Archive for the ‘Italy’ Category

The Famous Italy – Anunt degustare

November 9, 2016 Leave a comment


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

2010 Tignanello
2012 Solaia
2013 Sassicaia
2013 Ornellaia

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: sau la telefon 0744 240 108.

Dinner with Cuvee Elisabeth Salmon, Unico, Evangile and more

March 15, 2016 Leave a comment


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)

IMG_20160314_215612Also decanted for about 3-4 h, the 2007 Vega-Sicilia Unico is a wine to keep on smelling and discovering in the glass. It has a deep red garnet color, and since my last encounter this bottle shows a slightly different aromatic profile. Yes the oak is still there but not that prominent, and there’s a new layer of dill and orange peel that did not feel it before. Rich and powerful on the palate. (94/100)


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.

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

January 20, 2016 Leave a comment

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


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)

A visit to Piedmont – Day 2

December 25, 2015 Leave a comment


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.

IMG_20151201_104822After a 1 h visit in the winery the next and final stop was the tasting room where 4 wines were prepared for tasting:

  • 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.

IMG_20151201_160052The 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)IMG_20151201_220311

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.


Visit to Piedmont – DAY 1

December 11, 2015 Leave a comment

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.



IMG_20151130_142459Red 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.



IMG_20151130_164222Not 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.

IMG_20151130_171537_panoramapanoramic view at dawn from Massolino winery


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. IMG_20151130_232534

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.

IMG_20151130_211311trio of funghi porcini

IMG_20151130_2213581.4 kilo bistecca alla Fiorentina



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.







Categories: Italy

Cina cu vinuri de la Real,-wine boutique

September 10, 2015 1 comment


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,-.

Categories: Champagne, Italy

Italy’s finest

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

Ruby red with brick light rim. Pure fresh cedar and mint nose. Extremely expressive. Also black currant buds.
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
 Gaja Sori Tildin 2006
 Deep dark red color. This seems more closed both on the nose and the palate, very tight actually, red fruits, raspberry, cherry, roses, tar, Asian spices. A warm nose. Fresh cedar. Tight palate, assertive and high tannins, ‎youthful, rich legs on the glass, a fat and heady wine, aromas of red cherry, spices, very powerful, lots of structure. Very unforgiving in its youth. ‎Long finish, assertive tannins. 94/100
Gaja Costa Russi 2006
Deep ruby red. Lots of strawberries and raspberries. Spices. Warm nose. Balsamic, a bit ripe. Warm palate. Kind of angular in the mouth and quite unsatisfying for the price. 91-92/100
Gaja San Lorenzo 2006
Deep red almost opaque. Very deep nose, lost of fruit, more black fruit than red, blackcurrant, spices. Very concentrated, lush texture, lots of grainy tannins, plenty of sour cherries, plums, very youthful, toasty and tobacco. It is more international and comes along as a modern Barolo. Long finish. A very powerful wine with a mountain of tannins that needs plenty of time to get soft but it does have a certain weightless feeling in the mouth that makes it even more appealing. Real potential here. (95/100)
There was also a 1974 Castello di Neive Barbaresco Riserva Santo Stefano that was cloudy in the glass and unfortunately completely dead.
There were not just any Super Tuscan’s that followed, we are talking about the most sought after investment wines from Italy: Masseto and Sassicaia.
2009 was a warmer vintage so Sassicaia is a bit different than the regular style. There is a riper and more ample fruit both on the nose and palate, with softer tannins and richly textured. Plenty of black fruits, spices, charcoal and leather. Velvety tannins, lingering sweet black berry fruit, spices and a spicy paprika touch. Long finish. (93-94/100)
Today 2009 Sassicaia comes along more as the poor relative of the noble family consisting of this famous wines from Gaja.
Masseto 2008
Leaving the crazy price aside, Masseto is a wine with its own category. 2008 Masseto has a very dark and opaque red garnet color. Deep and profound nose, very complex and constantly evolving in the glass. There is ripe and sweet black fruit, but there is freshness with cedar and pine needles. Very rich on the palate, dense and concentrated texture, but it has acidity and refreshing velvety tannins that create an amazing balance. Very long and complex wine. The 15.5% alc is just a number here. (97-98/100)
Crazy line up of wines for a regular weekday lunch.

Vinuri de top de peste 90 puncte – Degustare 28 ianuarie 2015

January 21, 2015 Leave a comment


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 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)

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.


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 🙂 ) 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)


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.


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)


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

La Porte du Ciel, Gaja & Ferrari

April 17, 2014 Leave a comment


Lot’s of great wines before and after yesterday’s wine auction. Started with bubbles and gradually built up to deeper and darker wines.

La Porte du Ciel 2002 – Languedoc

This is a very special wine produced in limited quantities from tiny yields of Syrah – 10 to 12 hl/ha, under-goes a long maceration and it is aged for 24 months in new French oak barrels. The wine is bottled unfiltered.

Black purple color. This has an amazing nose with depth and complexity, and it feels like the pinnacle of what exceptional Syrah can be. At 12 years of age this has a well developed, savoury and maturing nose, with beautiful meaty aromas of well hanged game and Spanish charcuterie, plenty of black pepper, dry Provencal herbs with rosemary on the front seat, bits of hot rubber and toast, with a background of blackberry, cranberry and other ripe but fresh black fruits. The taste is seamless: very polished and concentrated texture, the high level of glycerol,  rounded tannins and the richness of flavors  coat the palate completely with a silky mouth-feel. The plump fruity flavors topped with black pepper and charcuterie build on the palate as this fleshy wine breathes. Long finish with real complex flavors. What I love about it is that it got to a point of maturity where its complexity is very high and its richness on the palate perfectly balanced by silky tannins and fresh acidity remaining extremely appealing. There is plenty of life left. (97-98/100)


2004 Pieve Santa Restituta Sugarille Brunello di Montalcino

Medium to high ruby red color. The nose is well developed but the wine suffers being served after the Porte du Ciel. Fresh red and black fruit aromas, with tones of tobacco, spices and very floral on the first nose – violets and roses. Supple texture, ripe and assertive tannins, with fresh acidity, firm and somehow austere on the palate. Long finish, ripe and firm tannins. (92/100)


Ferrari Perle Vendemmia 2004

A vintage sparkling wine made by the traditional method. Deep gold color with fine and intense bubbles. Very open and intense nose, rich aromas of smoked vanilla, white apricots, citrus fruits and lemon tart. Creamy and very vinous on the palate, with great richness and balanced with a savoury character, medium to long finish, with an almost bone dry and refreshing after-taste. Definitely a food wine. (92/100)


Premiile de excelenta – rating propriu

November 18, 2013 2 comments


Saptamana trecuta in intervalul 12-15 noiembrie 2013 am participat ca membru al juriului la concursul anual Premiile de excelenta 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 – total 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:


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)


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)


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 sau la urmatorul link.

Categories: Chile, Italy, Romania

Not an average wine-dinner

October 29, 2013 1 comment


I was recently invited to attend the anniversary dinner organized by a good friend celebrating his birthday. A wine geek himself and big fan of red Italian and prestige wines, it was no surprise that the red wines tasted were all from Italy. With one exception the rest of the wines were all a first encounter for me.

Tuna tartar, fresh oysters and lobster salad were served with 2004 Cristal Champagne. A pale yellow lemon color with smooth and rich mousse, that opened up in stages on the nose and palate. Fresh dough, citrus fruit and a hint of crushed stones form the medium(+) intense and well developed nose. Medium(+) body, very acidic on the first sip, it opens up with air and becomes rounder, mellower and more enjoyable. Medium(+) finish, with bright citrus fruit, Granny Smith apple acidity and lingering hints of minerals. (92/100)


Served with fresh pasta with butter and white truffles it was 2009 Chateau Smith Haut-Lafitte Blanc (Pessac-Leognan). It ranks in the first Top 3 white wines I had this year. The color is pale yellow lemon. The nose shows great Pessac-Leognan typicality with generic smoked vanilla and tropical fruits, but it starts up gradually in intensity. The first nose is shy and it takes about 2 hours to fully reveal its intensity. It’s a different story on the palate: the level of flavor concentration it’s outstanding, you can literally taste fresh vanilla, smoke, fresh tangerines, mango and papaya, pears, peaches and white apricots. Flawless mouth-feel, medium acidity (that’s a surprise and probably that’s why is so enjoyable now), balanced and intense. Long finish, fresh and flamboyant, with plenty of exotic and tropical fruits. I fell in love with it. (97-98/100)


Shifting to reds, the menu moved towards red meat: medium-rare tuna steak with grilled vegetables. Served in parallel there were 2006 Trinoro from Tenuta di Trinoro and 2007 Masseto from Ornellaia. 2006 Trinoro has the nose and mouth-feel of an Amarone. The color is deep dark red garnet. The nose is medium(+) intense, well developed and rich, with unusual Amarone like aromas: chocolate, rum and over ripe black fruits: blackberry, black cherry, cranberry and leather. The taste is full bodied, rich and concentrated, with medium polished tannins, with juicy blackberry, rum and chocolate. Medium(+) finish, black fruit liquor and sweet feel. (89-90/100)


2007 Masseto is a totally different ball game. Tasted blind this could go for a sunny Pomerol. The color is medium red garnet color. Pronounced, elegant, well developed and complex nose, it takes time to open up. A mix of black cherry, plums, chocolate, cedar and graphite are just a few aromas of the complex nose. Full bodied, yet supple and elegant, the wine is a  monument of balance and complexity. The high level of polished tannins, the richness and concentration are outstanding. The 15% alcohol is just a number in this case, because the wine has freshness, elegance and a weightless mouth-feel. Long and pronounced finish, with fresh red fruits and coffee. (98/100)


A 2008 Trinoro was also served to see if it has a similar profile of an Amarone like 2006. The color is deep red garnet. The nose is well developed, pronounced, intense and sweet. The ripe black fruit profile is there but manages to preserve freshness and hints of coffee. Full body, high polished and sweet tannins, sweet and juicy blackberry and cranberry, dark chocolate, plums, but still fresh. Long finish, lingering juicy black fruits. (93/100)


Dinner was finished with a NV Billecart-Salmon Rose to wash the palate. Pink salmon color, intense mousse. Biscuit, bright red fruits and grapefruit, fresh and citrus palate, medium finish. (90-91/100)



The wine club @ La Brasserie: June 24th session


There was another session of the Wine Club started a couple of months ago by Emil from La Brasserie and me. Our aim has and will be to sample some of the most interesting and exciting wines from all over the world. The thematic for this session was mainly red Bordeaux, but there was also an intruder served blind after the 1999 Margaux.

2003 Chateau Cap de Mourlin St-Emilion

Garnet, dark red color. Developed and evolved nose, really over ripe profile, intense aromas of stewed dark cherry, prunes, Mon Cherry candy – almost like an Amarone, dark chocolate, cocoa, leather and mildly minty. There is also a toasty aroma. Fully integrated tannins, supple Merlot based blend, balanced, stewed red fruit and cocoa on the palate. Medium finish and at its peak. An enjoyable wine that can go well with food. (87/100)


2005 Chateau Gruaud Larose St Julien

Very dark, red garnet color. A well developed and intense nose that shows clear class above the first St-Emilion tasted. Very different than the 2006 Gruaud Larose I had in December and over an year ago. I prefer more this 2005. Well developed and youthful nose, complex, showing freshness and beautifully alternating between gamey, blood beef, smoky and pencil shavings aromas to sweet and fresh red fruit, black tea and green coffee bean. Full bodied, it has a very healthy ripe tannins backbone that will ensure a long life ahead, but always staying on the elegant path. There is enough substance to please any fan of Bordeaux and to allow a good evolution, but this is not a powerful wine. It surprises how smooth it feels on the palate for a 2005. Generous flavors of black tea, mocha, black currant and graphite coat the palate. Long and fresh finish, with grippy tannins in the aftertaste. 13% alc (92/100)

2002 Chateau Pontet Canet Pauillac

Coming from an average and rainy vintage, this is a real success story.

Red garnet color with no signs of aging. Expressive, complex and youthful nose, admirable balance between smoky, minerals, graphite aromas, intense primary aromas: black currant and cassis, and secondary: tobacco, green bean coffee, tea leaves, with an enjoyable flamboyance of fruit. Full bodied and well structured, refreshing, fully ripe and sweet tannins, with generous flavors of cassis and black tea leaves on the palate. This combines power and elegance, already showing a smooth character with rounded tannins. Long finish, fruity, with additional coffee and black tea mild bitterness. This shows extract and richness, and does not have anything of the diluted character seen in other 2002 Bordeaux. 13% alc (93/100)


1999 Chateau Margaux

The wine of the night for me and for most of the attendants.

Dark garnet color. Profound, well developed, youthful and maturing nose that smells and tastes differently with every sip. Complex and deeply aromatic profile, with aromas shifting from sweet ripe fruit, red and black currant, cassis, plums, to smoky minerals and even a hint of brett. The richness of its flavors and the depth on the palate is unmatched by any of the previous wines. Fully ripe and healthy tannins, smooth and velvety, but yet firm and assertive, always elegant and aristocratic, everything seems to be in the right place for this wine. Intense fruit, velvety texture, layered on the palate, with complex smoky and mineral flavors. Long finish, really fresh and very convincing. This seems to be in a perfect drinking period where it could stay for another few decades. 12.5% alc (95/100)

The blind tasted wine was a challenge launched by Emil to all of us. Initially presented as a 2007 Romanian Cabernet Sauvignon it did not convince anybody to be a Cabernet.

2007 GAJA Conteisa

After the 1999 Margaux any wine faces a great challenge to convince and impress. Yet this wine managed to do it.

Saturated ruby red color. Deep, complex and expressive already on the nose, it immediately seduces with its minty, pine needle freshness, dried rose petals, tar and additional layers of sweet red fruit, undergrowth and spice. Full bodied, perfectly ripe, round and sweet tannins, supple, intense and rich flavors on the palate mirroring the nose, with perhaps a deeper and fuller aromatic profile. Its amazing how balanced it feels. Elegant and feminine wine in spite of its mountain of tannins. Long finish, fresh and complex. 14.5% (94/100)

What a night.

Tasting GAJA wines


Last week I attended one of the most exciting wine events of 2013: a complete tasting of Angelo Gaja’s wines, organized by the Romanian importer – Vinimondo. The event took place at Radisson Hotel in Bucharest and was hosted by Mrs Michela Inghese – Gaja Wine Ambassador present in Romania for this special occasion.

Gaja is the most famous Piedmontese producer, an innovator who’s wines grew the reputation of this region to new heights. Five generations of Gaja’s have been producing wines in Langhe hills since 1859, the year Gaja Winery was founded in Barbaresco. Angelo Gaja joined the winery in 1961 and started to introduce the wines to foreign markets. Today Gaja Winery owns approximately 101 ha of vineyards in Barbaresco and Barolo.

In 1994 they acquired Pieve Santa Restituta in Montalcino, their first wine estate in Tuscany. From the 27 ha of vineyards here they produce 3 Brunello’s – two single vineyards Brunello’s: Renina and Sugarille, and starting in 2005 a generic Brunello di Montalcino.

In 1996 Gaja family bought a second propery in Tuscany: Ca’Marcanda located in Bolgheri. The name Ca’Marcanda comes from the Piedmontese dialect and means “house of endless negociations” and refers to the time spent by Angelo trying to convince the former owners to sell the property that was once an olive and fruit orchard with few vineyards.  Over 110 ha they grow Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Sangiovese. The wines produced here are Promis, Magari and Ca’Marcanda, the first released vintage was 2000.

Rossj Bass 2009

100% Chardonnay aged for 6-7 months in used barriques. Pale light yellow color. Toasty, intense, apricots, citrus, honey, fresh and interesting nose. Toasty, vanilla, citrus and apricots palate, fresh and balanced. Medium finish, nutty. (91/100)

Ca’Marcanda Promis 2009

55% Merlot, 35% Syrah, 10% Sangiovese, 12 months of aging in used barriques. Served too cold unfortunately, under 10 degrees Celsius so very closed and unappealing. Ruby red dark color. Youthful nose almost feeling undeveloped. (87/100)


Ca’Marcanda Magari 2009

50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% cabernet Franc, aged for 12 months in used barriques. Ruby red, dark. Roasted herbs but very peppery-spicy nose, almost like grilled pepperoni, complex and intense, showing red and black currant, with pronounced Cabernet Franc spiciness and herbal character. Supple, spicy-peppery with red fruit layers and yellow plums, assertive tannins, balanced, with cedar freshness. Medium plus finish, spicy and coffee bean flavors. (91/100)

Sito Moresco 2009

35% Nebbiolo, 35% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12 months of aging. Ruby red color. Discreet nose that opens up, very peppery, red roasted paprika, black tea, red fruit: raspberry, strawberry, cedar, leather and tar. Supple, assertive tannins, mild fruitiness, spicy, firm structure with a certain austerity on the palate and signs of green vegetables. Medium finish and drying tannins. (88/100)


Barolo Dagromis 2006

100% Nebbiolo, 12 months aging in barriques followed by 18 months in large oak casks. Fruit harvested from Serralunga d’Alba and La Morra vineyards. Ruby red. Enticing nose, complex, intense and well developed, sweet floral and cherry fruit, dry rose petals, spices: cinnamon and cloves, with green tea leaves freshness. Smooth texture, tar, assertive, round and ripe tannins, with elegant cherry and black tea palate. Medium to long finish with chewy tannins. (91/100)

Barbaresco 2008

Gaja’s flagship wine and one of the Italy’s greatest wine. 100% Nebbiolo, 12 months aging in barriques followed by 12 months in large oak casks.

Ruby red, more intense color. Complex and constantly evolving on the nose. It shows warm forest floor, elegant cherry fruit, spicy, floral, dry rose petals, cigar ash, black tea leaves, coffee, but very fresh and intense on the nose. Smooth texture and fine grained tannins that show class, balanced, fresh acidity, with tar and floral palate. Full bodied, monumental structure but so weightless and feather like with a velvety mouth feel, beautiful balance between tannins, richness and acidity. Long finish, chewy tannins, spicy and fresh. Pure elegance. (93-94/100)


Sperss 2007

94% Nebbiolo and 6% Barbera, fruit comes from Serralunga d’Alba and Barolo, 12 months in barriques followed by 18 months in large oak casks. Labelled just a Langhe Nebbiolo DOC because of the small addition of Barbera.

Saturated ruby red color, more opaque. Very complex and profound nose, well developed, multilayer-ed and constantly evolving with air, it feels like you are submersing in a different world of aromas. Elegant, rich and pure red fruit aromas, red and black cherry, raspberries, spices, rose petals, tar, and later on truffles, smoked red fruit jams, with pine needles freshness. Smooth and full on the palate, massive structure of ripe tannins, very intense flavors but so elegant and pure, velvety mouth-feel, with tar, roses and spicy cherry fruit palate. Long and intense finish, assertive and firm tannins only on the aftertaste but so smooth and classy, with lingering flavors. 14.5% alc (96-97/100)


Later on during the dinner organized at La Brasserie Bistro & Lounge with Michela Inghese we tasted:


Conteisa 2007

92% Nebbiolo and 8% Barbera, 12 months in barriques followed by 18 months in large oak casks. Fruit comes from vineyards of La Morra and Barolo. That’s why a more feminine and floral wine compared to Sperss.

Produced in a very limited quantity. Saturated ruby red color. Another very complex wine with amazing depth and richness of aromas, very pure and elegant. When smelling this wine you just fell in love with its expressive nose that combines red fruity aromas with potpourri, forest floor, undergrowth and cigars box. Every time you smell it, it reveals a different aromatic profile. Very elegant and feminine, full bodied but supple and so well balanced, it has a monumental structure of tannins, rich, but so weightless and easy to be enjoyed. Long finish, fresh, assertive tannins only in the aftertaste, well balanced by rich layers of cherry and spicy red fruit. 14.5% alc (95/100)

There is virtually no chance that after such monumental wines there can be another one that can play on the same league. And yet the host from La Brasserie managed to do it with a 2008 Tenuta di Trinoro.

921630_519837811410562_1287301059_o2008 Tenuta di Trinoro

Dark reg garnet color, almost opaque. This has the Tuscan sun written all over it.

A very intense, profound, rich and well developed nose. Rich blackberry, plums, black currant, new leather, truffles and cinnamon reveal just a small part of this complex and sweet nose. Full bodied and very succulent compared to the last 2 wines, velvety tannins, concentrated and opulent on the palate, this has such depth that you can just try to imagine where this wine will be in 5 or 10 years. Powerful, but yet so elegant and layered wine. Long finish, velvety, lingering flavors of pure blackberry juice, spices and coffee. In spite of its 14% alc this wine feels a bit heavier than the harmonious and weightless textures of Sperss or Conteisa. 14% alc (94/100)

A one of a kind tasting and evening.

Categories: Italy

3 Super Italians

April 25, 2013 Leave a comment


All 3 wines have been opened 1 day in advance and sealed back with a vacuum cork.

Luce Brunello din Montalcino 2005

Dark red garnet color. Well developed and expressive nose, sour-sweet on the nose, intense aromas of black cherry preserves, cloves and anise, plums, sweet tobacco, leather and a touch of earth, enough to make it interesting, layered and complex. Fresh and supple in the mouth, assertive tannins but yet smooth texture, tobacco and red cherry palate. Long finish with assertive and drying finish that give freshness and aromatic black tea aftertaste. Structured, layered, with enough flesh and ripe tannins to evolve well. Plenty of life ahead. 14.5% alc (92-93/100)


2006 Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo Lamaione

100% Merlot and considered a small Masseto, this wine sells for almost less than half of both Luce and Sugarille and still manages to play in the same league.

Saturated ruby red color. Well developed, open and expressive nose, it grows deeper and layered with aromas of bright red cherry fruit and red cherry jams, mushrooms, sweet tobacco and dry plums. It has the smoothest and velvetiest texture of all 3 wines, ripe, sweet and almost fully integrated tannins compared to Luce, fleshy, round and yet balanced and fresh considering its 15% alc, this is a really impressive and complex expression of Merlot. Juicy blackberry fruit, coffee and dark chocolaty palate. Long finish, this is were tannins are assertive and show their ripeness the best, with black tea and dark chocolate lingering flavors. This has hidden potential to grow more interesting. 15% alc (93-94/100)


2004 Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta Sugarille Brunello di Montalcino

Dark red garnet color. Well developed and very expressive now, fresh, minty and sweet nose, it is very floral driven, dominated on the front by fresh black currant buds, violets and hawthorn aromas. It gains depth with aeration and shows amazing purity and definition of red cherry and black cherry fruit, tobacco and earth. Complex and probably the most expressive of all 3 wines. Full body and yet supple and smoothly textured, fully ripe and perfectly rounded tannins, it shows juicy blackberry and macerated black cherry palate. It is in the long finish that tannins are assertive, with black tea leaves and dark chocolate aftertaste. Wine of the tasting without question. 14.5% (94/100)


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