Aveti posibilitatea sa va oferiti, sau sa oferiti, un pic mai devreme, un cadou foarte frumos de Craciun: cele mai faimoase vinuri ale Italiei pentru prima data intr-o degustare comparativa.
Am pastrat pentru ultima noastra degustare a anului patru Super-Toscane cautate, ravnite si apreciate de toti cunoscatorii intr-ale vinului.
Cremant Jean Louis Denois Chardonnay Brut
2015 Gaja Ca’Marcanda Vistamare
Ne intalnim marti, 15 noiembrie, de la 19:30, la Mahala (Calea Rahovei 147 – 153). Sunt 12 locuri disponibile si fiecare costa 390 de lei (vinurile, o gustare si apa). Pentru rezervari este necesara plata in avans. Ma puteti contacta pentru a face o rezervare pe email: email@example.com sau la telefon 0744 240 108.
Met my usual group of wine aficionados again last night for dinner and had some amazing wines. Started with this sublime vintage rose Champagne that I remember having last time about 1-2 years ago, but from a different vintage, 2000 if I remember correctly. We had all Champagne’s from the Zalto white wine glass that I find it complements a lot the way Champagne tastes like. Probably the only issue here would be that it does not stimulate enough the bubble persistence as the regular sparkling glass does. As aromas are concerned, I believe it focuses very well the full aromatic profile of the Champagne.
2002 Champagne Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Elisabeth Salmon Rose has a light coppery color with small and rich bubbles. This is a Champagne to keep in the glass and smell it over and over as it changes its aromas constantly. It starts fresh and classy with small red berries, dough and a salty seashell aroma, and, with air, it develops pomegranate and pink grapefruit. Gracious but powerful in the mouth, it has a strong backbone of acidity and discreet tannin, with layers of flavors that build like a skyscraper on the palate, creating a sense of immersion and depth. Long finish that goes on for good seconds. This is a very elegant and classy rose that I absolutely love. (96/100)
First red of the night was a high roller that got awarded a perfect 100 points by the Wine Spectator. The 2005 Chateau L’Evangile was decanted for about 2 hours before being consumed. The color is dark red garnet. Nose is already expressive and very complex, with a ripe but fresh profile. Lavish aromas of plums, sour cherry, dark chocolate and ink build a complex aromatic profile that just continues to develop new aromas in the glass. Silky smooth on the palate already in spite of its high velvety tannin structure, it is profound and rich, with lush flavors of chocolate and black cherry, gravel minerality and paprika. Long finish, combines fruit and bitter sweet chocolate in the lingering aftertaste. It disappeared from the glasses fairly quickly. (97/100)
A friend said that today it is at its peak and there is not more to develop from now on. I believe it will be on this plateau for many years to come and that it will develop into an even more interesting wine. Future will tell.
2010 seems to be THE vintage for Brunello di Montalcino. I believe most of the wines coming from reliable producers will develop and surprise wine drinkers in time. It should be a strong addition for the cellar.
Pieve Santa Restituta Sugarille Brunello di Montalcino 2010 from Gaja is a youthful and powerful wine today. It sports a deep red garnet color. Even after 3 h in a decanter the wine continues to be shy in revealing its full aromatic profile. There are of course fruity aromas of black cherry, sour cherry and blackberry, well complemented by spices and blue flowers, but you can feel that not everything is disclosed yet. On the palate it is powerful, with assertive velvety tannin well dressed into rich layers of red and black fruit and spices, with fresh aromatic herbs that give depth. Long finish, tannin is assertive again and indicates patience is required. (94/100)
Also decanted for about 3-4 h, the 2007 Vega-Sicilia Unico is a wine to keep on smelling and discovering in the glass. It has a deep red garnet color, and since my last encounter this bottle shows a slightly different aromatic profile. Yes the oak is still there but not that prominent, and there’s a new layer of dill and orange peel that did not feel it before. Rich and powerful on the palate. (94/100)
Two more Champagne’s were served. A 2003 Dom Perignon Rose that has a deep red onion peel color with abundant mousse, a rich and vinous mouth-feel. It feels denser and has a completely different personality compared to the previous Cuvee Elisabeth Salmon. If that was ethereal, the Dom Perignon Rose is robust and swings in full throttle. (95-96/100)
Last wine of the night and a first time for me was the 2004 Champagne Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame. It has a light yellow lemon color, with tiny and rich bubbles. Fresh but complex on the nose, it has lots of citrus fruit, brioche and nuts, with a rich palate of pear and Granny smith apples, mouth watering acidity and appealing elegance. Long and refreshing citrus fruit finish. (94/100)
That was the end of a fun and engaging dinner with friends.
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.
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)
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)
December 1st, 2015 started with a visit at Gaja winery at 10:30. My first visit to this famous producer situated in the center of Barbaresco village. Angelo Gaja, for anyone that does not know the history of the region, was the one that through his continuous efforts brought the spot light on the wines made in Piedmont.
The winery sits on top of the hill in Barbaresco and offers splendid view through some of the family’s vineyards. The wine making is both traditional and modern employing a combination of small French oak barrels and large ones with an extended process of maturation and long maceration on the skins.
There are several wines produced here one more famous and adored than the other, starting with the whites made from Chardonnay: Rossj Bass and Gaja&Rey, then the reds probably the most famous is the flagship Gaja Barbaresco, then moving to the denser and structured Sperss made from Nebbiolo from Serralunga d’Alba, the silkier and aromatic Conteisa made from vines in La Morra, and the three single vineyard wines Sori Tildin, Sori San Lorenzo and Costa Russi. Gaja’s portfolio in Piedmont contains other wines also.
- Gaja Barbaresco 2012 shows a velvety structure of tannin (like all the other Gaja’s wines) but a soft and elegant side as well, with a lush aromatic profile of sweet and pure red cherry fruit.
- Gaja Barolo Dagromis 2011 is more powerful, with strong tannin, high acidity and a grippy mouth feel, here there is nerve and tension.
- Gaja Barbaresco 1986 from Magnum is a fully mature wine, where tannin is fully integrated, and the aromatic profile is filled with brown sugar, balsamic notes and dried sweet red fruit. Very silky and mellow mouth feel, it has a medium black aromatic tea finish. It is a wine that should be consumed.
- Gaja&Rey 2007 was the Chardonnay served at the end. Its deep gold color glows in the glass. Butter, dry pineapple and apricot fruit, toast are just some of the lush aromas you can feel on the nose. Very creamy and buttery on the palate, it is a pleasure to drink today.
Closely but surely approaching mid-day, the next stop was for lunch at now my favorite restaurant in Piedmont: La Ciau del Tornavento.
Started lunch with a beautiful Ca’ del Bosco Cuvee Annamaria Clementi 2005, a brilliant sparkling methode traditionelle made wine where it seems you have everything one would expect: intense and complex nose filled with fine pastry, vanilla bean, ripe citrus fruit and white apricot, creamy and vibrant on the palate, with a long finish.
Bruno Giacosa Le Rocche del Falletto Riserva 2007 is liquid poetry. There is nothing out of place here. It is so pure in its aromas where it starts delicate with fragrant aromas of red cherry and raspberry fruit, sweet spices and rose petals, and then starts to get deep and profound with savory notes of undergrowth and leather. Very silky in the mouth, but with so intense and pure flavors of red fruit, tar, spices and truffles. Finish is endless. There is grace and refinement in this wine. (99/100)
I can not think of a better corresponding wine from Tuscany than the 2010 Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino that we had after. You can find the same Burgundian character in the Sangiovese as the Giacosa, but in a less refined way and a more powerful feel.
Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino 2010 is surprisingly already singing from the glass. It has purity of red spicy fruit, with a velvety mouth feel and a long and intense finish. Really beautiful wine. Take the best producer and the exceptional 2010 vintage and you have a winner. (96/100)
Food was amazing again at La Ciau del Tornavento, all dishes are flawless and the wine pairing just made this lunch probably the most notable for me for 2015.
Pastry and dessert were served outside on the sunny terrace, where we enjoyed an unexpected 17 Celsius degrees and a bottle of 2004 Ca’ del Bosco Annamaria Clementi Rose. Its coppery color, its savory aromatics and the richness and intensity you can find on the palate are just amazing. It deserves its place in the class of grand rose sparkling of the world. (94/100)
After such a fulfilling 4 hours lunch it was time to hit the road and head to Turin for an official reception organized by the Romanian consulate. The sun setting at the end of the meal is still fresh in my mind.
The final chapter of this trip was dinner in Turin where a Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore 2004 showed once again that Italy can make stunning sparkling wine. Gold color with rich mousse in the glass, it is rich, bold and fresh. (94/100)
Another stunning Nebbiolo made wine was the 2008 Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo Monprivato, a wine of sheer class and refinement. All its characteristics make you think about the Grandest Cru of Burgundy. It’s pure, fresh and profound, silky in the mouth and really intellectual. (97/100)
Next to a medium-rare pigeon dish, it was the most supreme wine-food experience for me for 2015 and as far as I can remember. I would recommend it to be put on the technical sheet of this wine. It is simply perfect. For this pairing I am giving 100/100.
A trip to a beautiful landscape and the encounter of some superb wines paired with exquisite food makes any one having a tripping experience. It was the case at the very end of November and for the 1st day of December. Over 2 days I experienced some of the top wines of Piedmont and dinned in two of the most praised restaurants of the region: Bovio in La Morra and La Ciau del Tornavento in Treiso near Alba.
On Nov 30th it was the first visit at 11:00 am at one of my favorite producers of Barolo: Cavallotto in Castiglione Falleto. Had the chance to taste the 2011 and 2009 vintage for its Barolo’s together with its Barbera d’Alba, Nebbiolo d’Alba and the elegant Vigna San Giuseppe Riserva 2009. All wines are at the highest level from the juicy Barbera d’Alba Vigna del Cuculo 2012, elegant but powerful series of 3 Barolo’s with their highest expression of Nebbiolo found in Vigna San Giuseppe Riserva 2009. This are all traditional style made Barolo’s with prolonged maceration on the skins that can last up to 1 month and aging in big Slavonian oak barrels for up to 2-3 years.
Lunch at Bovio in La Morra at noon was a treat. The restaurant has a beautiful view over the vineyards, while the season menu included white truffles. There was a serious lineup of wines tasted during lunch: a nutty Ferrari Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore 2002 (93/100) that sports a deep gold color, rich and deep on the palate, a stellar Silex 2011 (94/100) by Dageneau that took about 45 min to start to open up and needed more time but who gave it. Good wine drinks fast, great wine the fastest. At this moment in time, the mineral part is quite intense in Silex 2011, and as experience proved with this wine, in time minerality fades in the background leaving rich and pure aromas of fruit to take the front stage. Time will do it.
Red wines were a Burgundian style Barolo, very pure in its red fruit aromas: 2011 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo (94/100) and a powerful 2005 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Cannubi Boschis (94/100) that drinks very well today already.
Next visit was at Ellio Grasso in Monforte d’Alba where I tasted the 2011 Barolo’s. Monforte d’Alba is known for very structured Barolo, sometimes with forceful tannin that needs time to smooth. The use of small French oak barrels tames the tannin in Nebbiolo and makes the wines more accessible in their youth. I tasted 2011 Gavarini Chiniera and Ginestra Casa Mate. Both are powerful and elegant wines, but not very open for discussions for now. Cellars at Ellio Grasso are impressive, built directly into the hill.
Not much time to spend here as the next visit was already due and we were running late. Next stop to Massolino in Serralunga d’Alba. Had the opportunity to have the company of Franco Massolino, one of the owners, and after a short visit into their newly built cellars and winery where the amount of concrete tanks is high nowadays, the tasting room was the final stop. Tasted through all the range and it is easy to understand why they are famous after one tastes Vigna Rionda.
Last stop for the day was dinner at the exquisite La Ciau del Tornavento restaurant. They have a wine list to die for with amazingly friendly prices. Food was a royal treat, wines were spectacular. Ca del Bosco Annamaria Clementi 2004 was the opening. Great expression of Methode traditionelle sparkling that deservedly rivals the super premium cuvee’s from Champagne.
I wanted to compare same vintage from two different style producers: 2001 Roberto Voerzio Rocche dell’Annunziata Torriglione Barolo (95/100) from La Morra that shows grace and elegance, with pure red fruits and spicy mouth feel, silky tannins and long finish, a real treat, and 2001 Luciano Sandrone Cannubi Boschis Barolo (93/100) that sports a riper aromatic profile with more black fruits and fig, powerful tannin and high density on the palate, that next to Voerzio seems a bit too much. Pictures for food are self explanatory.
trio of funghi porcini
Finished dinner with this 2010 Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova Brunello di Montalcino that received the supreme accolades from Robert Parker’s contributor for Italy: Monica Larner that awarded it a perfect 100/100. The wine has everything: depth of aromas, richness, smooth velvety tannin and an incredible freshness in spite of its high 15% alc.
Before leaving the restaurant the chef invited us to visit their impressive wine cellar just underneath the front entrance. If the wine list is to die for, wait to see the actual wine cellar.
Aseara am participat la o cina privata avand ca tematica vinurile italiene, iar noutatea a fost locul de desfasurare al evenimentului: Hotel Vanilla din Timisoara. Hotel Vanilla este o locatie relativ noua, foarte frumos decorat, cu camere spatioase, care arata senzational pentru un hotel de 3 stele, iar gradina interioara unde s-a desfasurat aceasta cina este foarte cocheta, o oaza de verdeata si liniste care te indeamna sa te intorci oricand cu placere.
Noutatea evenimentului a fost ca toate vinurile servite au fost achizitionate din cadrul Real,-wine boutique din Arad. Despre Real,- si proiectul wine boutique dezvoltat in fiecare dintre cele 4 magazine din Arad, Constanta, Suceava si Oradea am mai scris si cu alte ocazii. Surprinzator pentru mine a fost insa o conversatie cu un prieten bun pasionat de vinuri, la fel de mult ca si mine, care a ramas de-a dreptul uimit sa auda ca in aceste magazine poti gasi vinuri celebre de la Gaja, Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Quintarelli sau cele mai celebre Chateaux din Bordeaux.
Cina de miercuri, 9 Septembrie, a fost o calatorie prin cele mai celebre zone viticole din Italia la care au participat aproximativ 16 persoane. Meniul de mancare a fost de degustare, fiecare preparat fiind insotit de 1 pana la 3 vinuri.
Ca aperitiv o Champagne Brut Reserve Magnum de la Billecart-Salmon a deschis apetitul pentru seria de vinuri italiene care a urmat. Aromele de patiserie fina proaspat scoasa din cuptor impreuna cu notele citrice de lamaie coapta fac aceasta sampanie usor de indragit de la primul nas. In gust este cremoasa si plina, cu bule fine si aciditate potrivita. O favorita pentru mine. (92/100)
Tiefenbrunner Kirchleiten Sauvignon 2013 provine din zona Alto Adige din Italia, prima aroma dominanta pe care o remarci este mineralitatea intensa ca de pietre de cremene. Din fundal vin si aromele de citrice, iar in gust vinul este gras si extractiv, insa aciditatea medie il face putin plat. Final mediu, usor amarui. (88/100)
Urmatorul flight a pus in paralel doua Chardonnay-uri celebre ale Italiei ce provin din doua regiuni diferite.
Jermann Were Dreams 2011 provine din zona Friuli Venetia-Giulia si este unul dintre cele mai iubite vinuri de la Jermann alaturi de Vintage Tunina. Culoarea este galben aurie. Nasul este intens dar din pacate complet dominat de notele de vanilie date de maturarea excesiva in butoaie de stejar. In gust aciditatea joasa il face gras si usor plat, vanilia fiind in centrul scenei din nou. Este un stil care isi are proprii fani. (88/100)
Gaja Rossj-Bass 2011 este un Chardonnay ce provine din Piemont, aflat in Nordul Italiei, si este unul dintre Chardonnay-urile consacrate ale acestei tari. Culoarea este galben deschisa.Ceea ce caracterizeaza acest vin sunt eleganta, un simt al masurii si armonia. Vinul este inca tanar, potentialul sau de evolutie este foarte bun, avand cel putin 4-5 ani de viata inainte. Nasul aduce in prim plan arome de citrice, miere si fructe exotice. In gust este armonios, echilibrat, fiecare inghititura este o placere. Final mediu spre lung, proaspat si persistent. (92/100)
Prima serie de vinuri rosii pune in ring un Brunello din Toscana alaturi de cel mai notoriu Barbaresco al Italiei, ambele vinuri de la doi titani ai istoriei vinului italian.
Biondi-Santi este de multi considerat pe buna dreptate parintele vinurilor Brunello di Montalcino, un deschizator de drumuri care acum 30-40 de ani a ales sa devina un pionier al calitatii. Astazi cred ca sunt usor depasiti de competitie. Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino 2007 are o culoare rosie rubinie intensa. Nasul este expresiv si mediu ca intensitate, in care se combina note de ierburi aromate, pamant si cirese amare. In gust este mai subtire decat te-ai astepta de la un astfel de producator pentru excelentul an de productie 2007, cu tanin prezent dar bine slefuit si chiar moale. Final scurt spre mediu, cu note de cirese amarui. (89/100)
Gaja este cel mai cunoscut producator din zona Piemont, vinurile sale rosii fiind adorate si devenite obiecte de colectie pentru cunoscatori. Cel mai cunoscut vin rosu al Gaja este Barbaresco. Gaja Barbaresco 2010 are o culoare rubinie inchisa. Foarte tanar, vinul are nevoie de o aerare temeinica pentru a lasa aromele de fructe rosii necoapte, petale uscate de trandafir si lemn dulce sa se faca remarcate. In gust este mai expresiv, cu o structura bogata de tanin intr-un stil baroc specific vinurilor realizate din Nebbiolo. Ceea ce apreciez in mod deosebit la Barbaresco de la Gaja este senzatia de imponderabilitate simtita in gust in ciuda structurii masive de tanin. Final lung, energizat de prezenta taninului pe gingii. (93-94/100)
Trecerea catre urmatoarea serie se face rapid fiind indelung asteptata de catre participanti. O degustare comparativa a doua dintre cele mai celebre si adulate Super-Toscane este un eveniment in sine. 2010 a fost un an excelent pentru Toscana, iar Ornellaia si Sassicaia au consecventa in calitate in fiecare an.
Sassicaia 2010 este un cupaj clasic de Cabernet Sauvignon si Cabernet Franc. In seara aceasta, Sassicaia este vinul care ia premiul pentru cel mai expresiv si complex profil aromatic la nivel olfactiv. Deosebit de complex, intens si profund, fiecare mirosire a paharului devine o imersiune intr-un caleidoscop de arome ce vireaza intre lichior de afine, muguri de afine, mure, paprika, ierburi aromate si ciocolata, profilul schimbandu-se treptat pe masura ce vinul sta in contact cu aerul. In gust este suplu, cu tanin prezent dar bine slefuit, armonios, proaspat si echilibrat. Vinul este deja o placere de savurat. (95/100)
Ornellaia 2010 este un cupaj clasic bordolez de Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc si Petit Verdot. Mult mai discret si sfios in arome la nivelul nasului decat Sassicaia, compenseaza si chiar pluseaza in gust. De la primul atac vinul impresioneaza prin bogatie, intensitate si voluptatea aromelor. Primul gand cand il gusti este Bordeaux. Are pedigree-ul si calitatea celor mai bune Chateaux din Bordeaux. Aromele intense de lichior de afine, paprika, mina de creion si ciocolata neagra imbraca maiestuos structura bogata de tanin. Echilibrul este suprem. Este vinul care castiga in aceasta competitie intre cele 2 Super-Toscane. (96/100)
Finalul serii aduce un Amarone al zonei Veneto de la cel mai traditionalist si apreciat producator: Quintarelli. Aerat 6 h vinul pare ca mai are nevoie de inca 6 h cel putin de respirat. Ceea ce impresioneaza la acest Amarone della Valpolicella 2003 de la Giuseppe Quintarelli este echilibrul si senzatia de imponderabilitate pe care o are, ceea ce-l face foarte usor de baut. In ciuda texturii bogate, a densitatii din gust si a nivelului mare al alcoolului 16.5%, care in acest caz este doar un simplu numar, vinul ramane proaspat si jovial. Un vin complex in care se regasesc arome de prune, smochine, rom, visine, cacao, foarte intens, cu final lung si extrem de persistent. (97/100)
O cina care a meritat tot drumul facut pana la Timisoara, si o selectie de vinuri extraordinara pe care o puteti regasi in oricare dintre cele patru magazine Real,-.
I had the privilege to attend an exclusive lunch where the theme was as you will read below Italy’s grandest Grand Cru wines. It was more of a Gaja themed line-up of wines completed with some of the most famous and cult like Super Tuscan’s.
All Gaja’s reds from Piedmont region are high priced wines of considerable force and character. Out of their portfolio, 3 wines stand aside even more as they are produced only from 3 separate single vineyards, all being made of 94-95% Nebbiolo with a small touch of Barberba d’Alba that gives them a higher complexity, but on the same time forbids them to carry the Barolo DOCG appellation. These 3 single Cru wines are the highest expression of Gaja’s know how and Nebbiolo’s interpretation coming from this top producer. They also give life to 3 different expressions of terroir diversity that make wine such an interesting beverage.
The red wines line up started with an older mature wine that today at 25 years old is singing, while the rest were very young (2006), powerful and not overly expressive in comparison. As a conclusion these wines need at least 15 years of bottle age to start to open up.
We started with a Champagne Jacquesson Cuvee no 737 made of 70% wines from the 2009 vintage the rest older wines, from Premier and Grand Cru vines from Grande Vallee de la Marne and Cotes des Blancs. It is maturated sur lies in big oak barrels. It is 43% Chardonnay, 27% Pinot Noir and 30% Pinot Meunier, disgorged in November 2013. Color is medium gold with intense mousse. Initially very citrus like fruit, fresh dough and biscuit with a razor sharp palate, but after 30-45 minutes it gets softer with complex aromas of caramel, milk and pear, with a rounder and softer palate. Medium finish. (91/100)
Gaja Sori Tildin 1990
Deep nose, ethereal, rich red fruit, cherries, smoke, game, dry rose petals, balsamic as it aerates. Mineral tones refresh the nose. Rich palate and such a silky smooth mouth feel, lots of red fruits and spices, tar. Very long finish with lingering aftertaste that comes back over and over . Plenty of life ahead, the amplitude of fruit is unbelievable. Very Burgundian like character. 96/100