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Everything posted by Andre

  1. What better way is there to elevate the moral of those under stress than fine wine? Santenay La Comme Premier Cru Louis Jadot 1998. Following a number of disapointments of fine Bourgogne reds with aging potential I had little expectations for the following : Light red shifting into Burgundy color with good depth. A very dry earthy nose with strong hints of leather and mild spice, grntle yet complex. Very smooth on the entry to the mouth colliding with a fairly harsh acidity that tends to mellow down after several minutes. A medium to full bodied smooth and gentle wine in need of a long time to open up [ better balance and some fruity aspects began to surface nearly an hour after opening. Drink now after allowing a proper time to breathe or allow to develop another 5 years from now. Sirens drive you thinking and making better decisions: what am I am going to do with the special New-Zealand Tom bottle I got stored for special occasion? – drink it ! Cabernet Merlot Tom, Montana, New-Zealand 1996. It is very difficult to make a better first impression than the "Tom" did. Dark intense black cherry color with a considerable depth. An intense a bit slow to open nose with a distinctive French oak influence carefully blended with balanced fruit driven nose, mild spice and herbs. Amazingly smooth on the entry showing one of the best possible new world balance one can aspire to. An impressive texture that lacks the complex acidity structure and multi tannin layers of a Grand Cru to be considered a classic Bordeaux. An impressive use of oak well balanced with a concentrated fruity body and the right balance of tannins. Again this wine makes a wonderful first impression and is amongst the best New-Zealand reds I had tasted. Tasted July 17th 2006
  2. Andre


    Thank you for the update.
  3. Andre

    Unique Sauvignon Blanc

    Three examples come to mind: Sicilian Tasca Sauvignon that may or may not be blended with Insolia. Israeli Sauvignon Blanc from the Tzoraa winery. Sardigna style whites like the Vermentino though I am not sure if they use Sauvignon. The examples above are unoaked. Did you feel the wine had an oaky character to it ?
  4. Andre


    Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, Murphy-Goode 1995. Deep concentrated red shifting into a brick colored rim The wine is extremely slow to open but a massive nose emerges with patience showing a concentrated fresh prune juice nose, spicy notes and chocolate liquer. Smooth on the entry to the mouth with a sharp lively acidity, powerful structure based on prunes and blackberries with a minty / spicy finish. A wonderful example of a good Alexander valley Cabernet. Drink 2006-2009. Tasted July 6th 2006. Since this bottle was bought a while ago [ October 1997 ] I am not updated on their current wines. At the time, the major attraction was a very good Sauvignon Blanc they produced. I hope partners Tim Murphy, Dale Goode and Dave Ready are doing well today.
  5. Andre


    Congratulaions indeed. Try the Vino Grande 01 by Spigeleau or the cheaper Festival Magnum Riedel Chianti glass is my favorite choice.
  6. Andre

    Riedel "O" Series

    I found the "O" much more of the Vinum line than anything else. The "O" glass is too thin, elegant and gentle to belong to either the Overture, Restaurant or the Wine line, which leaves us with the "Vinum"
  7. Andre

    Riedel "O" Series

    Hi Dick, I will let you keep your money ...for now. Try to do what I did, compare the Vinum to the "O" and see for yourself. If comfort is the issue, perhaps a new evolutionary idea of Wine Mugs might arise. After all the Romans did beat us to it a couple of thousands years ago followed by the French farmer [ tarditional French farmers never wash their wine mugs ].
  8. Andre

    Riedel "O" Series

    They are almost the same shape. The problem begins with the need to tilt the head in dif. angels resulting in the wine being smelled or poured in dif. ereas. Another issue to look into is the flat botoom of the "o" glass as opposed to the natural dent found in the Vinum or other series. My experience goes: The Nose: Vinum: med. to full bodied rich nose with a beautiful fruity texture mingling with sweet vanilla and gradually shifting into subtle spice and mild oak aroma. "O" : fruit tends to hide under the now dominant sweet vanilla ending with a rather harsh oaky character, further tilting allows more fruit to surface but that is of an alcoholic character. The oak and wine seem seperate in the "O" and lack the consistancy teh Vinum portrayed. Taste: Vinum: smooth fruity feel on the entrance with complimenting spicy tannins and a balanced mildly seasoned finish. "O" : somehow emptier in the mouth with the fruits disappearing when confrunted with the now harsh and unbalanced tannins. green harsh tannins seem to dominate the finish.
  9. Andre

    Riedel "O" Series

    I have tried using the Riedel "O" glass for a period of time now and made sure what I am going to say is not affected by the first shock at the sight of their stemless shape. Take a good quality Cabernet and try tasting the wine from a Riedel Bordeaux Vinum glass. Try theBordeaux "o" afterwards. The wine in the "o" glass is much flatter on the nose while being less balanced in the mouth causing the wine to loose its structure and spine. The "o" fails to function in the same manner any other Riedel glass series does and I find them practically uncofortable for every day use.
  10. Andre

    Friends that cook

    The heading drove me to food and wine matching thoughts, still I enjoyed the TN's as is.
  11. I have tasted the wines of Meerlust from RSA for over a decade and though may have enjoyed their Pinot and Rubicon, nothing come close to their Merlot. Since the 1989 a dacade of impressive wines had passed: Merlot Meerlust, Stellenbosch 1999 Dark dense ruby towards dark red color Ripe gentle fruit blend in with carefully interfering complimenting oaky flavors. The barrel aging is careful and impressive. Soft ripe medium + body with plenty of young fruits properly mixed with oak I would wait a couple more years to allow a full expression of this wine's potential. Drink now – 2009. A bit more aggressive and lacks a bit of complexity to be termed a great Meerlust.
  12. Andre

    Friends that cook

    Inspiring though may be a bit confusing. Enjoyed the notes very much. The whites of Rueda are an integral part of my menu. Lovely notes on the Martinsancho.
  13. Andre

    Organic wines

    I had been tasting quite a bit of organic wines lately starting from traditional wines like Chateauneuf-du-Pape Chateau de Beaucatel and ending with new world Chilean, Californian and others. Can't really say my country [israel] is one bit interested in this field, though there are a couple of wineries growing organic grapes, so the range is somehow limmited. Following is a wine I raelly enjoyed: Cabernet Syrah Emiliana Reserve, Maipo, Chile 2003 It is quite natural for Chile to produce organic wines realizing the unique and extensive vineyards conditions and I only hope we will see the strengthening of this trend. Dark intense red color showing good depth. Dry earthy aromas mix with a gentle fruity yet consistent nose finishing with a rough edge herb and spicy bouquet mingled with some sulfites. The Syrah surfaces after several minutes providing a round fruity texture in the mouth backed up by a good acidity. The aftertaste is a bit Harsh with a distinctive hot alcoholic feel. This wine reminds me perhaps of the very first time I tasted wine [ I can't possibly know when that was ] when my brains were starting to understand that my juice was fortified. Quite interesting and in need of getting familiar with.
  14. A very good well-written article. Patrick Comiskey is spot on both on Parker and Jancis Robinson. Thanks for bringing this up.
  15. Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Cazetiers, Dominique Laurent 1997 It is nice to have a wine of fine quality ready to drink at an early age. I guess this is the advantage of 1997. Pale reddish center moving into lighter rims. Very aromatic appealing ripe Burgundy nose focusing on black cherries, mild spice and a consistent combination of both. Minutes later and some more soft fruity aromas develop with a buttery texture and topped with mild vanilla. The nose is complex and seems to last a very long time. Lingering on the act of smelling before tasting is simply a pleasure when it comes to this wine. Thirty minutes later and the nose keeps developing. – wow!! In the mouth the wine is full-bodied, ripe filled with red cherry flavors and topped with a black cherry liquer, complimenting spice and the perfect amount of acidity. The acidity of this fine wine will guarantee its development into an even more complex Cazetiers even five years from now. A great wine to enjoy now through 2010. Tasted January 3rd 2006.
  16. Andre

    Renwood 1996

    Greetings Stephen, The wine is not officially imported to Israel and this specific bottle was bought in the States [ Not cheap at all ]. I did not find the wine alcoholic and the label states 14.5%. It seems to bein perfect condition right now. The back label states: " A wine of rare quality from one of America's oldest vineyards"
  17. Andre

    Renwood 1996

    Zinfandel Renwood 1996 To say that I am big fan of Zinfandel would be a lie. The vines have to be quite old to produce complexity and character that I may find interesting so this one had not been the subject of my dreams. The following was quite a bit of surprise: The back label reads: The grandfather of Zinfandel Grandpere Zinfandel, Amador County. This is a fully blown extremely well balance full bodied Zinfandel at the peak of anything I had ever tasted before from this variety [unless blended]. Very ripe fruit flavors dominated by plums. The right amount of spicy-peppery feel is now one with the tannins, finely tuned and providing a smooth consistent pleasure throughout its consumption. A hint of bitterness in the aftertaste further compliments and allows more balance and greater complexity. Drink through 2006.
  18. Andre

    Wake and wine

    I do most of my wine tastings in the morning - so I am busy working. I do enjoy wine on my spare time [ lunch dinner ] On vacation a bucks fizz [ Champ. + OJ] is a nice way to start. Other than that a nice glass of chilled riesling with soft aged goat cheese like a 3 week old Valancay with or without bread is a proper breakfast. No wine before my Karate Lessons or before widsurfing or swimming in the Mediterranean.
  19. Andre

    As good as it gets

    Special Reserve December 29th 2005. Don Anselmo, Paternoster 1997 The best form of Aglianico known to me. A fine creation from gifted vito paterneoster redefining the word tannins. The wine seems to toy around with gentle spicy and dried fruit flavors and massive chewy tannins that shift from almost dusty flavors bordering green almonds. Massive array of flavors is very slow to open up allowing an enchanting journey to a nearly forgotten traditional world. Drink 2009-2014. Gaudium Grand Vino de Marques de Caceres 1994 I had been waiting forever for this wine to open up with some disappointments along the way, yet, patience seems rewarding. A breath taking display of strength and complexity under very gentle and somehow timid flavors of an aging wine. A too fast tasting of this wine and their goes your money. This wine needs a tentative ear to listen to all the fine soft flavors that all seem to surface regardless of the fine acidity and great amount of tannins now turning soft and balanced. Drink now through 2010. Meursault Louis Jadot 1999. One of my favorite chardonnay wines from a wonderful vintage. Full bodied, rich, complex matched by a great deal of acidity that will allow further development for many years to come. The right amount of bitter minerals surfaces from the back of the throat to leave a rich and very long finish. This wine is hardly meant to point out anything in specific but rather show perfect balance of body and flavor. A great drinking wine that should not come near anything from the sea but rather matched by salty herbaceous cold meats and pastry. Drink now – 2015. Chardonnay Beringer Private Label, Nappa Valley 1996. The question that I tend to ask myself about many fine Californian wines is when is this huge amount of oak expected to subside in order to reveal the essence of the fruit. Almost goldish toward brown color The nose is a concentrated blend of oak and ripe fruits massive yet suggesting that this is as good as it gets. Full flavored and quite an enjoyable aged modern style wine that offers a balance of ripe tropical and Mediterranean fruit tastes structured on mildly toasted oak. Drink now – 2007. Brunello di Montalcino Val di Suga 1989. This wine is every wine keeper's dream. A traditional fully blown wine with an amazing amount of flavors ranging from dried prunes and peaches through Cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, fresh and dried herbs, leather and earthy aromas. It seems that this wine has a little of everything under a mature gentle and full flavored jacket. Some may prefer the single vineyards such as the Vigna Spuntali from this producer, yet I found the multi-vineyard Brunello more complex. Thrilling ! Perfect now – 2008. Cabernet Shiraz Black Lable, Wolf Blass 1996 The Beringer Blass' flag ship is something that may always impress your guests. Probably the best vintage to enjoy now, this jammy and soft wine is a massive concentration of sweet shiraz and Cabernet flavors that although deep, lacks finesse and complexity to impress beyond a first impression. Industrial Australia at its best. Drink now – 2012. Beyerskloof, Stellenbosch S. Africa 1997 Great year, great country with some unusual wine talents. This 1997 Beyerskloof is a masterpiece in terms of consistency of flavors. An amazing blend of 72% Cabernet and 28% Merlot that form perfect marriage providing a rare unity of flavors reserved for single vineyard high quality varietal wines. The greatness of this wine is not in terms of body and complexity but in terms of smooth consistent and enjoyable flavors from two of the most common fine red grape variety in the world. The 1997 Beyerskloof seems at its peak and will stay so for another 2-3 years. It will be interesting to follow the aging process of this wine. Montes Folly Apalta Valley, Chile 2000 Whether Mr. Montes is s a genius or simply lucky [following the results from this winery, the former may provide the correct answer] it is rare to witness the birth of a great wine, and this form of syrah is nothing short of great. Massive, dark, concentrated and very much at its youth, this hulk will need years to evolve into its full proportions. A pure display of strength balance and elegance while very concentrated black cherries, raspberries and gooseberries co-exist with rich spicy flavors lead by black pepper. Opening the wine now is a mere speculation of potential. Drink 2008-2014. Chateau Romer du Hayot 2em Grand Cru Classe' Sauternes 1998. Talk about a perfect dessert: Naturally sweet with an excellent acidity and an amazing array of flavors ranging from the honey of Ithika in Greece to Turkish dried apricots. The after taste contains a slight note of bitter almonds that promises to disappear in two to three years. This is a great wine that is simply moving, enjoyable now but will continue to evolve another fifteen years from now. Behind every great wine there is a great man or woman. No technology I am familiar with can achieve such depth of flavors as the wines above and if so it will be a mere scene in a movie. The experience of drinking such wines and yielding to their flavors are one of the few compensations for situation like Gunter's: [A former east – Berliner coming to New-York] "Now we are free but nothing seems to be free anymore".
  20. After a long morning of punching my keybord I decided it was stretching time. During this very healthy procedure, my hand touched the lowest bottle of Frescobaldi's Mormoreto shelve. I managed to catch a couple of 1990's, slide anothe 1990 towards my printer, direct a 1996 to slam streight onto the cheaper than cartridge Lexmark and witness another 1996 break on my wooden floor. The Bouquet remaining a couple of days was my only compensation.
  21. Andre

    Vineyards vs. Nature

    We are blood thirsty humans by nature and as long as we allow this type of violance to be a part of our children's lives, the human race will continue to leave a bloody path behind it. Perhaps a new year will bring new hope. Vine growing and wine making are about respecting nature....Mr. Moore and others like him should be banned from this industry.
  22. Andre

    Christmas Wines

    Wines enjoyed at Christmas: Starting with the Sauvignon of Oxford landing with a traditional meat ball soup. The crisp sauvignon had the perfect acidity for thr citrusy touch of the soup. A very clean, fresh and well balanced wine. Gewurztraminer Villiera 2004 proved a very good match to shrimp cocktail. Valpolicella Cesari 2003 is probably one of the better vintages to come out of this winery. Extra body and fruit without loosing its local touch. Cuvee Irini Tzoraa, Israel 1996 remains still as a family favorite bringing plenty of flavors and memories together. Mormoreto Fresscobaldi 1996- simply exciting with a wonderfully complex nose that seems to be blown to is fullest proportions, layers of flavors kept the drinkers smiling to the end. Cognac Henessy Extra to end the meal did not fill my expectation in terms of complexity and my second glass was turning rather boaring and somehow too fruity and oily for my taste. The Satinella by Marques de Caceres and the Beaujolais Nouveay by Bichot filled up the gaps between meals. Happy Holidays to all
  23. Andre

    Brennans wine cellar

    Another very sad aspect of Katerina. I hope the auction where the damaged wines will be sold will notify their customers about the condition of these wines. I would have the wines donated rather than sold, to a sommelier controlled event.
  24. Andre

    Wines of the poor

    In a world where marketing is the key to success, some fine wines are slowly disapearing on us. Following are a couple that might be suitable to some of your favorite dishes: Traminer Targovishte, Bulgaria, 2001. Pale numb yellowish color Aromatic shifting between spring flowers and herbs. Bone dry on the palate with complimenting vegi notes. A good niche wine, simple and well balanced. [U]Feteasca Neagra Reserve xx Romania 1999 Red dark cherry color with medium depth Mild gentle fruit with a sweet cherry – black raisin aroma. Fairly consistent and takes a while for some raisins and chocolates to develop. Soft on the entry with a fair amount of fruit mingling quite nicely with dominating oak tannins and some spice. This wine will prove a classical match to fatty food . A slight hint of butter and green notes on the end, develop after minutes. Tried it with some sausages and salami – went great. May also fit hard aged sheep cheese. Enjoyed. Many Feteasca Neagra wines are produced with high residual sugar contents. I find the drier versions much superiot to the sweetish more locally popular versions.
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