You will have to put up with another slightly long post, but this has been one of the better weeks in vinous terms; but then it is always thus when my old wine pals and I get together for one of the 3-4 wine dinners we arrange every year. We take turns to host this event, and this time around we were hosted by Lars Veber Mygland. Lars is a phenomenal amateur chef and had lined up the following for us:
Appetizers: Warm breast of quail with cornichon; Baked red peppers with anchovy; Crouton with duck liver paté.
Our third dish:
Then an in-between dish:
Then the traditional thing (it is very rare that our wine dinners do not feature it…):
Then the main course:
Various cheeses followed, and then brownies. People had reduced appetites by then.
The wines tasted on this evening:
Except for the first wine (called “kitchen wine”, for those showing up slightly early), all wines were served blind, in decanters. Lively and informed guesswork followed each wine. I personally did not have one of my greatest evenings, but Lars was on fire.
My tasting notes:
Wine 1 (white wine, not blind; Lars Veber Mygland):
Very intense nose of quince, ripe peach, flowers, cream, very minerally, slight botrytis/nettle. Extremely minerally in the mouth, with very fine sweetness, good acidity. Long, very minerally, with creamy butterscotch, flowers and botrytis/nettle. The wine: Forstmeister Geltz-Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Spätlese Versteigerung 1991.
Wine 2 (white sparkling wine; Lars Veber Mygland):
Broad and deep, complex, mature Champagne nose, very autolytic, with aromas of sourdough rye bread and quince. Very full and intense in the mouth, with good acidity. Long and complex aftertaste with rye bread, autolysis, quince, minerals and almonds. The wine: Egly-Ouriet Champagne Brut Grand Cru 2000; disgorged in 2008.
Wine 3 (white wine; Peter Leth):
Delicios, cool nose of peach, minerals, herbs, very fresh and intense, slight touch of new wood. In the mouth good, fat and intense chardonnay fruit, very good acidity, firm and concentrated. Long, with wood vanilla, quince, minerals and flowers. The wine: Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne 2009.
Wine 4 (white wine; Frank Hansen):
Fat, broad, deep nose of ripe peaches and wood vanilla. Very full and intense in the mouth. Long and concentrated, with slightly bitter new wood, orange peel, grilled peaches and boiled herbs. Very concentrated wine but slightly too much new wood right now. The Wine: Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet Les Caillerets 2002.
Wine 5 (white wine; yours truly):
Rather closed nose with apple, marked exotic wood, slightly herbal, slight suspicion of premature oxidation. Tight and acidic in the mouth, medium weight. Good length with minerals, gunpowder, exotic wood, herbs and apple. The oxidative suggestion on the nose is not really followed up in the mouth, so perhaps this is just too young and out of sorts right now? The wine: Domaine de Montille Puligny-Montrachet Le Cailleret 1999.
Wine 6 (red wine; Ole Ahlberg):
Beautiful nose of delicious, sweet, light red berries, rather intense and complex, with hints of new wood, forest floor, sweet spice, meat stock and savoury depth. Intense fruit in the mouth, medium weight, with balanced acidity and sweet tannin. Long, with berries, flowers, minerals, forest floor, savoury mushroom. Seriously delicious wine. The wine: Camus Pere & Fils Le Chambertin 1995. A very positive surprise, this, the best wine I have ever had from Camus.
Wine 7 (red wine; Frank Hansen):
Very intense, complex nose with powerful sweet barnyardy aromas, delicious dark berries, dry herbs and flowers. Medium weight in the mouth with big, juicy, sweet berry fruit, very good acidity and firm, sweet tannins. Very long, concentrated, intense and complex, with sweet berries, sweet oriental spices, minerals, flowers and forest floor. A deep, yet delicious and charming wine; my wine of the evening. The wine: Louis Trapet Pere & Fils Le Chambertin 1985.
Wine 8 (red wine; Kaj Kristensen):
Nose of small dark berries, grilled crustacean shells, smoke, light green peppers, dry spices, pencil shavings, fresh oyster shells. In the mouth medium weight to full, fresh and intense, good acidity. Long and fresh, with sweet dark berries, minerals, flowers, dry spices and a bit of green peppers. The wine: Chateau Lynch Bages 1975. Our small group of people have known for many years now that the rumours of 1975 Bordeaux’s demise are completely wrong; on the contrary, a good number of the great wines, such as this one, are still very young and delicious.
Wine 9 (white wine; Frank Nielsen):
Mature and complex nose of apricot, candied citrus peel, caramel and very slight varnish. Medium weight in the mouth, round and supple, with good sweetness balanced by medium acidity and a slight bitterness. Good length, complex, with apricot, flowers, minerals, orange peel and slightly burnt caramel. The wine: Moulin Touchais Anjou 1976. Frank felt this did not quite have the stuffing to match the foie gras, so brought out the next bottle (I disagreed, but would never say no to another bottle…).
Wine 10 (white wine; Frank Nielsen):
Intense, complex nose with peach, iron, botrytis, extremely minerally, cream. Slim profile in the mouth, but intense, with very fine acidity and delicious sweetness, lovely balance between the elements. Long, with apricot, peach, minerals, flowers and cream. The wine: Dr. Loosen Erdener Prälat Auslese 1995. The Moulin Touchais was frankly better matched with the foie gras, but this was without a doubt a lovely wine in its own right.
Wine 11 (red wine; Ole Ahlberg):
Broad, intense nose of mulberries, slight cassis, tobacco and slightly smokey spices. Medium to full, fat mouthfeel, juicy, good acidity, friendly supple tannins. Good length with lovely berry sweetness, tobacco, spices, violets and slight alcoholic heat at the end. The wine: Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1989. Clearly from a hot year.
Wine 12 (red wine; yours truly):
Very complex nose, initially with some age, but subsequently fresher, sweet dark berries, graphite, tobacco, spices. Medium weight in the mouth, juicy, good acidity, slightly tired tannins. Long, complex and minerally, sweet fruit, tobacco, spices, slightly tired Bovril hint. Some felt this was slightly green, but I could not detect that. Certainly not at its top, though, even if very complex. The wine: Chateau Haut Brion 1979.
Wine 13 (red wine; Peter Leth):
Big, fat nose of dark plums, fresh minerality, herbs/garrigue, violets, lavender, slight alcohol. Broad and intense in the mouth, with good freshness and acidity, lots of fine-grained tannin. Very long, fresh, minerally, violets, juicy fruit, then well-aged meat and spices. Very good wine. The wine: Selvapiana Chianti Rufina Vigneto Bucerchiale 1999.
Wine 14 (red wine; Frank Nielsen):
Complex nose of orientally spiced small dark berries, tobacco, Bovril and mint. Juicy, medium weight mouth, good acidity, mild tannin. Good length, slightly exuberant alcohol renders the fruit somewhat high, minerals, violets, slightly tired/tobaccoey tannin. The wine: Dominus 1991.
Wine 15 (red wine; Peter Høiriis):
Big, very intense nose of sweet cherry fruit, very spicy and perfumed, tar, flowers, iron and black olives. Very intense and juicy in the mouth, good acidity and lots of fine-grained tannins. Very long and fragrant aftertaste, with juiciness, perfume, iron and black olives. Super wine; had it not been for the Trapet Chambertin, this would have been my top wine of the evening. The wine: Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle 1995.
Wine 16 (red wine; Peter Høiriis):
Big, saturated nose of fat light red berries, sweet spices, liquorice and perfume, with an uplifted, delicious quality. Concentrated and intense in the mouth, fat fruit and rather hefty tannins. Long, intense, complex and juicy, with violets, berries and perfume, then hints of somewhat tired meat stock. The wine: Arnoux Clos Vougeot 1993.
Wine 17 (red wine; Kaj Kristensen):
Delicious, relaxed but intense nose of sweet berry fruit, with a savoury, spicy character, crustacean shells, tobacco and slight green peppers. Medium weight and round in the mouth, soft fruit and slightly tired tannins. Quite long, with dried fruit, slightly dry tannins, withered flowers. Not a great wine, somewhat aged, but pretty in its frailty. The wine: Chateau Malescot-Saint-Exupery 1979.
Wine 18 (red wine; yours truly):
Very broad, intense and complex nose of well-aged meat, tar, leather, white truffle, mulberry, violets. Soft fruit in the mouth, rather full, then good acidity and very intense warm tannins, classically dry balance. Very long and complex, with minerals, tar, leather, tobacco, sweet berries, meat stock and dried roses; not a “fruit-wine” but a “complexity-wine”, oozes terroir. Some felt this lacked fruit. The wine: Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falletto di Serralunga Riserva 1990.
Other wines during the week:
A mixed bag this week, no particular focus, very reflective of the summer season.
Feudi di San Marzano Rosato Salento 2011
This is a 100% negroamaro rosé. Quite deep colour for a rosé. Juicy but slightly restrained nose of raspberries, rose, minerals and slight mediterranean herbs. Slim, juicy, good acidity. Decent length with minerals, acidic berries and light herbs. Just what the doctor ordered on a warm summer’s day.
Feudi di San Marzano Malvasia Nera Salento Sud 2010
Nose of soft plums in liqueur, slight coffee hint, sweet berries, violets, sweet oriental spices and a hint of mineral. Medium full mouth, soft at first, then a hint of firm tannins. OK length, with plums, liqueur, oriental spices, minerals and violets. A nice, soft wine, very typical of the variety.
René Rostaing (Puech Noble) Coteaux du Languedoc Les Combes 2006
Sweet soft delicious light plum nose with hints of sweet meat, sweet spices and sweet liquorice, balanced by bright minerality. Soft and round in the mouth, juicy and light-toned fruit. Long, intense and complex with good firm spicy tannins, sweet fruit, deliciously minerally violets and liquorice. Lovely wine.
Seis Quintas Martué Douro Dois Vales 2010
Made from touriga nacional, tinta roriz and touriga franca. Lively, juicy and charming nose of dark, sweet berries, sweet liquorice, violets, fresh and delicious. Light, charming, juicy berry fruit in the mouth, slight residual sweetness. OK length with sweet berries, liquorice and violets. Very delicious and charming, easy and incredibly drinkable.
Equipo Navazos La Bota de Manzanilla 32, Saca de Octubre de 2011
This is an unfiltered wine, 100% palomino fino. Very intense, complex and broad, yet very fresh nose with flor, salt water, roasted almonds, oyster shells, wet gravel and acetaldehyde. Great depth and width in the mouth, very dry, good acidity, overwhelming intensity. Very long, with great complexity, freshness and purity, repeating the aromas from the nose, then finishing on floral and mushroomy/flor notes. Equipo Navazos are absolutely in a class of their own in Jerez these days.