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Everything posted by Andre

  1. Bleudauvergne thank you for the accurate description. I try to visit the Salon in Paris every year. The wine exhibition on the 25th-29th of November will be hard work for me as there are still many faulty wines produced and I try to taste as much as I can to have a more clear view of market changes and habits. Most of the shoppers still pay by name/rank as the appellation controllee is highly respected in France. The sometimes mixed stands are very interesting. Some of the wines can be fairly simple and when tasting several of them from the same area, I noted that sometimes I loose my patience. I try not to eat anything during the tasting and to concentrate as much as I can. The day starts usually with a huge breakfast that will make most puke. This will allow me several hours of tastimg without the need to park for those appealing stands or a mere Baguette with a Brie de Montagne on a huge peace of fine butter. It is great to meat the true winemakers of France, a breed destined for extinction.
  2. Greetings Stuart, Would love to hear your opinion on the future of NZ wines in the States and Europe. Around which varietals do you think the foreign market willl pivot ? Thank you.
  3. Banfi is one of the most famous Italian wineries in Italy’s most famous wine region, yet, my own impression is that there is nothing much Italian about it except for a finely built Brunello di Montalcino. Following is a tasting of their wines Col-Di-Sasso Banfi 2002 This well made blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet is hardly a reflection of anything. The wine is purely technical and correct but also one dimensional and lacks character. A simple version of a new world wine. Centine Banfi 2002: The addition of the Merlot to the Sangiovese and Cabernet, provides a little more body, when compared to the simpler Col-Di-Dasso, yet again hardly any character at all and although well built and focused in the mouth, the wine lacks complexity or any uniqueness. Chianti Placido 2003 This wine should be outlawed in Chianti and just proves the worthless Italian rating system. A simple soft-textured one dimentional wine with no relation whatsoever to the region. The addition of Merlot to Sangiovese was never my cup of tea, but this is ridiculous. Chianti Banfi 2003 A rather simple and soft textured Chianti with some relation to the real thing. The wine forms a gap after first encounter in the mouth that proves rather dull in the second glass. Chianti Classico Banfi 2002 Finally a bit of character here. Well-structured with a good combination between acids and tannins. Not sure I would pick this one if I had other choices – and many spring to mind. The term classico aims at confining the choice of vineyards and producing more Chianti character. Keeping this in mind, the wine is again disappointing. Chianti Classico Banfi Riserva 2000: Barely ready for drinking, finally a promising wine after a very disappointing start. Dark red with much depth. The nose is still closed, but slowly reveals a concentrated sour red fruit aroma mixed with the rather subtle Slovanian oak bouquet. Good tannins and a very good acidity, promise much more than the minimal blend of raspberries and spice showing at this stage. The spice dominates the finish along with some herbs and minerals. Drink 2005-2008. Rosso di Montalcino Banfi 2000: Either this year was awfully bad or the winery’s promise of select grapes does not stand. Although fairly young, this simple form of R di M leaves little promise for a better future. Cum Laude Banfi 2001 Sangiovese (Banfi Clonal Selection)/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Syrah. There are two things that amuse me with Banfi: 1. The use of terms such as “Clonal Selection” 2. The choice of names such as “Cum Laude”. In an era where might is right, few people will laugh at the name. This is an attempt of another [term that I hate] “Super” Tuscan showing lots of muscle with little finess and for now balance of flavors. Indeed the wine is consistent and within a massive frame, I fail to see anything this wine might honor other than an impressive price tag. Drink Brunello di Montalcino Banfi 1999: Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino may cover for any deficiency this winery might have. A massive world class wine with a huge tannin structure that promises a constant and secure bottle maturation for years to come. One of the more impressive tannin displays in classic wines magically balanced. Drink 2009-2015.
  4. So what? No Amarone in bad vintages? Isn't the procedure taking place to add complexity, character and concentration?
  5. Great info. Marco. Will bve looking out for the wines mentioned. Thanks for sharing.
  6. Amarone can only be Amarone due to location, type of grape, part of bunch and methods of specific production under control for several producer. Similar ideas canbe seen all over the world including Israel where a tiny producer by the name of Zauberman, dries his late harvest grapes in cold temperatures to produce 15.5 Alc. in his reds and sky rocketing his prices as much as 3 times.
  7. Andre

    Dinner with friends

    Good show Jim ! Any further info on the :1995 Turriga, IGT
  8. Andre

    What are friends for?

    Thank you all, Brad - all has a price and these moments make it all worth while.
  9. Welcome and keep up the fine articles and attitude.
  10. Andre

    WTN: Weekend wines

    Wonderful notes Jean, Although familiar with the Planeta wines, Idid not paty attention to 2001 Planeta Nero d’Avola “Santa Cecilia” Sicilia. Funny Masi has a Chardonnay under the same name: “Santa Cecilia” from the Northern Garda area of Italy.
  11. A friend wants to come in for a glass of wine. He just returned from Croatia and found this interesting cheese called Peg he wants me to taste. Other friends may join, he exclaimed. Sure! My traditional instinct replies. Hours later and I am digging in my kitchen with another friend for whatever can provide 15 guests: Antipasti of hard and soft cheese, smoked goose breast, assorted hams and Hungarian salami. Cream tomato soup with bell peppers and coconut cream aided by freshly made ripe fruit confiture. Shrimps in mild spice and cream sauce. Slightly sautéed Calamri with pasta and Parmesan Ribs with red wine and butter sauce with a touch of Balsami. The wines: Clos De Gat Rose’, Ayalon Valley, Israel 2003. A bone dry Medium to full bodied Rose’ with just the right amount of spice to balance the fine acidity .The wine opened – up after 15 minutes and was a pleasure with most dishes. Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie, Sauvion France1999. Still holds a wonderful acidity and a great companion for the Sea-Food dishes. Simple yet suitable, completely dry body and mildly citrus finish. Flam Classico, Israel, 2003. A medium bodied fairly young Cabernet and Merlot blend that found matching only to the ribs. Roodeberg by KWV RSA 1999. A very well balanced, well made blend with a fairly complex medium body. Opens up after several minutes in the glass and stays there. Cabernet Sauvignon Robertson’s Well Magnum, Australia 1995. Over the hill and fairly disappointing vintage. High hopes from this promising producer yet nothing like the 1998-2000. The fact that it was a magnum seemed to add very little to its aging potential – a point to reflect on in terms of Australian winemaking techniques. Pinot Noir Limited Selection Montes Chile 2001. Big demand for this reasonable fruity. Mild yet complex enough to match most dishes with an elegant finish. – good show. More of the same joined following the rapid emptying of the bottle. Plancic Ivan Dolac Croatia 2002. A simple Croatian wine yet fairly interesting medium to light bodied wine with a good tannic texture. Somewhere between Greek and Southern Italian wines. – Could not read the label and had info on the grape varieties. Drink now. Croatian eau de vie of different flavors followed. None of them should ever be mentioned again. Two hours of sweating and their all happy…..
  12. Andre

    Coming up on one month

    A week or so. Due to an ilness, I had to make do with two buck chucks and Gato Negros untill I could smell again.... They should outlaw the term stated on the bottles like they do Vodka.
  13. The best is yet to come! While everybody is still busy praising the 2003 vintage, a superior and massive 2004 is on the way. The South is nearly done harvesting and while the wines are fermenting or setling, the North is just about done with the Merlot and the Cabernet will soon hit the boxes. Thrilling in most cases and disapointing where self-centered winemakers are too busy with their theories to read the wine. Over all - high yield, with grapes hitting 25-26 brix while the ph is 3.30 - Not accostomed to seing things like that in Israel. There is much to be learned about vines and their ability to bud according to vintages.
  14. Andre

    Ciao tutti

    I am not sure I mentioned enough of my appriciation of your posts. Thank you very much and raising a toast to keeping up your fine efforts. Cheers!
  15. Rogov's guide to Israeli wines is an important introduction to whatever is happening in the Israeli wine scene. True for any other critic, one may agree or disagree with the analysis of each wine and the ratings. Golan Heights wines for example, are by all means “correct” and with a fairly good structure, yet by no means complex or appealing in my eyes. GH is a large industrial winery based on a certain standard that prohibits character and style other than what the mass customers would allow. So is the popularity of Robert Mondavi an indication for the right choice of wine in California? Mr. Rogov had done a fine job mentioning nearly all Israeli wineries in a professional manner. I pray this edition will lead the way to better understanding of a fast developing small and rather interesting wine market and will continue to be updated yearly as promised.
  16. Andre

    Happy Birthday Craig Camp

    Many happy returns filled with fine wines and your loved ones to share them with you.
  17. Andre

    Life is short

    LMAO ! Still smiling and always welcome.
  18. Andre

    Life is short

    We only live once. That thought may cross our mind on several occasions; Birthdays could be one of them. Friday night and my wife is troubled with the issue of going out. Friday is the one night I hate to go out in. Weekend drivers, overbooked restaurants and noise are things I wished to avoid and that night, I managed. A beautiful Mediterranean weather reigned that night. A light breeze hissed through the recently planted garden and the smell of seawater made it all the way from the beautiful Haifa bay. Brothers and friends speaking four different languages gathered around a table filled with love, French, Italian, Israeli and Irish cheeses. Hand made bread, Cold meats, sliced vegetables and fruits completed the soon to be perfect scene. Riesling Rheingau Spatlese Trocken Weingut Robert Weil 1994. What a start. Aside from being fairly young, a wonderful acidity backs – up a medium to full-bodied wine rich in minerals, citrus fruits and just the amount of Petrol expected from a 10-year-old Riesling. The wine was consumed without showing the slightest sign of loosing its concentration. Drink 2006-20012. Pinot Noir Valley Oaks California, Fetzer 1999.A well made wine focusing on the fine balance between rich ripe red concentrated fruits and medium toasted oak. The Santa Barbara climate may have affected the ability of the wine to match the Che’vre cheeses but the cold meats and the aged Irish and Italian sheep cheese proved a fine match. Porto Quinta do Estanho 30 Anos. Sweet talk and lead me on…. Fine six to 10 months aged cheese counterbalanced this amazingly complex wine. Nothing short of a masterpiece, this wine kept on gaining complexity and texture for as long as the bottle lasted. The amazing Irish Cashel Blue, overshadowed whatever the French and Italians had to offer. Memories may have added the Brits as well. Simply a perfect match with Estanho’s 30 year old effort dropped any murmuring about diets or fat percentage. [ party poopers are everywhere I guess ], just sit back and enjoy the metaphysical ride. A young Moroccan singer was adding to the already perfect harmony in multilingual Arabic, Spanish and Indian cultural expressions. Isn’t the world a perfect place?
  19. Good show ! Some thjings are best left for the imagination.
  20. Andre

    Wine 101: Harvest

    This is a fantastic expression of the physical and the spiritual aspects of a professional winemaker as a human being. Read twice and enjoyed twice.
  21. Andre


    Thanks Jim, I was referring to the smoky aspect usually derived from toasting the oak. As opposed to modern style wine making, the "fume'" aspect here does not feel as if a part of the barrel.
  22. Andre


    A taste of Bourgogne Special Reserve July 15th 2004. The first word that comes to mind when one of mother earth’s finest wine regions comes to mind is respect. Respect for the earth, respect for the viticulture, respect for the winemaker and respect for those who can tell the difference. In owe of this respect, I feel that whatever I write will be short and pointless. The following wine tasting was professionally performed by Mr. Tomer Gal. My notes on the wines follow: Bourgogne white Ramonet 2002: Light pale clear towards goldish color. The nose starts with an herbaceous and citrus aroma with crisp green apples joining the scene. The nose reflects mild concentration with a fresh grass and herbs finish mingled with the slowly growing oaky bouquet. Several minutes later some minerals and ripe fruits appear on the nose. In the mouth the wine is soft and ripe on the entry with a very good well balanced back bone acidity. The finish ids dominated by freshly cut grass, herbs, minerals and a mildly fume’ aspect joined together by this wine’s fine acidity. Five minutes later and the wine grows into a medium + body, well grown in oak in the mouth yet slightly submitted to oak in the aftertaste. What a standard wine! Drink now – 2007. Bourgogne white Leroy 1997: Clear yellow towards Goldish brilliant color with a glimpse of brown at the edges. An excellent aged white Bourgogne nose with a masterpiece combination of ripe fruits and toasted and extremely balanced oak. Seductive sweet flavors mingle with the more Sirius wood in perfect harmony. In the mouth the wine is quoted with a fat and creamy texture and a good acidity that backs – up the apples, pears and minerals. The finish is very well balanced with a ripe apple and the softest texture of mild oak ever. The winemaker is nothing short of a magician. Outstanding! Perfect now but will age gracefully a couple or more years. Meursault 1er Cru Genevrierer, Fancois Jobard 2000. Yellow towards goldish color. The nose is still closed in the beginning with hints of green fruits, green almonds, sharp acidity and citrus blossom. Gentle aromas of alcohol surface along the sniffing procedure. A good backbone acidity shows in the mouth with mild oak, soft tannins and a sweet mineral finish. The wine is far too young to drink now with the acidity overpowering the gentler aromas. Amazingly the wine had been in oak for 2 years and none of this can be felt in the wine. This is a long distance runner capable of over ten years of aging easy. Drink – 2008-2018. Bourgogne Rouge Domain Hubert de Montille 2001 Almost blush in color with very pale red towards rose’ clear color. A sweet cherry nose with freshly boiled vine leaves and sweet flowery aroma. The sweetness of a ripe Volnay comes to mind when the wine enters the mouth. Fairly simple and very pleasant traditional Bourgogne with a well balanced acidity and a food friendly attitude. Drink now – 2006. Vosne-Romanee, Domaine Jean Grivot 1999. A beautiful red cherry-Burgundy color. The nose is rather closed in the beginning with oak, herbs and minerals dominating the scene. Red ripe fruits are very slow to open but the concentration of a fine village is apparent. The massive 1999 vintage shows pure muscle in the mouth. Tons of greenish tannins, good acidity and well-balanced oak promise a long and promising maturation procedure. Drink 2008-2015. Maranges Leroy 1990. Dark deep red color with brick red rims. A fully ripe nose, rich and seductive gives way to slightly over-ripe aromas. Oak, spices, herbs and sweet vanilla blend with the buttery aspects while minerals and earth close this magnificent circle. Seven minutes later and a fully developed Bourgogne nose is expressed in an elegant and harmonious manner. Very good acidity shows this is by no means the end of the road for this wine. Powerful sweet fruits and spice express remarkable youth to this truly magnificent wine. Drink now – 2010. Vaguest 1er Cru Les Cras Vougeraie 2001 Well developed and fairly complex nose with sweet fruits and fruit drops dominating the nose. Lots of tannins, very good acidity, minerals, some more fine soft tannins with hints of green coffee beans. This is a big wine with plenty of fine tannins to allow a secure development into a full -bodied complex and very well balanced Bourgogne classic. Thrilling potential! Drink 2007-2018. Clos de Vougeot Gran Cru Meo-Camuzet 2000. A red –velvety color with some depth. Big complex nose with red forest berries, oak, and minerals fully integrate to offer a massive full-bodied potential. Soft on the entry with concentrated fruits, berries, cherry liqueur, soft but well integrated tannins and a very good acidity. Wow! A Very promising giant! Drink 2014-2022. Echezeaux Grand Cru, Jean Grivot 1998. Red cherry towards garnet color with some depth. Spices and sweet aromas mingle with wild animal smell and a hint of citrus blossom. Fully blown with some apparent VA good tannins but low acidity without much texture to really push forward this wine. No character of a Grand Cru apparent. Drink now though the wine might hold a couple or more years. Vosne-Romanee 1erv Cru Leroy 1969. Light pale towards reddish color. Nose is aged in the beginning with over-ripe and mildly oxidized fruits. Several minutes later and the peacock begins to reveal its tale. Soft ripe fruits with mild sweet spices begin to seduce in an irreversible manner. Floral and greenish notes seem to develop back and forth on the mouth along with some dried fruits, very soft tannins and fine acidity. Perfect! Sweet raisins and molasses develop along with some wet earth [after the rain], forest herbs and very mild spice. The earthy aspects of the wine develop further as it comes in contact with air and the distinctive sweet spice Vosne-Romanee flavor. As good as can be. I feel privileged to have enjoyed such a masterpiece. Corton-Chalemagne Grand Cru Bonneau du Martray 1994. By the time I had tried this wine it was open for about 36 hours. Yellowish towards pale goldish color. Apples with buttery aroma along with some late summer flowers blossom joined by some minerals and soft oak and spicy flavors. In the mouth the wine proved to be full-bodied with flavors of/ apples, pairs, shelled-walnuts good acidity, soft tannins and well-balanced oak. Fully developed now to reveal a truly great wine. Drink now- 2006. The greatness of a winemaker lies in his ability to understand nature and accommodate his art accordingly.
  23. Andre

    Bordeaux in Crisis

    This was also on Monte Carlo Mediterranean radio station several days ago. May the fine wines prevail should they be famous or not.
  24. Andre

    The Ten Best Rosé wines

    10 best supermatket wines? Perhaps..
  25. Andre

    Showdown in Tuscany

    Showdown in Tuscany Cabernet Sauvignon Vs. Sangiovese. Special Reserve June 17, 2004. A great writer once wrote that life was nothing but imitation. I have found this hard to accept when young, but age added wisdom. We grow-up imitating our parents and surroundings and set the example for those who follow. Sometimes we rebel, and the presumed unique rebellion would lead us to imitate whatever was more influential than our official educators. Such was the case of the young winemakers of the middle and late eighties in Tuscany. The Italian wine industries catastrophic D.O.C system, established in the sixties, left little space for anything but imitation, and creativity, in most cases, went down the local drainage. The media dominated new world, along with the global village concept, allowed the young generation a ride to better business exploiting the very essence of what they grew on. Following is some mixed grill on the 21st century plate. Il Poggione Rosso 2000. 100% Sangiovese with just the right amount of chewy tannins, ripe fruits and tingling Italian acidity to be termed both interesting and a good value for thje money. Drink now – 2005. . Rosso di Monteopulciano Poliziano 2002 Smooth and well balanced wine developing from a rather gentle entry on the mouth and developing to become tasty. The 2002 vintage left enough fruits, tannins herbs and mild spice to be a first choice to match Carne with herbal sauce without having to worry about clashes. Drink now. Dogajolo, Carpineto 2002. “Super” on a small scale. Cabernet? Hmmmm…..right – there comes the oak. A medium bodied fairly simple Cabernet with new world ripe fruits and small oak flavorings that could have attributed this wine to almost any other wine country. Short and wine dimensional yet well made and well balanced with the oak. Drink now. Brunello di Montalcino Val di Suga 1994 Wow! Nothing like a well made Brunello when it starts to reach its peak. Full flavors of herbs, spices, nuts, dried fruits that keep surfacing as long as you enjoy this wine. Contains all the pleasures of a true Brunello. Drink now – 2012. Summus Banfi 1994 Fame may yield expectations and expectations may bring the neighborhood down. Very deep dark red towards Brownish colors. Over ripe nose with concentrated fruits, cedar, Tobacco and plenty of soft oak. Mouth filing yet no longer with the right texture to term this wine anything close to “Super”. Wish I had this wine younger. Olmaia, Cabernet 1995. A massive cabernet full of tannins while not all of them pleasant that require waiting at least 3 more years. The problem could be the lack of complexity to back up the aging. Massive, yet one dimensional with little chance of ever reaching the level of an aged Brunello. Brunello di Montalcino Col D’Orcia 1995A well-made rather simple Brunello with soft tannins balanced with ripe fruits, earthy flavors and spice. Anything short of a Riserva from this winery is bound to fall within this fairly simple frame. Drink now – 2008. Cabernet Sauvignon Farnito 1996 This wine had seen better days. An Italian Cabernet with a new world attitude. Well made medium bodied Cabernet well balanced with oak and a mildly spiced finish. Although the wine was never complex, OI would have expected something more than this deflated shallow Cabernet. Stick to the 1999 for now. Mormoretto Cabernet Sauvignon, Frescobaldi 1996. This is my choice of an Italian Cabernet with plenty of character to attribute it to Tuscany. Mild fruit, chewy tannins, spice and earthy flavors are perfectly balanced to unique rout other producers should aspire to head to, Drink now – 2010. Chianti Rufina Montesodi, Frescobaldi 1996. Massive tannins, lots of tannins, grape tannins and perhaps too much of smaller barrels tannins seem to shut down this 8 year old long distant runner. A breed of its own that requires too more years to open –up. Massive yet am not sure if there is enough body to go along with this aggressive amount of tannins. Will be interesting to follow as this one is heading to where few Chianti wines had headed before. Parting from the familiar may result in sadness cured solely by the energies of the new. Thank you for reading.
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