smoke, spices and beginning to show complex tertiary aromas of saddle leather and tobacco. Supple but full palate, fresh, open and so expressive on the taste, with a medium plus finish that lingers well. A total pleasure to drink today, and no worries to keep it for another 5 years at least. (93/100)
2010 Domaine du Pegau ‘Cuvee Reservee’ Chateauneuf du pape was recognized as a Chateauneuf du pape, and even as a Pegau. Kudos to those people that identify it like that. I opened this wine 14 hours in advance at home and double decanted it early in the morning. It never felt harder to restrain myself from tasting a wine as it happen at 8:00 in the morning.
Its aromas are intoxicating. Very complex and profound nose where ripe red and black fruits meet Pegau funk, animal fur, olive tapenade and Asian spices. Full, intense and powerful on the palate, it has layers of flavors with a distinct savoury long and lingering finish, and a massive structure of polished tannin. (96/100)
Pairing with Osso Buco veal tajines with vegetables root, mashed potatoes and roasted garlic is a match made in haven.
2012 Aalto PS is a killer wine. It comes from 60-100 years old vines of Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero and it is aged in new French Allier oak for 24 months. An opaque dark red garnet color. Very intense and complex aromas of ripe and over ripe black fruit mixed with chocolate, spices and vanilla change with time into prunes, rum and sour cherries, a profile closer to an Amarone. Very dense and powerful mouth, high tannin that is well polished and smooth, animating these thick layers of ripe blackberries, cranberries and chocolate flakes. Long and intense finish. Massively structured wine that seems to posses all the attributes to become great. (95/100)
Black Angus rib steak was the perfect dish to accompany this thick and concentrated Tempranillo: bold flavors on both sides.
Dessert was the culminating dish of a lovely dinner. And what a dessert.
What did we learn: blind tastings can be very animated, stir interesting discussions and can move the focus of other conversations back to wines; it is also a great way to push one to think and analyze wine and become better at tasting it. After all, competitiveness is something we all have it in us, we just have to embrace it.
I had a new lovely dinner at Joseph last MON May 18 with an intimate group of friends. It was planned in advance so we had an initial list of 3 wines and a food tasting menu to go with it. As before, that initial list of 3 wines got up to 5 by the end. Food was top again here.
Food tasting menu was: Calamari a la plancha, Semi-row salmon sashimi, Lentil risotto with red wild shrimps, French veal chops and Chocolate bar. The wines were upscale so expectation were naturally high and in my opinion they fully delivered, or at least most of them.
2013 Aile d’Argent produced by Chateau Mouton Rothschild is made from a small parcel of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle planted in 1980, it is fermented in 100% new oak barrels and half of it matures in the same barrels for some months. In a few words this wine is the epitome of class and opulence, just like its producer. The nose is an intense and complex kaleidoscope of aromas of mango, peach, smoke, vanilla bar and citrus essence. Opulent and almost luscious palate, but there is enough vibrant acidity to energize the thick and oily texture and enhance the tropical fruits, vanilla and citrus flavors. Long and vibrant finish, where mango and tangerine flavors are lingering. I just love this wine. (94-95/100)
Aile d’Argent was meant to pair with both first two courses but it quickly evaporated from the bottle by the end of the first course.
2010 Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru made by Domaine de Lambrays is on a similar line with the 2012 I had at the same location on April 28: a very high quality Pinot Noir, however the two vintages are well reflected into the wines. While 2012 is already open and expressive on the palate, 2010 is more intense and needs to be left alone in the bottle for a few more years. Color is a medium ruby red. The nose already shows high class and it is developing into pure and clean aromas of strawberries, red cherries, fresh green tea leaves, potpourri and chocolate. On the palate the wine is more closed than the 2012, but there is so much structure and intensity in it that points to a long aging potential. I believe in 10 years this will be a masterpiece. (95/100)
Not necessarily the ideal pairing with Lentil risotto. I believe the wine needs a more neutral pairing.
2007 Domaine de la Janasse ‘Cuvee Chaupin’ Chateauneuf du pape was open 2 h in advance and decanted for 1 h. This is a show off wine. No wonder some of the participants of our intimate gathering preferred it. The color is deep red garnet and opaque. It has the aromatic profile of an Amarone, even the 15.5% alcohol puts it in the same league. The nose is very intense and ripe. The aromas of black sour cherries, rum, chocolate, Provencal herbs and licorice are strong. Opulent and lush palate, richly textured and concentrated, tannins are smooth. The finish is long but the wine is missing freshness to balance all this dense and thick texture. (93-94/100)
2002 Burge Family G3 is a Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre blend from Australia. It has the same 15.5% alcohol but there is freshness. It is the second time I am having this in the last 4-5 months and it continues to impress me. It is one of the most interesting Australian wines I tasted and I would put it in the country’s best league. Very dense, highly textured, similar to an Amarone but so different and so fresh compared to ‘Cuvee Chaupin’ 2007. It combines sweet red and black fruits with chocolate, leather, game and spices. A wine that entered its plateau of maturity, but really no rush to consume it. It has at least another 5-8 years ahead. (94/100)
Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve NV was the wine to close the night. Its clean citrus fruit and green apple acidity cleansed the palate after such a delightful 4 h dinner.
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
Chateauneuf-du-Pape – The almost perfect wine
Did you ever wonder how a perfect wine will taste? Of course, the perfect wine for somebody can be different than the perfect wine for somebody else, but for Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, the wine we propose now for tasting, scored almost there. He granted 99+ points (out of 100) to this Chateauneuf-du-Papes Domaine de la Mordoree La Reine de Bois from 2010.
So, we say “let’s give it a try” to see for how many people (from a maximum of 12 🙂 ) this wine is perfect. And we added several others prestigious labels from the same very famous area to compare:
- 2011 Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Chateauneuf du Pape BLANC
- 2009 Clos des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape (95 pct.)
- 2010 La Grande Veneur ‘Les Origines’ Chateauneuf du Pape (95 pct.)
- 2005 Tardieu-Laurent ‘Cuvee Speciale’ Chateauneuf du Pape (96 pct.)
- 2006 Domaine Cristia Chateauneuf du Pape (92 pct.)
- 2006 Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Cuvee Exceptionele Chateauneuf du Pape (90 pct.)
- 2007 E. Guigal Chateauneuf du Pape (93 pct.)
- 2010 Domaine de la Mordoree La Reine de Bois Chateauneuf du Pape (99+ pct.)
As usually, the wine tasting will take place at Restaurant Dada, 94 bis Matei Voievod street (yes, I know, we need to try new places…. we are working on this) on Thursday, February 26th, at 19:30. There are 12 available sits and each one costs 250 lei which includes the wine, the water and our very enjoyable presence.
Domaine du Pegau este unul dintre domeniile noastre preferate din Chateauneuf du Pape si asta datorita modului traditional de realizare a vinurilor: randamente scazute, vite vechi, strugurii culesi manual, utilizare minima a barrique-ului nou ceea ce lasa caracterul solului si al strugurilor sa domine. Strugurii provin din cele mai bune parcele din Chateuneuf du pape: Monpertuis, Rayas si La Crau (considerata o zona Grand Cru de cea mai buna calitate). Vinurile au pe langa prospetime si accesibilitate cand sunt tinere, un real potential de invechire de 20-30 de ani si chiar mai mult in anii exceptionali.
Aceste vinuri autentice obtin in fiecare an punctaje foarte mari de la marii critici internationali de vin datorita calitatii, prospetimii si personalitatii lor. Ceea ce va propunem pentru urmatoarea degustare este o verticala de 6 ani diferiti ai acestui vin pentru a observa consecventa in calitate dar si influenta fiecarui an in parte.
Iata vinurile propuse:
• 1998 Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee (WS 96, CT 93)
• 2004 Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee (WS 96, CT 93, ST 93)
• 2005 Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee (ST 95, WS 94, CT 93)
• 2007 Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee (WS 95, ST 94, CT 93)
• 2008 Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee (WS 92, CT 91, ST 91)
• 2009 Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee (RP 98, WS 95, WE 94, CT 94)
Degustarea va avea loc miercuri, 6 noiembrie 2013, de la ora 19:30, la restaurantul Dada (Str. Matei Voievod nr. 94bis). Sunt doar 10 locuri disponibile și fiecare costă 320 de lei, sumă care include vinurile, aperitivele și prezența noastră agreabilă.
Rezervări la +40722 141 879 (Nicușor) sau +40723 240 102 (Cosmin) sau pe email: email@example.com si firstname.lastname@example.org