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A tasting note: 2009 Hatzidakis Assyrtiko Cuvée No.15

 

I wanna start off by saying that I am no Greek geek, that is, i know very little about Greece and it’s viticulture and wines. In fact, I have never even been to Greece and the number of times I can remember tasting a Greek wine can be counted on less than the 10 fingers of my two hands, and maybe even on less than 5 fingers. This isn’t because I have chosen not to taste the wines of Greece, it is merely  due to the fact that in Norway, fewer than 10 examples are available (that i am aware of). Now that i am in Krakow, it seems that Greece may get a little more attention from me, or at least the wines of Hatzidakis.

Haridimos Hatzidakis founded the winery on the island of Santorini in 1996 and made his first wine in the following year. He has been organic right from the start, no doubt helped by the heat and the winds of the island.   A unique bush training system (koulara) is used on Santorini to help protect the growing grapes from the fierce winds and heat that are native here. The vines are woven into “baskets” with the grapes facing towards the inside, thus providing shelter.  Fortunately, Santorini is immune to phylloxera due to it’s volcanic soils which contain no clay, which is necessary for the parasite to survive. Therefore, many of the vine roots growing on Santorini are 100’s of years old, allowing them to grow deep into the soils where they can find nutrients and water.

The Assyrtiko Cuvée no. 15 is 100% Assyrtiko, an indigenous grape of Greece, and is known for it’s minerality and acidity (even if the grape is very ripe).   The wine is made from a mixture of (very) old and young vines, where the upper part of the vine is about 15 years old, but the underground root system can be anywhere between 100-400 years of age.  The grape skins are quickly separated from the juice and the wine is allowed to ferment with its native yeasts. It’s then matured on the lees in tank  for 4 months.  Very little SO2 is added, with the total at bottling being between 12 & 20 mg/l.  This wine is quite rare and is not made in every vintage. In 2009, about 200 cases were made.

Date tasted:  March 25th, 2012 (and another bottle a few days later)

Appearance:  Deep yellow hay-like color. Very vibrant and a bit turbid.

Nose: like crushed vitamin c, or aspirin. Under ripe mango, but not green. Honey and mineral notes lift the wine nicely.

Palate: Mineral and very salty. Under ripe mango again on the palate with a slight bitter after-taste. An extremely long finish and very concentrated. Alcohol sticks a bit, but i credit this to the wine’s youth.

If all Greek wines tasted like this, than I have been missing out.  But I know that they don’t and that  this is something special because the few Greek wines I have tasted were nothing like this. A wine to enjoy today or store (but why do that)

 

 

* I would like to thank Tomasz Kurzeja and Konstantinos Lazarakis MW for their very helpful information.

*This post was written especially for Winicjatywa and translated to Polish language here

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Greece, natural wine (100% living wine), Santorini

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A tasting note: 2002 Le Due Terre Schioppettino Magnum

I have to admit that I feel right at home in Krakow, even though some would say that it has a lot to learn from it’s more wine-oriented bigger brother, Warsaw.

In fact, one reason that I feel right at home here in Krakow is because it reminds me so much of Bergen, Norway where I now work (and lived for 8 years). No, the architecture is not the same (at all), the people are certainly not similar and the weather back in Bergen is not even remotely close to the glorious weather (by comparison) we have here in Krakow.

What is so similar to me is that Bergen has always crouched in the shadow of the country’s capital, Oslo. Oslo is where anything wine happens. Fairs, events, dinners, winemaker visits and it’s home to the majority of Norwegian wine importers. There is always an inherent wine struggle in Bergen, and I feel that the Krakow-Warsaw scenario is much the same.

But things are looking up in Krakow as I find it much easier as time goes by to find wine that I can actually consume, so thank you!

Le Due Terre is a producer I know little about except that the producer is from Friuli in the North Eastern tip of Italy and that they produce low-intervention wines – the sort of wines I love to drink. I had tasted their wines on less than 5 occassions, so when we were presented with a magnum of Schioppettino («the little fire cracker» in Italian), we paid no notice to the 2002 vintage stamped on the front label. Schioppettino is a grape I have come to love due to it’s extreme freshness and peppary mouthfeel, so I was looking forward to this double-sized dose! Here’s my brief tasting note:

Date Tasted: March 3rd, 2012 20:30

Appearance: Still youthful with barely a hint of obseravable age

Nose: Again youthful. Barolo-esque with hints of forest leaves and sour cherries.

Palate: Elegant, focused, light and long. Inky. Bitter almonds. The very delicate green hints (perhaps a vintage trait) help to actually lift the wine giving it added freshness. With some time in the glass, my thoughts of Barolo drift away as the wine starts to resemle a wine from Cornas, with it’s elegant focus, light pepper hints and loads of acidity.

This is overall a very elegant and delightful wine with tons of drinkability, in fact I believe that the magnum disapperared within an hour.

*This post was written especially for Winicjatywa and translated to Polish language here

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy, organic wine

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Rosantico

The Moscato Rosa vine has an ancient  history dating back to the  Austro-Hungarian Empire here in Friuli, hence the clever name on the label. Fulvio Bressan’s family have always had this small (1 HA) vineyard, and Fulvio’s father used to make a sweet wine from the vine, the traditional vinification method for this grape.  A rather rich history for this rather difficult little vineyard.

The vineyard had an extremely low yield of about 1500 liters in 2009 for the 1 HA, that’s about 2000 bottles. And that was in a good year.  Bressan picks the grapes late to insure ripeness, which is tricky since this grape has a high level of “colatura” or risk of falling off the vine when ripe. But still he waits to pick the grapes late so that they are dry like sultana’s, adding to the risk that botrytis cinerea (noble rot) will set in, which is not desired here.  Add these risks together and you  have the elements of total vintage loss, which is what happened  in the previous 7 vintages! Also no wine was made in 2010 and the 2011 is still in tank fermenting

After the manual harvest, the grapes were pressed and de-stalked. Maceration was for 3 days, fermentation was spontaneous thanks to the ambient yeasts present on the bunches. Alcoholic fermentation lasted for about 4 weeks, followed by an induced (by a small increase in temperature) malolactic fermentation.  The wine was then racked and left on the fine lees in stainless steel for two years, giving the grape the chance to show its elegance and personality. The wine was then bottled without filtration. The wine then continued for a bit longer for some bottle maturation.  Total alcohol is 13.20% and total acidity is a fresh 6,38 g/l.

Click here for some nerdy information for those who care.

Date tasted: March 3rd, 2012 18:30

Appearance:  Normally I would say “see the photos”, but since the photos i took were in a dimly-lit place, I will try and describe the color. It has more of a light-reddish-copperish color, than of a pure rosé like we might see from southern France. Like a pure extraction of fruit juice. Intriguing for sure. See photo 😉

Nose:  Wild fruits (berries) and rose pedals, very intense. Hints of floral soap, yes soap.

Palate:  Dry. Important to emphasize dry, as in none or very little residual sugar. Texture of a liquor, with the alcohol a bit noticeable but not enough to throw the wine out of balance. I think this aspect of the wine will integrate nicely in the coming years adding to its complexity. Super length and acidity giving this syrupy wine lots of freshness. Really very liquor-like in the texture. Like a syrup made of fresh berries.  The after taste had mild yeasty hints, which I liked.

Although enjoyable now, will be enjoyable for years to come for sure. Goodbye today’s rosé and hello rosé for tomorrow!

 

Category: 1 WINE, 2 PRODUCER PROFILE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Bressan Mastri Vinai- Friuili-Venezia Giulia, Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy, natural wine (100% living wine)

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A tasting note: 2009 Jean-Pierre Robinot Concerto d'Oniss

 

Of the many many many wines I have tasted over the years, Jean-Pierre produces some of the most vinous wines I have ever had the satisfaction of tasting.  So, to summarize even before I begin this tasting note, this wine is super-vinous. What do I mean by that? When you pour the wine, there are two things you notice right away: the beautiful light pomegranate color and the way the wine pours from the bottle. It pours like you are pouring a light oil. Even when you swirl the glass, it seems as though you have a glass of pomegranate-colored oil. It appears thicker than other wines.  And nothing has been added to this wine to make it this way. It’s just great quality grapes that have been squeezed just right.  So, why this oily appearance and texture? That my friend is what we call structure and concentration that you can not only see, but that you can taste.

The labels? Well, Jean-Paul has either taken the photo or painted the picture himself to create his labels. All of his labels are unique and each wine and vintage has a different label. They are as unique as his wines.The Concerto d’Oniss is his base wine and is made from 100% Pinea d’Aunis grown in the Loire Valley (mostly around Tours, Anjou & Saumur) as naturally as possible, avoiding ALL treatments to the vines.  A grape dating back to the Medieval Times, not many producers grow this grape thanks to the ever-increasing demand for more well-known varieties. Thankfully, there are a small handful of producers who still work with this grape. I have tasted the wines from 4 or 5 different producers working with this grape and have noticed certain common characteristics: lightish red color, lowish alcohol, aromas and scents of grapefruit, light pepper & incense, & small red berries.

After manually harvesting these small, dark grapes, whole clusters were dropped into fiberglass tanks without any additions whatsoever, at any point.  No temperature control means partial carbonic maceration for the first few days.  Maceration went on for about 3 months then the wine was bottled without fining or filtering.

After tasting this wine many times and in various vintages, I’m finally writing about it.

Date tasted:  Sunday February 26th, 2012 18:30

Appearance:  viscous viscous viscous! See photo for color

Nose:  grapefruit, incense, pepper, little red berries, forrest floor with some faint reductive hints.  Hints of wild strawberries. Hints of cough syrup, the oily kind that leaves a slightly bitter smell and taste. Even looks like cough syrup

Palate:  grapefruit, smooth tannins, but more grippy than I remember. Great acidity, but smooth and absolutely drinkable. Red cranberries. Very rustic and again the oily exture like all of his wines. Slighty metallic, which I have not found on any previous bottles. Wild strawberries, but without the sugar. Pomegranate.

There is a certain weight to this wine that I find on all of Robinot’s wine’s. They seem particularly viscous, oily and heavy, but light on their feet at the same time (strange but true). The concentration and structure of this wine, of his wines, are among the best I have tasted in the natural wine world.   Texture is a bit like a dessert wine minus the sugar

Monday February 27th, 18:30

Yes, yes I did leave some in the bottle for tonight. Crazy, but I am super happy I did

Appearance:  Not much change that I could see, but perhaps a tad darker

Nose:  More aromas of incense and pepper.  Deeper fruit (still red).

Palate:  right when the wine hits the mouth, it’s that oily texture again. Impressive. A salty impact I didn’t get yesterday. Also a depth I didn’t get yesterday.  A certain sweet aftertaste I can only compare to sour fruit that ends on a sweet note giving them that perfect balance.  medium length and still as refreshing as yesterday. Softer tannins today.

I am reminded of why this has always been one of my favorite wines. it is unique, the texture is magnificent, it’s fresh, and it’s drinkable.  I just noticed that nowhere in this tasting note have I mentioned the alcohol, and that is because it so not noticeable that it isn’t even an issue. At 12% you wouldn’t expect it to be, but i have tasted many wines where even low alcohol can put a wine out of balance

Some final words to summarize the wine: structure, concentration, balance, drinkablity.

 

 

 

 

 

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, France, Jasnières, Loire, natural wine (100% living wine)

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A tasting note: 2008 Laureano Serres Montagut Blanc Terme de Guiu

Although up to now I have only tasted the wines of Laureano Serres a dozen times (at most), his now extinct Vinyes Arrencades Blanc 2008 was in my top 9 favorite wines list that I published two years ago. It was a wine Laureano made only 500 bottles of from an almost 100 year-old Macabeo vineyard. Unfortunately, he no longer makes this wine because the vines were attacked by mildew rendering the vine’s ability to photosynthesize all but destroyed. We were lucky to receive 24 bottles at Jacob’s. The wine was a cloudy yellow with deep fruit and minerals, and with every sip, evolving (I have one bottle left in my cellar which will give birth to a full tasting note sometime in the future).

That was the only wine I had as a reference to the wines of Laureano. You can imagine my anticipation when I sent a friend to go visit him and she came home with a bottle of his 2008 Blanc Terme de Guiu for me! I waited almost a year, and finally cracked the bottle. On Laureano’s website, he gives very detailed information about his wines, but I neglected to read it. I sometimes prefer to taste something before knowing too much about it. So, you can imagine my surprise when i pulled the cork and started to pour. Orange! Now, i didn’t expect that! My anticipation level just shot through the roof, I must admit.

Here is some nerdy stuff about the wine:

The grapes come from Terme de Guiu, a small rural property (finca) located in Vilalba dels Arcs (Terra Alta) municipality in Tarragona (Catalunya). The vines are approximately 25 years of age.

The south-southeast facing vineyard is cultivated traditionally and naturally. The soil is Clayey-calcareous.

Grape mix is approximately 94% Macabeo 5% Granacha blanca & 1% Colombard. Yield is approximately 45 hl/ha (2.7 kg/vine). ‘The wine is vinified in inox (steel) in an oxidative style (not reductive). 1000 bottles produced.

And more details:

Vineyard naturally grown without chemical fertilizers. Sulfur treatments.
Harvested by hand. Maceration with the skins for 2 nights (Vaslin horizontal press), fermentation with its own yeast for about 14 days, rests in stainless steel without racking in 2009. During this whole process, no outside yeast has been used nor have sulfites been added for conservation, or any other product. Just grapes. (this alone does not make a great wine, but it is important in my opinion to produce a great wine).

Analysis:

Alcohol 13.5%

Total Acid 5.0 g/l

Volatile Acid 0.55 g/l

Total sulfur 7 mg/l

Ok.. on to the good stuff

Date tasted: February 6th, 2012 17:15

Appearance: as i mentioned, i expected a cloudy yellow wine, and in fact it was pumpkin-colored and cloudy 🙂 see photos.

Nose: pumpkin (with spices, not vegetal), hay, fennel with hints of mineral. No oak. thank you.

Palate: Deep deep deep. Refreshing. Great acid. Alcohol is refreshing. Pumpkin (not vegetal, rather aromatic like pumpkin pie). Hay. Fennel on the finish. Structured and deep. Serious yet feminine tannins. Looooong

The best way to sum this wine up is that there is no interference in the wine. No sticky edges. No stinging acid or alcohol. Tannic, but not too. Nothing prevents this wine from going doing easily, except that the bottle was emptied quite rapidly. Absolutely fresh and drinkable. Not to be mistaken for thin. This wine is not thin, rather it is perfectly balanced and it left us wishing we had more. This wine had perfectly juicy, ripe acidity which I am starting to realize is one of the most important factors rendering a wine drinkable, refreshing and delicious. Ripe acidity is perhaps also one of the hardest wine components to get right I have noticed.

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, natural wine (100% living wine), orange wine, Spain, Tarragona

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A tasting note: 2001 Domaine Valette Mâcon-Chaintré V.V. Magnum

Hailing from the southern reaches of the Burgundy wine region in France, one can often expect low-acid ripe Chardonnay’s, plenty of oak, and doses of sulfur to make the eyes and nose sting.  This wine seemed to have escaped these cliché’s nicely. For one, the wine was not lacking acidity, and at 10 years of age, this is not an everyday feat. Secondly, although there was some oak use, it was used judicially and had integrated quite nicely in this wine. Thirdly, no stinging of the eyes and nose, a great indication that sulfur was used in very low doses.

I don’t know much about this producer, nor could I find much out utilizing my usual information-gathering tactics.  Philippe Valette is well-known for working naturally, and that’s about all I could gather. You could read a bit more here.

Date tasted: January 11th, 2012 at 21:15

I don’t mind waxed bottle tops, in fact I rather love them. They signal to me that something interesting awaits me under that cork. Often used on the tops of natural wines, my palate immediately starts to salivate. Not unlike Pavlov’s dog hearing that bell jingling. And, let’s face it, perhaps it helps keep unwanted oxygen out of the bottle. No? However, this wax was not soft and easy to remove. It had hardened into something like cement which I had to chip away into little pieces to reveal the cork. But once I got to the cork and removed it, this is what I found:

Appearance:  Golden-yellow color, age not immediately evident on this 10 year old

Nose:  Jura-like nose, first thoughts were: What, Tissot? But, a little more delicate. Mineral. I wasn’t immediately sure whether this wine was oxidizized (either from age or wine-making) or if those yeasty-like, “flor-like” notes were from wood. Some Burgundy wines, especially the whites, seemed to go through some growing pains in the late 80’s and early 90’s, with some wines showing some premature oxidation.  Let’s give this magnum some time…

Palate:  Dry with  refreshing acidity. Balanced and long. Interesting at first sips, the wine quickly started to head in the wrong direction. It seemed to start closing and masking the fruit. Even showing some signs of oxidation on the palate.  Have we waited too long to drink this wine? Did we open it too soon? Burgundy is always challenging.

It sooned fooled me into thinking that the wine had hit its prime a few years earlier. Is this possible? Slipping so quickly? A magnum!

 

But…as more time passed, the wine started to change. Those funky oxidized aromas that this wine hid behind, began to lift. Fruit began to shine and the Chardonnay character really started to come thru. The wine became more focused, the acid more lively. Good thing this was a magnum….it gave us enough wine to allow these changes to come around before the wine was completely drunk up.

One thing to note is that very often the Chardonnay’s from the Mâcon can be quite oily, fat and rich. The only thing this magnum had in common with those charcteristics was the oiliness. It had great texture, mouth feel, concentration and structure.. what else? It wasn’t a fat wine, nor was it rich, and I am grateful for this actually.

And yet again,  Burgundy has challenged us, fooled us, played with us. When we reached the end of the bottle, it left us  wanting more just so that we could continue to see the evolution that unfolded in our glasses. A wine I would gladly drink again

 

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Burgundy, France, Mâcon-Chaintré, natural wine (just about)

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A tasting note: 2009 Gaëlle Berriau "Flon Flon"!

Finally! I have been tasting, drinking and enjoying this wine for a year now ever since Patrick Desplats (Domaine Griottes) and his girlfriend Gaëlle came up to Jacob’s Bar & Kjøkken for a visit. I must have helped consume 30 bottles, not to mention that it was the welcome drink for guests at my wedding.  Flon Flon and I are close friends by now

One of the most enjoyable sparklers I have ever tasted, and everyone else who has tasted it agrees.

A wine from the Anjou area of the Loire Valley made with organic Chenin Blanc grapes, spontaneously fermented without any additions. The wine was bottled (again without additions) before fermentation could finish it’s process of eliminating the grape sugar.  As fermentation continued in the bottle, sugar was slowly digested producing carbon dioxide (bubbles!) and perhaps a half a degree more of alcohol. This is the natural way to produce bubbles in a bottle. The resulting sediment was not removed. The wine was left as it was. I am happy about that 🙂

Over the last year the wine has improved. My first experiences with the wine suggested that there was still some residual sugar which today has diminished a bit. Mother nature at work. The wine today is one of the most expressive examples of Chenin Blanc  I have ever tasted. Proof that healthy ripe grapes, a lot of know how (thanks to Patrick’s help I’m sure), a lot of patience and hard work can pay off.

One thing I have to mention here is the label. Now, I personally love the labels found on the bottles of natural wine. They sort of represent the anti-label. Often poking  fun at conventional assumptions of what a wine label should look like.  Gaëlle uses the same label for all of her wines, and I love it! I also love Patrick’s Domaine Griottes labels (see label detail on the right). Now to the discerning eye, there is something else about the label(s) that I love.  There is no mention anywhere that the wine(s) contain sulfites, and you won’t find this on the back labels either because there are no back labels. This is because according to EU labeling laws, you don’t need to write that a wine contains sulfites on the label if the wine has less than 10 mg of sulfur at time of bottling. Something that is no easy feat. It takes years of hard work, dedication and sleepless night for sure.

Ok, say no more, time for my tasting notes on the Flon Flon. i don’t know how many bottles were produced of this wine, but I am sure they number less than 1,000

Date Tasted:  January 11th, 2012 19:30 (and many many times before this night)

Appearance:  Lot’s of sediment floating in the glass. Dark colored sediment. Yellowish. Click on the photo and see for yourself

Nose:  Sweet lemons and citrus aromas with some hints, and only hints, of mild caramel (like those milky caramels we used to chew on as a kid ). But without being overly sweet on the nose. Mineral undertones.

On the palate, there is some residual sugar, but it is much less sweet and/or seemingly sweet than it was the first time I tasted the wine a  year ago. Great, ripe acidity. Most would place the acid at only a mid level, but if you pay close attention, the acidity is noticeably high and refreshing,  never harsh or abrasive. Absolutely refreshing. The bubbles are firm enought to appease the sparkling wine drinker, but at the same time integrated and not overbearing. A nice long finish. Very balanced, very drinkable.

The only drawback I can think of about the Flon Flon is that I only have one bottle left.

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Anjou, France, Loire, natural wine (100% living wine)

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A (quick) tasting note: 2008 Sutor Pinot Noir

Ah… Slovenian wine. Although you can certainly find Slovenia on a map, I hope to see it more and more visible on wine maps. This smallish country of about 2,000,000 is really producing some interesting, if not great wines. Some of my favorites in fact. Refreshing reds &  skin-macerated whites (aka orange wines), many of which practice low-intervention farming and wine-making.

Thank you Wikipedia for the map

Sutor’s farm is located in the Vipava Valley of the Primorska region.  You can read more about Sutor on Wojciech Bońkowski’s blog.

The Sutor website doesn’t even mention the production of a Pinot Noir, but with a bit of research I was able to find out that the wine has been fermented and macerated with de-stemmed whole Pinot Noir berries in Stainless steel, then transferred to mature for one year in barrels.

Date tasted: Friday the 13th of January 2012

Appearance: As it poured into the glass, it inspired confidence. Not having tasted, or remembering tasting, the wines of Sutor, I didn’t know what to expect from this Pinot Noir. Will it be dark and extracted like you often see  in the new world or in some modern Pinot Noir’s coming out of Burgundy today? In fact, no it wasn’t. What poured delicately out of the bottle and into our glasses was a cranberry-red, non-opaque wine that I recognized as the color of Pinot Noir – the sort of Pinot Noir I studied and drank for years. Holding my fingers behind the glass of wine, they were easy to see.  I now looked forward to my first sniffs…

Nose: Extremely fresh with no intrusions from the oak. First thoughts were of Burgundy or even of a Beaujolais Morgon. Light red fruit like cranberries, delicate raspberries and some hints of herbs and earth. Very clean on the nose without any burning sulfur notes. Very precise and focused. Enticing while at the same time, not deep.

Palate: Same on the palate. Fresh, red-fruit driven wine with great acidity. Clean and delicate. Not terribly complex, but quite honest and drinkable.  As the wine opened up, what appeared to be overly-sweet  fruit and hints of oak became a bit more dominant and the wine lost a bit of its appeal to me. Was the wine overripe? Was it unbalanced? I have to be honest, the wine perplexed me a bit.  We couldn’t finish the bottle..

The next day I began to think about this tasting experience…and then it hit me. Although the wine was not very complex or deep, those overly sweet notes and hints of oak that appeared after the wine sat open must of been indicators that the wine needed perhaps a few more years of bottle maturing? Although the fruit became  too sweet and dominant, the more I reflected on it, the more I realize that the fruit was not overripe, but young and perhaps a little too expressive, dominant and maybe even a bit vulgar. Will the fruit calm down and integrate over the next 3-5 years? I would suggest so…and i would be happy to drink another bottle

 

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, organic wine, Slovenia, Vipava

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A (quick) tasting note: 2008 Jean-François Ganevat Chardonnay Cuvée Florine

The Jura. One of my favorite areas of wine production in France. Just head West towards Switzerland from Northern Burgundy and you’ll get there.  Exciting reds made from the Poulsard grape and zingy whites made from the Savagnin, and you’ll also find the classics – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the grape tasted here. Except, this is not the same “Chardonnay” you find in Burgundy. Rather, a Jura-type Chardonnay which gives smaller yields.  You can read more about Biodynamic producer Ganevat from this very informative post.

Date Tasted:  November 18, 2011 22:00

Appearance: Rich golden yellow, click on photo

Nose: “Orangina” (orange soda – very strange), minerals. Not a very open and giving wine right away – especially following the Pierre Frick Cremant.  More the silent, elegant type. Restrained.

Palate: Extremely vinous, as vinous as a wine can get without adding something to get it that way. It spent 24 months in 500 liter barrels with the lees. Could lend to the vinousity. A very well integrated 12,5% alcohol – barely felt it. Not a very complex wine and not a very long finish. The best this wine offers is it’s concentration and texture.

A little too “buttery” and rich for my palate, but the structure, concentration and vinousity of this wine are major pluses. I think that many would enjoy this wine because of the mouth feel.  A great wine, but not a wine I would search out for myself. However, it might be interesting to taste an older vintage. Anyone?

 

 

 

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, biodynamic wine, France, Jura, Rotalier

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A tasting note: 2009 Pierre Frick Crémant Zéro Sulfites ajoutés

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a fan of Pierre Frick’s wines. I am sure the wines are good (in fact, positive they are good), and that they are made with quality, organically grown grapes, but they just don’t speak to me.  In fact, I have an issue with the wines of Alsace in general. Is it their flowery style I don’t like or their super-fruity expressions, some with residual sugar, that I find hard to gulp?  I have not tasted all the wines of Frick, have you seen how many different bottles of wine he produces?!

 

Anyway, on to this wine. A Crémant which is supposed to be one of the favorite of Frick’s wines according to many reliable sources – so I was looking forward to tasting it.  Made in the traditional Champenois method, then disgorged and dosed (upwards of Champagne Brut levels – I can only assume based on my tasting), this reasonably priced sparkler (about 55 Polish Zloty) is perhaps the most interesting sparkling wine available in Poland today.   That’s about all I can tell you about the wine because trying to find out any of the other details about it didn’t prove easy. i am not even 100% sure about the grape!  Pinot Auxerrois, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, or a combination of the three? One reliable source was confident that it was 100% Pinot Blanc. Ok, I’ll believe that.

Date Tasted:  November 18th, 22:00

Nose: Quince apple jam, semi-dried (not oxidized) yellow apples, persimmons, carrots (spiced, as in carrot cake),  and other sweet notes like melon, kiwi. Exotic but not tropical. Very complex indeed, very. I could have spent the whole night just smelling the wine, but I got thirsty 😉

Palate: Very fruity with some residual sugar, not sure how much, but enough to give this wine a semi-sweet edge.  Pecan pie (caramelized pecan’s for those who have not tasted the pie version). Great acid with a super long and complex finish. Would be great with not too sweet dessert cakes and some semi mature cheeses.

A very complex wine that has a lot going on and so many aromas and flavors. So much going on that some might even say the wine was unfocused. I would say, rather, that the wine was entertaining and kept me coming back to the glass to see what i would find next.  It would an interesting wine  to try again in 3-5 years. Or, the hell with it. Drink it now!

Who knows, perhaps I am becoming a believer….

Category: 1 WINE, Alsace, France, natural wine (100% living wine), Pfaffenheim

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About
Vinosseur is the company name of sommelier Joseph R. Di Blasi. Vinosseur.com is his web page where he writes about wine, food, restaurants and other gastronomic experiences.

Joseph has a special place in his heart for quality wines from the old world, especially France & Italy, with a strong focus on Organic, Biodynamic and Natural wines.

Joseph grew up in Italy and California, but left The States in 2002 and now resides in Poland.

Get in touch

Joseph would love to hear from you! You can contact him by email at vinosseur@gmail.com