Our wine tasting club AuZone always arranges a dinner towards the end of November. The number of seats is rather suitable for one magnum of each wine, so there’s usually rather many wines from that bottle format. This year we included ten wines, of which seven from magnum, sourced from four members’ cellars. One wine and the after-dinner spirit came directly from a shop, so we’re not entirely dogmatic in just choosing previous vintages or cellared bottles. 🙂
2001 Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fundatori (magnum)
Trento DOC, Italy. 100% Chardonnay.
Noticeably smoky nose with developed notes, apple and a hint of elderflower. Very dry palate, mineral, good acidity, green and yellow apple, good concentration. Champagne-like, blanc de blancs-styled, 90 p.
All blind guesses I heard were Champagne, but then again vintage Ferrari tends to be among the most Champagne-like one can find outside the Champagne region, and on top of that this is the top wine from the producer.
1996 Henriot (magnum)
Champagne, approx 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir.
Nose with bread, slightly smoky, mineral, yellow apple, some spice, developed notes with some mushroom. Very classical and elegant developed nose. Palate with winter apples and yellow apples, citrus, good concentration, quite high acidity, mineral, and a mineral-dominated aftertaste. Good development, fresh, 92 p.
To me, this was a wonderfully developed Champagne with clear notes of maturity in the nose, but still a palate with full freshness. I heard some who thought it was a bit too mature and likely to be going downhill from here, but that would not really be true with my taste. Based on this bottle, I don’t see any problems with keeping 1996 Henriot for 10+ more years, provided that we’re talking about magnums with the newer label, that have left Henriot’s cellar in the last couple of years.
2011 Vincent Girardin Puligny-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes
Burgundy. 100% Chardonnay.
Slightly flowery nose, citrus, a hint of tropical fruit, some mineral, hints of oak. Palate with mineral of a stony character, citrus, rather high acidity, aftertaste with mineral. Good, rather young, approachable now, 89 p.
Definitely a good wine for its rather modest price (modest for being a Puligny, that is) but with somewhat noticeable oak, which wasn’t the first time I got this impression from this producer. Initially I found the wine a bit in modern/accessible Chassagne-Montrachet style, with a focus on the fruit with a lot of citrus, but with some air it seemed a bit more classic.
2009 Domäne Wachau Dürnsteiner Kellerberg Riesling Smaragd (magnum)
Nose with ripe yellow fruit, peach, apple, some petrol notes. Palate with ripe yellow fruit, rather good concentration, good acidity (but not really high), spicy style, some mineral. Classical Riesling, rather developed for its age, 89 p.
2006 Prancing Horse Pinot Noir
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia.
Light red colour, translucent. Nose with a fruity/berry-dominated character with strawberries and red berries. Palate with strawberries, some sweetness, rather good concentration of fruit, good acidity, rather mild tannins, the alcohol can be felt a bit, tart aftertase. Berry-dominated Pinot Noir style, but not particularly Burgundian. 88 p.
Meat, game dish.
2000 Ridge Monte Bello (magnum)
Santa Cruz Mountains, California. Cabernet Sauvignon etcetera.
Dark deep red colour. Nose with blackcurrants, some tar, herbaceous hints, slightly developed notes with leather and barnyard aromas, and gravelly notes. Palate with ripe blackcurrants, some ripe dark cherries, some sweetness of fruit in the attack, good acidity, medium tannins, aftertaste with berries. Very fine and balanced profile. Rather ready to drink, but could develop more, 93 p.
The wine of the evening for me. Rather many guessed this was a Bordeaux, and I can definitely see why.
2004 Delas La Landonne (magnum)
Côte-Rôtie, Rhône, France. 100% Syrah.
Medium red colour. Nose with red berries including red currants, discrete herbal notes, slightly flowery. Palate with tart red berries, cranberries and red currants, prominent acidity, rather noticeable medium(+) tannins. Tart profile with some elegance. Developed, but still rather young on the palate, 91 p.
2005 Guigal Brune et Blonde (magnum)
Côte-Rôtie, Rhône, France. 96% Syrah and 4% Viognier.
Medium to dark red colour. Nose with ripe dark berries, dark plums, spice, some animal notes. Palate with ripe red and dark berries, good concentration of fruit, rather good acidity, spice, medium+ tannins, aftertaste with berries and rather tannic aftertaste. Rather young, could develop more, 91+ p.
In the magnum format, the 2005 obviously isn’t ready yet.
1997 Bercher Burkheimer Feuerberg Spätburgunder Spätlese trocken (magnum)
Translucent light to medium colour. Nose with strawberries, noticeable animal notes with meat juices, spice and some oak. Medium bodied+, palate with strawberries, red currants, some sweetness of fruit, some alcoholic fire, good concentration, medium tannins, a hint of bitterness. Fine development, good balance for its age and origin, 90 p.
Definitely better than expected, because at this time fewer German Spätburgunder producers than today had found their stride. It wasn’t that easy to identify as a Pinot Noir for those who were served blind, and guesses included Syrah.
1986 Moulin Touchais
Coteaux du Layon, Loire. Chenin Blanc.
Golden yellow colour. Nose with baked yellow apples, honey, almond, noticeable spice; a sweet and developed nose. Sweet palate, noticeably spicy, with winter apples and baked yellow apples, and a high acidity. Good freshness and balance, good development, 91 p.
A wine from the year the club was founded. (I joined 21 years later.) Here we encountered the only cork taint of the evening, in one of the two bottles that were opened first. Thankfully, a third bottle was available as backup.
Coffee and chocolates
Cognac X.O., 35-40 years old.
Clear character from its long time in oak. Was recommended by our distilled beverages expert Roland, who has also written a small book (in Swedish) on Cognac.
Swedish version here.