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2000 Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes

February 4, 2013 2 comments

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Last SAT was a very special one as during the same day I had several outstanding wines culminating with this legendary producer. On the same day I had a line-up of 3 Sauvignon Blanc’s: Saxenburg Private Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Michel Redde Champs de Billon 2006 and La Spinetta Langhe Sauvignon Blanc 2006, all three outstanding examples and pure expressions of different terroirs and vinification processes. It followed a 2006 Trapiche Malbec Single Vineyard Adriana Venturin, showing the purity, richness and silkiness of Argentinian Malbec at its best. There was also a 2004 Clos des Papes Chateauneuf du pape prior to the sweet wine.

In the evening a friend decided to make a pleasant surprise and popped up a 2000 Chateau d’Yquem from the fridge. It is my third vintage of Yquem I try after 1996 and 1981. My mind and my heart still goes to the 1996.

Everybody probably knows that Chateau d’Yquem is the epitome of Sauternes, the producer and his wine being legendary for their pedigree, quality, aging potential and also being the only wine from Sauternes that qualifies in the Fine-Wines market as investment wine.

2000 Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes

Deep gold, light amber color. Well developed, very intense, elegant, complex and beautiful nose, combining sweetness and freshness almost to perfection. There is a kaleidoscope of aromas and just like the actors of a play that come gradually on the stage and give their performance, one can gradually feel aromas of saffron, caramelized pineapple, botrytis, baked quince, pear, peach and the amazing mint and fresh citrus fruit shaving components that build the sensation of freshness. Full bodied, seamless texture that feels like liquid silk in the mouth, outstanding balance between sweetness and acidity, that makes the palate both unctuous and lively, like a synchronized couple of dancers. There are layers and layers that wash the palate with pure and intense flavors of quince, pineapple, caramel, lemon and orange rind marmalade, with a light touch of Indian spices. Very long finish that reminds of orange and tangerine marmalade. It really makes you feel special when drinking this wine. (94-95/100)

SAT was a really good day.

A memorable tasting with a very special Wine Club

November 6, 2012 4 comments

Last night I was invited, as a guest, to attend a wine dinner organized by a special Wine Club that will remain undisclosed at this moment. The session was dedicated to Italian wines. I had no idea what will be served, but the surprise was overwhelming. The dinner took place in a prime restaurant and the food was fantastic: veal carapaccio, spaghetti pomodoro basilico, grilled Black Angus entrecote and a very special dessert: truffle, white chocolate and truffle ice cream served with a very special wine: Chateau d’Yquem 1981.

We were six people so there was plenty of wine to taste and drink for each of us. We started with a very young Barbaresco.

2007 La Spinetta Barbaresco Vigneto Bordini

This is an extremely young wine but it is so approachable. Dark red garnet color. A youthful and developing nose, intense, refined, showing beautiful aromas of flowers: dried rose petals and violets, tar, ripe black cherry and raspberry, cocoa, with hints of spices: anise and cloves. This is super concentrated on the palate, balanced and well structured, bone dry tannins and as much as a Barbaresco is known to be hard to enjoy when young, this wine drinks very well already. Long finish, with a velvety feel. Youthful but so good. (91-92/100)

One of the participants at the dinner used to work for about 7 years in Toscana at Poggio di Sotto during the summer vacation, so not only did he make a contribution with the next wine, but he also explained the story of this interesting winery. Poggio di Sotto is fairly small in Montalcino with only 12 ha of vines, making around 30.000 bottles of Brunello and Rosso din Montalcino every year. The wine-making process is traditional, with long maceration, extensive maturation in large 30 hl Slavonian oak barrels – for each wine there is an additional one year of aging in the barrel aside from the minimum imposed by the Regulators. Poggio di Sotto was recently sold to a large Italian wine company that has properties all over Italy, but wanted to own a premium, cult-like winery.

2005 Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino

Medium red garnet color. Complex, deep, profound, refined, showing fine spices, cocoa powder, leather, red fruits preserves and a citrus fruit freshness on the nose. Silky mouth-feel, amazing structure and balance, ripe tannins, extremely fresh with a feather like texture, long finish, fresh all along the way. Exquisite, long black cherry aftertaste. So young but so open and such a pleasure to drink it. (93-94/100)

Next wine comes from a legendary traditional producer. I guess anybody that inquired at a certain moment about Brunello di Montalcino knows this producer as being a pioneer of quality driven wines.

1971 Biondi Santi Brunello di Montalcino

Good fill level. The bottle was uncorked and left to slowly breath for about 3 hours. Red ruby color with a brick rim, a bit cloudy as it comes in contact with air. A maturing bouquet, with initial volatile acids that blew off after another 20 minutes in the glass, still showing discreet red fruit preserves, autumn forest floor, tobacco, balsamic notes, saline, leather and black olives. Medium bodied, initially looking like fading away but with more aeration in the glass opening up more and more. Mature, fresh, mint and black olives on the palate, acidity keeps everything in place and, as it aerates, it shows discreet tannins. Medium finish, fresh and earthy. (88-89/100)

After this line up of amazing wines I found out that dessert will be paired with 1981 Chateau d’Yquem. Life can be full of good surprises sometimes.

1981 Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes

This came from a small 0.375 cl bottle and was open for more than 8 hours but that did not alter the quality of this amazing wine. Deep gold-amber color. A complex bouquet, very intense, combining aromas of mandarins, botrytis, apricots, white pepper and brown sugar. Medium bodied, it has a wonderful balance, elegant, delicious flavors of dried apricots and sweet lemons and amazingly lively on the palate. Long spicy-cardamon finish, with pleasant bitter-sweet orange peel flavor. (93-94/100)

It was a wonderful wine dinner.

1999 Chateau La Tour Blanche Sauternes

October 30, 2012 Leave a comment

A sweet wine from Bordeaux, from a producer that remained very affordable for the quality it provides.

1999 Chateau La Tour Blanche Sauternes

Deep gold-amber color. A sweet nose with plenty of caramel, orange marmalade, apricots and a bit of shoe polish. Full on the palate, not as lively as we would like, but still pleasant, with plenty of caramelized apricots and peaches, a bit too sweet perhaps from not having the right acidity and a medium finish. Not the best Sauternes I had but a pleasant dessert wine nevertheless. More than one glass can be a bit too much. (89/100)

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