TN: Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 1990, Müller-Catoir Eiswein 1996
For my "verbal rating system", see postscript, if necessary.
<b>Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Brunello di Montalcino 1990</b>
A slightly forward bottle (a bit less coolly stored) thanks to Nedster, the first I have ever had that seemed fully mature (if by no means old). Very glossy and deeply coloured, sweet and full-bodied, complex and quite deep, nicely glyceric, long and smooth on the finish, as impressive as ever, even more Soldera-like than I had remembered (with a flavour profile not far off that of Soldera's 1993 Riserva, and a texture reminiscent of such wines as 1970 Vega Sicilia Unico). What a wine, this has always been, and still is, one of the finest Brunellos I have ever tasted! About great quality.
<b>Müller-Catoir Scheurebe Eiswein #16 Haardter Mandelring 1996</b>
Also thanks to Nedster, unfortunately his last half bottle of this greatest of all Scheurebe late harvest bottlings I have ever had. Full yellow golden colour. Immensely buttery-fat at this stage, yet floral and grapefruity, backed by hugely ripe, mouth-puckering acids that has almost more passion fruit freshness than taste, a sweet, viscous finish. Highly concentrated, impressive minerality. Lemon and tangerine zest, a little green banana. Gorgeous wine, truly great! But, same as all Scheurebe I have had in my wine-loving career, I cannot say it has been getting better with age. Drinking these up over the last decade was no doubt the correct decision, especially with me ;^)
Greetings from Switzerland, David.
I usually avoid using numerical scores on the web (in order to avoid e-mails solely concentrating on the virtues of numerical rating, since I'd really rather talk about the wines themselves). For those who have problems interpreting my "verbal scoring", the numerical correspondences are as follows:
79 and below = NOT GOOD (i.e. no need to figure out exactly)
80 – 84 = GOOD (same as 16 and over in the European 20-point system)
85 – 89 = VERY GOOD (same as 17 and over; I sometimes use EXCELLENT or ALMOST-OUTSTANDING to indicate 88 – 89)
90 – 94 = OUTSTANDING (same as 18 and over)
95 – 99 = GREAT (or CLASSIC, same as 19 and over; I sometimes use NEAR-PERFECT to indicate a 98 – 99 score)
100 = PERFECT (20 out of 20)
Note I will rarely buy wine below my own EXCELLENT rating (that's where wine really starts standing out for individuality from the mass of technically impeccably-made wines) except for an occasional and there truly exceptional QPR (I must insist any wine in the VERY GOOD category with me is serious stuff, way above average wine, that I still wouldn't buy because I've got to somehow limit my wine buying). But if a wine is costly, it had better be at least OUTSTANDING!