Saturday, March 17, 2012

Chateauneuf du Pape Domaine Marcoux 2005

Had this at local French restaurant--2 blocks from apt in Schoneberg-- with high rating on Tripadvisor, La Cocotte. Good food and service, nice atmosphere. Thought wine (69 Euros) was the best on the menu (outside of a couple champagnes). Cheapest price in Germany from a store is $56 so this wine is reasonably priced at the restaurant. Found it complex, full of intriguing aromas that were hard to identify. Cherry and flowery aromas with spice typical of a CdP. On palate, very round even though plenty of acid shows up on finish and tannins soft, again not esp noticeable till finish; i.e. it's moving toward maturity. I liked it a lot and think it'll be as good or better tomorrow. 92+. I was glad to find out Parker's rating almost identical to mine, that is, an excellent but not superb CdP. I was surprised this has 80% grenache--I still have trouble identifying grenache when it comes from CdP rather than US, Australia or Spain.

Parker: 93 Points. 2005 was a fabulous year for Marcoux, and the 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape (80% Grenache and 20% Syrah and Cinsault) boasts a dark plum/purple color along with beautiful bouquet filled with scents of flowers, truffles, roasted meats, blueberries, black raspberries, and licorice. This opulent, intense wine possesses heady alcohol as well as a sweet, soft, full-bodied, moderately tannic finish. This beauty is one of the finest traditional cuvees made over the last decade. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020+.

Tanzer: 2005 Domaine de Marcoux Chateauneuf du Pape. 92 points. ($74). Fresh, full-blown strawberry and raspberry aromas are complemented by fresh lavender and baking spices. A smoothly textured midweight, offering sweet red fruit flavors and gentle mineral lift. The round, supple character will allow for early drinking pleasure.

Monday, March 12, 2012

2005 clos de l'Obac 2005 Priorat.

Black cherry, spearmint, pine forest, flowery. Dark color, silky on palate with soft tannins. Early stage of maturity I'd say with 6-8 yrs or more left. Seems more Grenache than anything else but also syrah. Maybe Cabernet supplies mint? 93+. Parker gives it much longer life than me. Hope he's right. 35 euros from store in Belgium shipped to me in great container to Berlin. More like $70 in USA. I love the big discount on Spanish and Italian wines here in Europe. Not so much French I guess because of global mkt for Bordeaux. With air I'm getting more of the smoky scorched earth overtone mentioned by Parker.

Update Thursday drinking better than before 3 full days After opening. Wonderful strong spices minty plum cherry fruit with anise undertone. 94+ today...why I love Priorat.

Parker 93:
The 2005 Clos de L’Obac is 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Garnacha, and the balance Syrah, Carinena, and Merlot. The wine was aged for 14 months in new French oak and bottled unfiltered. More structured and expressive than its sibling, the nose delivers smoke, slate, scorched earth, black cherry, and blueberry. Plush and layered, the wine has excellent length and 6-8 years of cellaring potential. It will be at its best from 2013 to 2025.

Tanzer 94 pts
2005 Costers del Siurana Clos de L'Obac Priorat
($94; the same blend as the Miserere) Deep ruby. Ripe cherry and blackcurrant aromas are complicated by cured tobacco, iron and fresh flowers. Vanilla and baking spices come up with air and carry onto the palate, which offers sweet red and dark berry flavors and a velvety texture. Leaves sweet blackberry and boysenberry behind on the long, seamless finish. Extremely alluring wine that is surprisingly accessible already.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

2006 Il Marroneto Brunello di Montalcino

Enjoyed this wine with new colleague Barbara Pfetsch of Free University-Berlin, and Francie, at the excellent Il Calice on Walter Benjaminplatz last night. (Walter Benjamin being a hero among left-leaning social theorists, this is an appropriate venue indeed.) This is the first Brunello I've had in a while and I'd forgotten how distinctive this wine's profile is. You can't mistake it for a cabernet or a grenache. The earthy quality, along with lavender, black cherry and strawberry, are distinctively Brunello and I suppose a mark of the terroir in Tuscany where the Sangiovese is called Brunello (and maybe there is something about the particular clone of sangiovese they use there). Although the wine was well short of maturity, it opened up nicely with airing. There will be more nuances in a couple years. The tannins were soft and the acid sturdy enough to support further aging. I'd think it will be markedly better in 2014-15 and be good till 2020. 92+

Parker says:

May 2011 Antonio Galloni 94+ Drink: 2016 - 2026 $64 (64)
The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino offers up freshly cut flowers, black cherries, minerals, new leather and menthol in a polished, totally vibrant style that is highly appealing. Over time, the wine’s inner sweetness emerges, hinting at what is in store over the coming years. Still quite firm, the estate’s Brunello will need a few years in the cellar. It will appeal most to readers who like firm, ageworthy wines. This finish impresses for its focus and overall purity. Smoke, underbrush, tar and a host of other aromas and flavors add complexity on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026.

Tanzer: 91
Good full medium red. Red berries, rose petal, lavender and a whiff of gingerbread on the nose. Juicy, sweet and savory, with lovely intensity and grip. Harmonious acidity energizes the mid-palate and gives definition and cut to the wine's dark berry and spice flavors. Not a silky style but penetrating, firmly tannic, long and built to age. Broad on the back but a bit youthfully tough today and in need of at least several years of cellaring.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bodegas Cerenas Evohe Old Vine Grenache 2009

Available from one of the 4 or 5 small local wine stores, each specializing in a specific wine--this one is a Rioja specialist with whom I've spoken at length, a passionate devotee. Walked by his store, about 2 blocks from our Berlin Apt across from Kleistpark, and saw a circular for a 7 Euro bottle of Grenache that earned 92 points from the Penin guide to Spanish wines. So I just opened a bottle. It's very very good and I will buy a case for just 70 Euros, making this about $7/bottle. It's a hedonistic fruity Grenache, not deep and profound but a perfect daily red wine with blueberry/strawberry/blackberry aroma and flavor, no tannin and just a touch of acid.