The wine of the month, 2017, part 2
August 2017: Dom Pérignon, 2006, (140 EUR in Sweden) white dry blend sparkling wine, Champagne, France, 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (05-08-2017 by Robert Jonasson)
What a beautiful nose! I can not remind me that I have tasted some vintage of Dom Pérignon that, upon release, has had such a great, open, complex and seductive nose. On the nose, you can enjoy of apples and pears, toasted bread, nougat and minerals. If the wine was only judged by the nose it would have got 4,5 NJP. The creamy flavor is a bit closed, but well refreshing and well balanced. The wine has medium acidity and a long aftertaste with a little bitterness at the end that contributes to the complexity. Dom Pérignon is a wine that is known to be even better with aging. The 2006 vintage is no exception; it will win a lot with at least 10 years of aging. If Dom Pérignon 2006 should be drank today, it is recommended to serve it in wide, tulip-shaped glasses from Riedel Sommelier, Orrefors Difference or similar or in a Burgundy glass. This wine should definitely not be served in narrow champagne glasses, so-called champagne flute, because the wine’s aromas appears much better in a wider glass. A young champagne like this loves the company of small salt and fat dishes. Serve it with cold cut delicacies such as air-dried ham and salami. Alternatively, with only lightly salted potato chips. For those who want to serve Dom Pérignon 2006 with a dish, a perfect combination is a luxurious starter like blinis, which are fried golden in butter, served with smetana and Russian caviar. The wine should be served at about 8 to 10°C. Dom Pérignon 2006 is made of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir. The grapes for the wine come from 17 different vineyards, of which 8 are Grand Cru-vineyards. The wine had been in contact with its yeast sediment for 8 years before bottling. The 2006 vintage of Dom Pérignon is the 42th in the order since the first vintage in 1921. In Champagne, the vintage 2006 is considered as a mediocre vintage, but Moët & Chandon has really managed to produce a high-class wine in Dom Pérignon 2006. It is impressive that Dom Pérignon, which is produced in up to 3,000,000 bottles, keeps such an even and high quality. Of those champagnes, I have tasted so far from the vintage 2006, Dom Pérignon stands out among the best.
July 2017: Masi, Amarone, Costasera, 2012 (30 EUR in Sweden) red dry blend wine, Amarone della Valpolicella, Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (01-07-2017 by Nenad Jelisic)
The vintage of the wine (2012) belongs to one of the best in Amarone della Valpolicella's history. This wine is undoubtedly one of the best Masi Amarone-wines that I have tasted in the last 25 years. The grapes (70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella and 5% Molinara) for Masi Amarone Costasera go through a process called Appassimento, which means that the grapes are air dried for 100 to 120 days. Masi Amarone Costasera 2012 is a spicy, concentrated, flavourful, fruity and tannin rich wine, with a very good aging potential (minimum 20 years). Regardless that the wine has an "unusual" high alcohol strength, 15% (not unusual for Amarone wines), one does not feel it while one is drinking it thanks to the wine's perfect balance between fruitiness, acid and tannins. From the first second, when the wine come into the mouth, one feels an explosion of sweet spices (cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla), dried sweet fruits (grapes, plums and figs), and then, at the right moment, the sweet feeling is met by tannins, dark (cocoa rich) chocolate, white pepper, ripe dark cherries, blackberries, sweet tobacco and herbs. To get such a good wine, which has been produced by the grapes that had lost up to 40% of theirs weight due to the appassimento and which has such a good aging potential, for 299 SEK (around 30 EUR) is absolutely incredible. Such a tasty, spicy and tannin rich wine as this one fits just fine with grilled fillet of beef/entrecote with Café de Paris sauce and potato gratin, or with reindeer stew with buttery mashed potatoes, or with grilled pork chops with grilled red peppers, onions, tomatoes and béarnaise sauce or with hard cheeses such as Cheddar, Svecia, Västerbottensost, Parmesan and Grana Padano. Masi Amarone Costasera 2012 should be served at 18 to 19°C from Bordeaux glasses. Start by serving it at 16°C (when room temperature is over 20°C or outdoor temperature is over 23°C) and then enjoy when it starts to grow in the glass.
June 2017: Campo Viejo, Reserva, 2012 (10 EUR in Sweden) red dry blend wine, Rioja, Spain, 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (03-06-2017 by Nenad Jelisic)
This wine has always been one of my most appreciated Reserva-wines from Rioja. That both Reserva 2012 and Gran Reserva 2010 got 3,5 NJP and 4,0 NJP respectively, say a lot about what good wines are produced by Campo Viejo. The main reason that I like Campo Viejo Reserva is because it always evolves into a better and more complex wine in the wine cellar. Here we talk about a fragrant and tasteful spicy wine. The sweetish and spicy aroma is characterized by vanilla, cloves, milk chocolate, coconut, blackberry jam and raspberry. The spicy and peppery flavour is characterized by good tannin structure, good acidity, dark cherry, vanilla, prunes and raspberries. To be a Rioja Reserva-wine, the wine feels very young. The wine consists of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo. The wine should be drunk at 16°C to 18°C from Bordeaux glass with prefect grilled (not dry) pork chops with grilled red peppers, grilled yellow onion, grilled tomatoes and garlic baguette or with meat pate with Serrano ham, grilled pickled red pepper in olive oil, Blue Castello cheese (or Roquefort or Gorgonzola) and garlic baguette. The grapes for the wine come from Campo Viejo’s various vineyards in Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. After selection in both vineyards and winery, careful destemming and pressing, the wine is fermented/macerated at a controlled temperature of 28°C in stainless steel tanks during a 20-day long period. After the fermentation and the maceration, the wine is aged in 225 litres French oak barrels (50%) and 1,000 litres American oak casks (50%) for 18 months and finally in bottles for 18 months. Campo Viejo Reserva 2012 can be aged up to 5 years, i.e. until 2022.
May 2017: Campo Viejo, Gran Reserva, 2010 (12 EUR in Sweden) red dry blend wine, Rioja, Spain, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (06-05-2017 by Nenad Jelisic)
Wow, what a good Gran Reserva-wine! That both Reserva 2012 and Gran Reserva 2010 got 3,5 NJP and 4,0 NJP respectively, say a lot about what good wines are produced by Campo Viejo. Campo Viejo Gran Reserva 2010 has a long aftertaste, well-integrated tannins and feels velvety in the mouth. Aroma, which is both spicy and complex, of vanilla, tobacco, leather, raisins, black tea, prunes and ripe berries like blueberries and blackberries. Taste, which is spicy, tasty and complex, of white pepper, dark chocolate, dark cherry, tobacco, espresso, black tea and dried fruits. The wine consists of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo. The grapes for the wine come from Campo Viejo’s various vineyards in Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. After selection in both vineyards and winery, careful destemming and pressing, the wine is fermented/macerated at a controlled temperature of 28°C in stainless steel tanks during a 20-day long period. After the fermentation and the maceration, the wine is aged in 225 litres French oak barrels (80%) and 1,000 litres American oak casks (20%) for 24 months and finally in bottles for 36 months. Foods that fit perfectly to the wine are pizza vesuvio, pizza capricciosa, pasta carbonara and grilled chicken or grilled chicken filled with smoked bacon with freshly baked ciabatta and mild ajvar. Decant the wine for 4 hours and then start to enjoy it at 16°C to 18°C from Bordeaux glass. Campo Viejo Gran Reserva 2010 can be aged up to 7 years, i.e. until 2024.
April 2017: Tamaral, 2014 (14 EUR in Sweden) red dry blend wine, Ribera del Duero, Spain, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (2017-02-04 by Nenad Jelisic)
Finally, a really good wine from Ribera del Duero. Unfortunately, the quality of the wine varies from bottle to bottle, some bottles got 4,0 NJP while the others got 3,0 NJP. Here, I am reviewing the bottle that got 4,0 NJP. The characteristics of the wine that got 4,0 NJP in comparison with the wine that got 3,0 NJP is a higher sweetness and a better balance. I really hope that the bottle that you open will belong to 4,0 NJP bottles. Tamaral 2014 consists of 95% Tempranillo and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Wonderful interplay between tartaric acid, tannins and fruitiness. What a wonderful sweetish aroma of dried black cherry, dried prunes, cinnamon, vanilla and cardamom. Flavour (palate) of sweet dried dark cherries and dried prunes, cardamom, vanilla and coconut. Tamaral 2014 will develop up to five years i.e. up to 2022. It should be drunk from large Bordeaux glasses, but before that it should be aired at least 300 minutes. Parmesan, Grana Padano, Västerbotten cheese, Cheddar, grilled entrecote with potato gratin, reindeer stew with buttery mashed potatoes (or jasmine rice) and rich Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Bourguignon) are recommended to the wine. It should be drunk at 18-19°C. The grapes for Tamaral come from the vineyards planted on sedimentary sand and sandstone on top of limestone, marl and chalk. The grapes for this wine were harvested by hand whereupon they were pressed gently. The must was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks after which the wine was aged in new French 225-liter oak barrels for 12 months.