A couple of weeks ago, the Stockholm branch of the wine tasting club Munskänkarna held a tasting of news in the range of the Swedish alcohol monopoly. Although I sometimes lead tastings in Munskänkarna, I was not guilty of choosing the wines for this tasting. This was a “do it in your own pace” tasting, where pairs of wine are meant to be tasted together.
2013 Mâcon-Milly-Lamartine “Clos du Four”, Domaine Cordier Père et Fils
Grape variety: Chardonnay.
Nose: Citrus, some white flowers, slightly chalky minerality, discrete herbaceous notes. A fruity nose that gives a rather elegant impression next to the wine below.
Palate: Citrus together with some green and yellow apples, rather good concentration with some viscosity, definitely high acidity, some mineral, and a citrus-dominated aftertaste with a hint of grapefruit bitterness.
Summary: Fresh and good, young but approachable now, could probably gain from some cellaring, 88(+) p.
The white wines from the South of Burgundy, Maconnais, have been improving in quality and recognition for many years, but the prices remain reasonable. In my opinion, this wine shows the style that I think this area does best, white wines where the oak component and buttery notes are kept reasonable. The result is often a wine that comes across as something in-between white Côte de Beaune wines and those from Chablis.
2013 Bourgogne Blanc, Henri Boillot
Grape variety: Chardonnay.
Nose: yellow apples, some yellow plums, butter, spice notes and toasted oak. Classical White Burgundy nose with noticeable oak, perhaps a bit too noticeable.
Palate: yellow apples, some citrus, prominent minerality, spices, some viscosity, high acidity, apply aftertaste with some grapefruit bitterness and spice notes.
Summary: the palate is definitely more finely nuanced than the nose, with a lot more minerality than the wine above. Definitely powerful for a basic Bourgogne Blanc (but on the other hand also more expensive than many other such wines). Could possibly gain from some cellaring, 88-89 p.
Here, I wouldn’t have minded to combine the nose of the Mâcon with the palate of the Boillot…
2014 Langhe Rosato, Josetta Saffirio
Piemonte, grape variety: Nebbiolo.
Medium pink colour.
Nose: candy-styled notes and wild strawberries, regular strawberries, and mixed fruit candy including raspberry gum drops. Accessible and a bit “simple” nose.
Palate: fruity attack, decent concentration of fruit, some viscosity, mineral notes that emerge mid-palate and then are replaced by an increasing bitterness that remain in the aftertaste.
Summary: good foody style and some conciliatory character mid-palate, between the simple nose and the bitter aftertaste, but not my style. 80 p? and then I feel rather generous in my scoring, due to the wine’s concentration and foody character.
2013 Château Routas Rouvière Rosé
Côteaux Varois en Provence, grape varieties: 45% Cinsault, 35% Grenache, and 20% Syrah.
Light pink colour.
Nose: rather fruity with wild strawberries, regular strabwberries, some citrus, and discrete minerality. A rather classical Provence rosé nose.
Palate: dry with wild strawberries, red apples, some citrus, minerality, good acidity and a fresh aftertaste with mineral and hints of foody bitterness.
Summary: pleasant and classical Provence rosé, although not a heavyweight, 87 p.
Nose: blackberries and dark cherries, violets, some liquorice, slightly smoky, and discrete pepper notes. Classical Crozes notes in the fruity and carefully oaked style. Palate: medium body with blackcurrants, barely medium concentrated fruit, decent acidity, some pepper, rather prominent tannins.
Summary: a bit in the lean direction with respect to the fruit, with a tougher palate than the nose indicates, would probably gain from some cellaring. 86 p
Domaine des Lises is run by Maxime Graillot, son of Alain Graillot. Compared to Graillot Senior, the wines of Maxime are usually a bit lighter, more elegant and “pure”, since he usually destems the grapes and be more careful with new oak.
2013 Jim Barry Lodge Hill Shiraz
Clare Valley, South Australia.
Nose: blackberries, black currants, some red berries, pepper, salty liquorice, well integrated oak, slightly flowery. Nose with some elegance, and indicates power but still elegance.
Palate: a bit more than medium bodied with blackberries, rather good concentration of fruit, a hint of sweetness of berries, some pepper, rather powerful tannins that are still embedded in the fruit, aftertaste with berries and tannins.
Summary: approachable now for those that are not scared of tannins, but could still gain from cellaring. 88 p.
Nose: elegant red berry-dominated nose with strawberries, red currants, a hint of orange zest and slightly flowery notes, discrete minerality, and spices.
Palate: medium body, fresh with red currants and some cranberries, good concentration of fruit, good acidity that contributes to the freshness, slightly spicy, rather mild and well embedded tannins, and an aftertaste of red currants and cranberries together with some tannin.
Summary: rather elegant and already nuanced, less alcohol feeling than in many Châteauneufs, pleasant drinkability, 90 p.
This is something of a Châteauneuf-du-Pape copy from the “Rhône Ranger” producer Bonny Doon. Cigare volant, “flying cigar”, is the French term for flying saucer. The reason for this choice of name is that the original appellation regulations of Châteauneuf-du-Pape included a rule that cigares volants weren’t allowed to land in the vineyards.
2012 Domaine de Villeneuve Les Vieilles Vignes
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône, grape varieties: 70% Grenache, 16% Mourvèdre, 8% Syrah, 4% Cinsault, and 2% Clairette.
Nose: red berry-dominated with strawberries and lingonberries and a hint of dark berries, spice notes with some herbs and some oak, slightly flowery.
Palate: a bit more than medium body, mostly fruity with lingonberries, spice notes including pepper, fresh acidity, some tannins, and a berry-dominated aftertaste with some tannins.
Summary: goes in the berry-dominated and fruity direction with a palate with fine balance, originating from the fresh acidity. Comes across as a bit more powerful than the previous wine, but neither here does the alcohol make itself too much reminded. 89-90 p.
Pleasant with a balanced Châteauneuf, and here I think that the vintage may have played a role. 2012 is a cool Rhône vintage, which means good acidity and better conditions for balanced and elegant southern Rhône wines.
2009 Brunello di Montalcino, Fattoria La Gerla
Tuscany, grape variety: Sangiovese.
Light to medium red colour with brick-coloured edge, lighter than the next wine.
Nose: red berries including lingonberries, sweet berry notes (that gives a slightly warm impression), spices, slightly developed notes with black tea, hints of leather, and slightly flowery notes.
Palate: red berries and lingonberries and cranberries, good acidity, some cranberry bitterness, some sweetness of berries, spice notes, medium tannins, aftertaste with berries together with spice notes and a hint of oak.
Summary: some hot vintage character but good balance, but well handled oak, i.e., they are hardly noticeable. Approachable now, can be cellared more by those who prefer developed notes, 89 p.
2010 Brunello di Montalcino, Casanova di Neri
Tuscany, grape variety Sangiovese.
Medium red colour, clear.
Nose: red berries including lingonberries, a hint of sweet berry notes, spices, and noticeable oak.
Palate: red berries including cranberries, rather noticeable cranberry bitterness, spices, prominent and slightly tough tannins, aftertaste with berries and noticeable tannins of which some seems to be oak tannins.
Summary: rather tough at present, could probably develop, 88(+) p?
Three red 2012s from Burgundy
These were the so-called extra wines that could be tasted at an extra cost. Two of them had been released some time ago, although this was a tasting of news.
2012 Volnay, Domaine Michel Lafarge
Nose: elegant with strawberries, orange zest, minerality, slightly flowery, spices, and discrete and well integrated notes of stalks and oak.
Palate: strawberries, noticeable minerality, high acidity with somewhat tart mid-palate and finish, some tannins, and a berry-dominated aftertaste with some tannins.
Summary: elegant but classical style although rather young, could develop with cellaring, 89(+) p.
All three wines originate from good smaller producers, but Lafarge is the highest regarded of these and features on many lists of the best producers of Burgundy. This reputation means that also a village Volnay from the producer is a bit more expensive than what such wines costed not too long ago. The wine style of Lafarge is usually described as traditional, which e.g. means that (some) stalks are included, and that the wines are not adapted to be easily accessible when young. At the same time, the basic style of Volnay is elegant and smooth, so the final result is not a “difficult” wine.
2o12 Nuits-Saint-Georges Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Robert Chevillon
Nose: berry-dominated and elegant nose with ripe strawberries, some orange zest, spice notes and well integrated oak, and slightly flowery. Slightly heavier nose than the previous wine.
Palate: strawberries, rather noticeable spice notes, good acidity, some minerality, rather prominent tannins, berry-dominated aftertaste with some tannins.
Summary: rather polished for a Nuits-Saint-Georges, but tougher than the 2010 (see below), could develop, 90 p.
By pure coincidence, I had uncorked a 2010 of the same wine in the comfort of my own home the previous day. According to my Cellartracker note, this was my impression of the wine:
2010 Nuits-Saint-Georges Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Robert Chevillon
Clear light red colour. Elegant nose with strawberries, some orange zest, a hint of stalky notes (i.e., a tiny bit green, but in a pleasant way), some spice, well handled oak, some flowery notes. Medium minus body with a lot of smoothness to it, notes of strawberries and cranberries, pronounced minerality, fine acidity, just a bit of spice (including pepper) and tannins, aftertaste with cranberries and mineral. Young but approachable now, developed with aeration som will surely develop with time in the cellar, 89-90(+) p.
This wine definitely shows an unusually elegant side of Nuits-Saint-Georges.
2012 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers Premier Cru, Marchand-Tawse
Nose: spicy impression with rather ripe cherries, mixed spices, hints of undergrowth, and well integrated oak. A notch more powerful and dark than the previous two 2012s.
Palate: ripe strawberries, some cherries, some hints of both sweet berries and some cranberry bitterness, minerality, good acidity, some tannins of a definitely smooth character, and a berry-dominated aftertaste with minerality.
Summary: clearly elegant, polished character, actually approachable now but could without doubt develop more, 91 (+) p.
Marchard-Tawse is a rather new producer under this name, and is a smaller négociant with some vineyards of their own. After having e.g. worked as winemaker at Vougeraie, in 2006 Pascal Marchand started a négociant business under his own name. In 2010 he paired with financier Morey Tawse, who made it possible to buy Domaine Maume (with 4 ha/10 acres) in Gevrey-Chambertin in 2011. The name was familiar, but this was the first wine from them I’ve tasted, and it was definitely a promising encounter!
Summing up the 2012s
These 2012s all show a style that I also connect with red Burgundies from the top vintage 2010, i.e., elegance, good fruit but not excessive maturity, and fresh acidity. Summing up my impressions, I still consider 2010 as slightly better, but today 2012s are likely to come by… I’ve liked the red 2012s from our first encounter, but my initial impressions was that they had slightly sweeter and more ripe fruit than the 2010s, i.e., that they were something in-between 2009 and 2010 in style (but perhaps not quite at the level of these vintages). Later impressions, including this tasting, have often been more in the 2010 direction when it comes to style.