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Showing posts from December, 2009

Champagne for New Years Eve

Champagne is made from three different grapes: Chardonnay (white grape as found in Chablis), Pinot Noir (red grape as found in Burgundy) and Pinot Meunier. Different champagne houses mixes these grapes differently, but a Blanc de Blancs Champagne is just made from Chardonnay. Below follows a list of Champagne houses that normally provides good value for money: From the Reims area: Krug  (luxury stuff and very smooth for those with lots of money) Louis Roederer  (Blanc de blancs & vintage especially) Taittinger  (especially the vintage ones) Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin (always reliable and affordable) Henriot (lovely Chardonnay driven Champagne and 1998 splendid and reasonable) Ruinart   (The Blancs de Blancs ideal crispy mineral driven aperitif) Pommery (The Brut has much improved) Alain Thienot (Smaller producer with high quality price ratio) Egly-Ouriet (one of the finest Blanc de Noirs, red grape only) From Ay and Vallee de la Marne Bollinger  (Special Cuvee is always fantastic

Volnay 2006 - Nicolas Potel

Still on the Burgundy track, wine from another upcoming producer in the glass last evening - Nicolas Potel. Beautiful red colour with a somewhat closed nose of raspberries, mineral and oak. The taste is silky velvety like most Volnays, but the aftertaste was a bit too acidic compared to the other Burgundies recently tasted. Based on that its difficult to give the same high score as for the Chambolle and Beaune 1er cru, but a solid good wine it is respecting the terroir of Volnay. It is also not as good as the Volnay we had at restaurant Maison Blanche in Paris beginning of December which was more even more feminine. Due to the wintery conditions across most Europe right now I enclose a picture from Burgundy covered in snow. Hard to believe that this could be the home of great red and white wines! Volnay 2006 Vielles Vignes by Nicolas Potel ca 35€ or 300 NOK a P or around low 17 score.

Merry Xmas!!!!

Its Xmas! Norway is covered in snow. The fireplace is warm and cosy. Its time for presents and Xmas songs. Foie gras , rib of lamb, Xmas pudding etc etc. and of course something nice to drink. Festive seasons cry out for champagne and this year our precious euros were spent on a Dom Perignon 2000. Groovy packaging, bottle and a tiny brochure. Small cute bobbles in the glass, but then what? Nothing special I am afraid. It could have been any other multi thousand bottling from any other big champagne house. Dont get me wrong, it was not bad but compared to the 1996 and 1990 stuck in my memory it was a big disappointment. Gone was the big body, nutty and toasty smell and taste, left was an acidic mineral taste that was nothing special, nothing worth paying 100€ for. I rather buy three bottles of the Henriot 1998 instead, much better quality and one third of the price. What they also manage to write on their web page is stunning. The 2000 vintage from Dom is a disaster I believe:

Vosne- Romanee 2004 by Robert Arnoux

This tiny village in Burgundy is the home to some of the world's truly great red wines. Vosne Romanee has only 460 habitants, but six grand cru appelations. These six grand cru are probably some of the most famous and expensive wines in the world. So we tried out a village wine from Vosne Romanee by Robert Arnoux. The 2004 vintage is not as good as the 2005, but more reasonable. The wine had a beautiful medium red colour with discrete smell of dark fruit and some smoke. The taste was wonderfully silky solid long and velvety, a real experience. The tannins were soft, but firm and well integrated with the acidity. It could keep easily for 5 more years. Someone said there are no ordinary wines from Vosne Romanee, based on this experience I guess he was right. Vosne Romanee 2004 Robert Arnoux, ca 40€ or 350 NOK,  P+ (just wonderful) 

Beaune 1 er cru - Boucherottes 2005 by Anne Gros

Anne Gros is quite a new producer in Burgundy, but already now her quality wines speak for itself. In search for good Burgundy wines at not too crazy prices, the red from Beaune was tried. The cru of Boucherottes is very close to Pommard (with heavier Burgundy wines). the wine was medium dark red with a somewhat discrete smell of dark fruits (probably needs time to open). The taste was pure clean wonderfully complex and solid with lots of fruit and soft tannins. Just perfect with lots of cellaring potential. Lovely stuff! Great pinot Noir..... Anne Gros Beaune 1er cru - Boucherottes 2005 at around 30€ a definite P+ Anne Gros   (dont be confused by the fact that this wine does not appear on her list, it does exists, believe me....)

Chambolle Musigny 2006 by Patrice Rion

I am still in Burgundy mood, which is a very expensive mood to be in wherever you live but especially when stuck in Norway. Luckily the selection is quite good and Friday my eyes landed on a Chambolle Musigny 2006 by Patrice Rion. Patrice Rion is a small bio-dynamically family run winery in Nuits St George and was created in 1990. According to what I was told previous weekend in Paris, Volnay and the Chambolle are the two most elegant and seductive wines from Burgundy. The wine is not unlike a Beaune Premier cru with  a medium dark red colour but perhaps slightly less "fat" with a lovely delicate smell of raspberries and cherries. The taste was soft, elegant, silky , smooth, velvety with lovely fruit, balance and creamy tannins. Very yummy indeed and so is the price at around 40€, but when you need Burgundy its worth every penny! Chambolle Musigny 2006, Patrice Rion P+ and drink between 4 to 6 years old. Domaine Michele et Patrice RION, vins de Bourgogne and please

Time is too short to taste all the wines

I believe I need to change the heading of this blog. Yet another fabulous wine tasting event, this time in Paris in the Louvre. What more can you want? With more than 300 stands all of them with 4 to 6 bottles the task was daunting and mission impossible. It was the time for hard selection and I had to ignore stars like; Beychevelle, Brane Cantenac, Grand Puy Ducasse, Lagrange, Langoa et Leoville Barton, Cloudy Bay etc etc instead I concentrated on the champagne, the unknowns and Burgundy. Check out the programme below with link to all the producers. ~ Les vins et les producteurs Anyway I found some fantastic Burgundy reds, + a "mad" guy from Provence producing some dense solid Syrah's, add to that some small Champagne houses with reasonable priced Brut, rose and vintage, upcoming stars in St Emilion and a Ch Kirwan that is on its way up again.... Details to follow, but Ch. Sociando Mallet 2001 was wonderful with a surprisingly "Margaux