Côte-Rôtie La Mouline 2004, Rhône
Translucent, almost Pinot-noir like in colour. Restrained nose, then mushrooms, raisons, plums, blueberries and some floral notes. Layer upon layer of complex, nuanced flavours with the sweet fruit giving it impeccable balance. Very fine tannins. Sophisticated and long. Incredible, and yet to peak.
Château Léoville Las Cases 1998, Bordeaux
Classic St. Julien aroma of leather, floral earthiness with red & black forest fruits. Bright, cranberry and cassis fruits are in abundance on the palate as well as chocolate and coffee. The tannins are very noticeable; the wine is beefy, fresh and masculine in nature. Still very young but in 10 years this will be a beast. Wow.
Borgogno Barolo Riserva 1958, Piedmont
Opening this bottle was a fairly nerve-racking experience to say the least. Crumbly cork. After two hours of worrying funk the silky texture became apparent, surprising level of acidity allied with a core of sweet lively red fruit. Violets, rose petals and the usual tar notes also. A little barnyard and earthy notes but not detracting from the long elegant finish. Very well preserved given its age, needless to say this was wine of the night!
Il Carnasciale ‘Il Caberlot’ 2009, Tuscany
This ultra-rare wine is made from a scarce grape thought to be a crossing of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. It has a sleek texture and great elegance; showing nuances of Graves and Pomerol. Ripe yet cool cabernet franc nose, with cassis, some exotic notes, incense and earth. An unctuous, sweet palate with noticeable but nicely integrated tannins. Linear, precise and very very cool. Must try again.
Château d’Yquem 2007, Bordeaux
Two bottles opened at a Chateau tasting. Immediate rush of pineapples on the nose. Strong, sweet and citrusy. It has all the right stuff with its racy personality and decadent layers of juicy, ripe, honey coated tropical fruits, spices, vanilla, nuts and coconut. The wine is perfectly balanced between sweetness and acidity, with freshness and a beautiful purity of fruit. What an elixir, this lived up to everything it was expected to be, and more.
Castello di Ama Vigna l’Apparita 1993, Tuscany
At the wonderful Bocca di Lupo. Probably the biggest surprise this year. Full and rich aromatic and flavour profile: dark fruits, coffee, cocoa with nice minerality. Loads of exotic spices. Smooth tannins, and perfect balance of all structural components. This wine just had so much finesse, flawless texture, and very good expression of place. We were blown away with each sip. It truly lived up to all expectations and we can see why this was voted the World’s best Merlot of the vintage (even over the Pétrus of that year). Yes.
J.M. Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Referts 2005, Bourgogne
Pale straw yellow. Honeysuckle and other floral notes. Dry in the mouth with just the perfect amount of minerals, some apricot and light subtle citrus. Clearly a very good wine, but that is from someone who naturally gravitates towards the more robust Meursault/Chassagne end of the spectrum. Either way, very very good.
Condrieu ‘La Doriane’ E. Guigal 2011, Rhône
100% Viognier. Unbelievably floral nose. On the palate an extremely lush, creamy texture. Tropical fruits, vanilla, herbs with a steely mineral finish that goes on for days and then smoothly dissipates. Quite sweet. Very impressive.
Taittinger Brut Millésimé 2005, Champagne
Fantastic. Like the NV but many times more complex and multi-layered. Pear and brioche on the palate. Full bodied with a lengthy finish.
Moët & Chandon Cuvée Dom Pérignon 2004, Champagne
Beautiful nose, malty, creamy and lemony. Lean yet imposing on the palate with more lemon and spice. Very minerally, needs time. Long long finish.