Actually, these are the TNs of 2 offlines: last Wednesday KillerB, She_laughs, joea and the Roots’ met at my place in Amsterdam for a “planned” offline. Pfalzman94 was there in spirit: being in Iraq at the moment, he obviously couldn’t make it to Amsterdam…we raised a glass in to your continued wellbeing, Jeff – hope to meet you soon!
The next day, KillerB and myself found ourselves in Utrecht at the Roots’ Residence for yet more wine drinking and cheese eating. Here’s the complete list of wines tasted:
Winzerverein Irsch-Ockfen 1990 Irscher Sonnenberg Müller-Thurgau / Riesling
Günter Breit-Hoffmann 1990 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese
Montez Champalimaud 2001 Paço de Teixeiró
Niepoort 2001 Redoma Branco
Jean Pernet NV Réserve Chardonnay GC
Weingut Dr. Deinhard 2003 Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten Riesling Kabinet trocken
Cloudy Bay 2001 Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc
Chateau Clerc Milon 1995
Chateau Haut-Bailly 1995
Chateau La Tour Martillac 1995
Loring Wine Company 2002 Garys’ Vineyard PN
Pride 2001 Merlot
CARM 2002 Quinta da Urze Touriga Nacional
Casa do Douro 1963 Vinho Generoso Lagrima
Presidential 1952 Golden White Reserve Port
Jose Maria de Fonseca 1934 Colheita MdS
Penfolds 1998 Botrytis Sémillion
São Pedro das Aguias 2000 VP
And for the record, the cheeses (at least these I can remember): Abbey cheese from Belgium, Blomme de Brugge, Blue d’Auvegne, British hard goat’s cheese, Camenbert, Cheddar, Chêvre, Chimay, Dutch goat’s cheese with potato peels, Fontina, Gouda (old), Münster, Parmesan, Port Salut, Stilton.
Add some Italian and Spanish ham, Italian and French sausages, and you have quite a nice spread…
It was really nice to meet up with KillerB again, and great to get to know She_laughs. Anyway, here are my (brief) tasting notes:
Winzerverein Irsch-Ockfen 1990 Irscher Sonnenberg Müller-Thurgau / Riesling (MSR) – I was not expecting much from this, and rightly so: completely dead, oxidised and offensive. Yuck.
Montez Champalimaud 2001 Paço de Teixeiró (Vinho Regional Minho) – A white wine from the Vinho Verde region, bought a couple of years ago at the quinta. Nothing spectacular, but a very nice wine to start the evening with. Fresh and smooth. Perhaps better last year.
Jean Pernet NV Réserve Chardonnay Grand Cru (Champagne) – I liked this BdB a lot; quite yeasty on the nose with both nutty and apple aromas. Lively mousse, very small beads, very fresh and with loads of citrus flavours. Nice long finish with a grapefruit bitterness to it. Very refreshing and a very good QPR.
Weingut Dr. Deinhard 2003 Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten Riesling Kabinet trocken (Pfalz) – AP 12 04. A real treat! A plethora of floral and tropical fruit aromas on the nose, just lovely. A pretty big wine, PACKED with fruit: pineapple, mango but some green freshness as well. Just a slight spritz. Big and long finish with a slate-like touch to it. Super stuff, highly recommended. Unlike any Riesling I’ve tasted; had I been served this blind I think I would have guessed Gewurtztraminer.
Cloudy Bay 2001 Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough) – Big expressive nose, very SB-like and with plenty of spice. Pretty big wine, clean and creamy. Herbal and asparagus flavours seem to dominate. Quite a lot of wood, but well balanced. Still young. Good finish.
(The following reds were all decanted a couple of hours before tasting.
Chateau Clerc Milon 1995 (Pauillac) – Massive nose, very warm. Blueberry and a bit minty. Big, very big body. Tannic, with loads of fruit and cold tea. Long and tight finish.
When we re-tasted this wine on day 2, it had opened up a lot; the nose was much more Pauillac-like, the body smoother, but still very tight. This wine showed plenty of potential, but it will need more time to show its greatness.
Chateau Haut-Bailly 1995 (Pessac-Léognan) – Quite a contrast with the Clerc Milon: this is drinking like a dream right now. Delicate, refined nose with cedar and fresh red fruits. Lightish body with berry fruit, spicy and thyme. Nice warm finish. Yum!
Unfortunately, on day 2 this wine was a bit too oxidised, with an unpleasant metallic touch to both the palate and the finish.
Chateau La Tour Martillac 1995 (Pessac-Léognan) – Very smelly, almost Rhone-like. Big, but too closed to give a proper assessment. However, on day 2 this was much, much nicer. Still a bit barnyardy on the nose, but enhanced with dark cherry. Nice body, packed with fruit and with a lovely balance. Woody but not too obtrusive. Long, smooth and warm finish…very nice indeed!
Loring Wine Company 2002 Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands) – I think this was the unanimous WOTN: what a great wine! HUGE nose, ripe, rich, mouth-watering. Thick bodied, super dense and sweet. A massive amount of (blackberry) fruit. An almost endless finish, warm and loooovely. The bottle was finish in no time – truly excellent, and what a fun wine! Brian, if you’re reading this: KillerB, the Roots and myself want more! Can we become your European importer?
Pride 2001 Merlot (Napa/Sonoma) – A big wine in every aspect, and again one that showed better the next day: Great nose, warm like summer. Cinnamon and herbs on the palate and loads of plums. Hefty dose of oak, that becomes a bit too dominant on the finish for my taste.
CARM 2002 Quinta da Urze Touriga Nacional (Douro) – I won’t give much comment on this wine, as Ronnie and I are the importers, but this was also best on day two, displaying the characteristic Touriga Nacional-aromas and flavours: voilets, roses and fresh red fruit.
Casa do Douro 1963 Vinho Generoso Lagrima (Port) – I’ve already posted on this wine before (link here), and don’t have much to add to that TN – I still loved it!
Presidential 1952 Golden White Reserve (Port) – Joea kindly brought what was left over of this wine after our tasting of last week: a TN can be found here.
Jose Maria de Fonseca 1934 Colheita (Moscatel de Setúbal) – I had opened this bottle a while back, but saved some for the group to taste. Bottled somewhere in the early nineties, and probably the last bottling of this wine as well (no more stock left at the winery). Rather like an old sweet Oloroso sherry. Very expressive nose, brown sugar, raisins, dades and a bit rancio. Almost light bodied, but very dense at the same time: dried fruits dominate, some caramel and an almost silty touch to the midpalate. It is quite sweet, but with a remarkable fresh acidity as well. Long finish, sweet but not cloying at all. A very special wine, that did not disappoint!
As usual, KillerB just wouldn’t leave: I finally managed to kick him out of my house early in the morning.
The next day at the Roots’ place, apart from the reds re-tasted that I’ve mentioned above, we also tried the following wines:
Günter Breit-Hoffmann 1990 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese (MSR) – I had tasted this wine twice before: one was insanely delicious, the other dead as a dodo. Unfortunately, this third bottle was bad as well…a Riesling that reeks of stale beer, no thanks.
Niepoort 2001 Redoma Branco (Douro) – Bought at the Niepoort lodge in Gaia on release, this wine wasn’t as fresh as I remembered, but had gained a very pleasant creaminess, and had retained a fresh fruitiness. One to drink now.
Penfolds 1998 Botrytis Sémillion (South West Australia) – KillerB had brought this to toast Australia Day, but we tasted it a day later…sorry! But WOW, what a great sticky! I did not take notes this time, but I recall plenty of botrytis on the nose, a super-rich body with masses of citrus, a remarkable freshness and a everlasting finish…a great, great wine.
São Pedro das Aguias 2000 Vintage Port – A pleasant surprise! Obviously very young, but denser that I had expected, and with a solid fruit structure. Remarkably smooth, a VP for the short term. There was plenty left, so I expect the Roots’ to chime in with a more detailed TN.
And there you have it…again, two very nice evenings! KillerB, She_laughs, I’m already looking forward to our next get-together!