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David from Switzerland

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WTN: Miscellaneous August notes

by David from Switzerland » Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:24 am

Castellari Bergaglio Gavi di Gavi Vigna Vecchia Rovereto 2006
Thanks to my parents. Pale beige-green. Minty “fruit” (typical of Gavi, hard to say much at all), a bit tannic, faint bitter note and minerality. Good alcohol though really only a medium-light wine that drinks very easily. Medium-short on the finish. Rating: 84-?

Château Charmant Margaux 1993
Thanks to uncle Alex. Full ruby-red with black reflections, watery pink at the rim. An oaky-toasty and somewhat dry, red-fruity if muted, pebbly-minerally Margaux that seemed perfectly stored, but I would bet was ever-so-faintly cork-tainted, if without the TCA itself showing. Rather short on the finish, simplistically watery on the aftertaste. Best on the minerally mid-palate. Rating: 81- (or: N/R)

Jean-Louis Chave Selection Saint-Joseph Offerus 2003
Thanks to my parents. Deep opaque purple-ruby. Lightly garriguey/roasted Provençal herbs, less green licorice stick than one and a half years ago, some violet and softer green pepper. Still a bit youthfully bitter immediately after it was decanted, furry tannin but with airing pleasurable to drink. Medium-plus length. A refreshing wine with excellent cut, this does not taste as if it were virtually devoid of acidity (but it apparently is, as it has not been acidified). What a fine QPR buy this was. Rating: 88+

Castello di Corbara Merlot De Coronis 2003
Thanks to the Swiss importer at Patrick’s pool hall. A riserva-style bottling from the Villa de Coronis vineyard. Plummy ruby-black, virtually opaque at the center, watery ruby-red at the rim. A bit oaky and muted on the nose, showing a virtually unnoticeable bitterness on the finish, another wine I was convinced was ever-so-mildly cork-tainted, although only Patrick’s mother concurred (she has worked in gastronomy her whole life, though, not one to make such a claim lightly). Lovely, sweet, lightly curranty plum, blackberry and cherry jam. No doubt made from ripe and clean grape material, a nicely natural-tasting wine. Integrated finesse notes of pepper, herbs, tobacco and earth. Glyceric. Nice potential complexity, not one to cellar too long, but two to three years would not hurt. Very nice body and more than decent length (again, despite that likely taint). A taint-free bottle may well offer about outstanding potential. Rating: 88+? (or: N/R)

Fontodi Chianti Classico 2004
Thanks to my parents. Full ruby-red. Tannic without being overly rustic or dry, just youthful and not too exuberantly fruity in this vintage, although still well-enough-concentrated. Tasty, mildly peppery fruit with a violet top note, fair enough body and length. Deserves a year or two of bottle age to shed its tannic clout, then should drink well for a few more. Rating: 87+?

Fontodi Chianti Classico 2001
Thanks to my parents, a wine we had not re-tasted in almost three years. Healthy ruby-black with a light purple hue. Currently shows a bacon fat top note, as Dani exclaimed. Nicely concentrated, lightly floral Chianti with quite racy tannin. Not one that shows much minerality or the typical metal underpinning, though. Rating: 88+?

Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Santo Stefano di Neive 1993
Thanks to Dani. Medium garnet-orange, some black reflections. Lovely smoky tobacco, dried blood orange and mildly oxidative raisins/currants. Black tea-like tannin that is a touch dry and faintly oaky. Nice orangey acidity. A whiff of volatile acidity. Nice medium-plus body. Not too long on the finish. But so tasty! Mouthwatering acids. Some dried rose petal on the mid-palate and aftertaste. Drink up! Rating: 90-/89

Erwin & Anna-Maria Jamek Frühroter Veltliner 2005
Thanks to my parents. Strange clarified apple juice-like strawy-green-golden colour. A bit bubbly, tastes like cidre with a little anise, and at 12% alcohol not an especially concentrated one, either. Rating: 81-?

Nigl Grüner Veltliner Senftenberger Piri 2006
Thanks to my parents. Pale beige like sand, a rare and unusual colour. Holds lots of finely bubbly CO2. Minerally-earthy soft herbs, limey white plum (if not prune) and grey pepper. Medium body and length, just lightly warming 12.5% alcohol, as this is not too dense an effort. Rating: 84(+?)

Nigl Grüner Veltliner Alte Reben 2006
Thanks to my parents. Pale green colour. Also holds lots of finely bubbly CO2, a bit more tannic on the surface. Dusty-minerally, softly spicy herbs, a bit firmer lime, medium body, medium-plus length, tasty white pepper on the aftertaste. Bit denser and more minerally-firm than the “standard” Senftenberger Piri. Stronger, more flavourful acidity, more attractive, a bit smokier and granite-like minerality. Also, buffered by what seems greater dry extract and slightly more fruit density, the 14.5% alcohol here (versus 12.5% there) is unnoticeable. At least as tasty from the fridge 24 hours later. Rating: 86(+?)

Nigl Grüner Veltliner Privat 2006
Thanks to my parents. Medium-light green colour. More attractive and opulent version of the Alte Reben (of which it appears to be a selection, or selected Fuder). Balanced stone-dusty minerals, herbs, lime, fuller-bodied and longer, nicely alcoholic if served chilled at 15% alcohol, which is not better integrated than the 14.5% in the Alte Reben, but the PRIVAT on the whole comes across as bigger and fuller-bodied, so it is just toss-up as to whether one minds. I do not too much as long as there is (here somewhat) greater complexity, depth, finesse and length to go along with greater size. Rating: 88(+?)

San Giusto a Rentennano Chianti Classico 2004
Thanks to my parents. A blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Canaiolo. Medium-deep ruby, medium black reflections. Sweet if not a bit cloying for a dry red on attack, light, oaky and short on the palate. Little complexity, some charcoal- and peppery salami-tinged, cloyingly curranty cherry and Chianti metals. Did not profit from airing, this was best (fruitiest and longest) right after the cork was pulled. My gut instinct suggests this should be held on to it for a year or two. Not a favourite Chianti producer of my parents it appears, just a sample bottle. They much prefer the Fontodi from the same vintage, among other. Rating: 83+/84(+?)

Château Saransot-Dupré Listrac-Médoc 1990
Thanks to uncle Alex. Healthy ruby-black, orange at the rim. Very mature smoky tobacco and earth, some dried black cherry and blackcurrant, a bit truffley (black Périgord truffle). Fair enough body, a bit short on the finish. Rating: 83-

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
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Last edited by David from Switzerland on Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: Miscellaneous August notes

by David M. Bueker » Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:09 am

I'm almost but not quite surprised by your reactions to the Nigl wines. I think I could write completely different notes yet come up with the same scores. I was much more enamored with wines from Salomon, Schloss Gobelsburg and Hiedler when I tasted through some 2006s in June. Somehow the Nigl wines do not seem to have the depth of complexity (I know that sounds odd, but it's the best way to relate that thought) that they had in the mid-late '90s. While the wines are always precise and minerally I get so much more (including substantial buffering extract) from others' wines.
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Re: WTN: Miscellaneous August notes

by David from Switzerland » Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:50 am

We certainly agree insofar as I used to like them better a few years ago also, plus have learnt they're really not worth holding onto for too long - even the 1999 Riesling Privat, for example, is probably best drunk before it reaches age ten. Regardless, my heart lies with Knoll when it comes to Austrian Riesling and GV (plus sometimes Hirtzberger, Pichler and Prager).

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
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Re: WTN: Miscellaneous August notes

by David M. Bueker » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:06 am

I enjoy the wines from the stars of the Wachau, but when it comes to Riesling I would prefer one bottle of Clos St Hune to two bottles of Knoll, Pichler or Prager.
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Re: WTN: Miscellaneous August notes

by David from Switzerland » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:24 am

Tell me about it... (You do remember, I am sure, whom you're talking to? 8) )

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
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Re: WTN: Miscellaneous August notes

by David M. Bueker » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:40 am

David from Switzerland wrote:Tell me about it... (You do remember, I am sure, whom you're talking to? 8) )



Of course!
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Clinton Macsherry

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Re: WTN: Miscellaneous August notes

by Clinton Macsherry » Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:47 pm

David (the one from Switzerland, that is)--

Just to offer another data point, I've had two disappointing experiences with Fontodi 2001 in the last year, marred primarily in each case by a weird aroma (catsup and horseradish the first time, scouring powder the second). Both purchased same time / same place, so I guess a bad lot or bad storage could be the issue. Still, knowing the high regard many have for this producer, a bummer.


FWIW, here's my TN from June 2006:

Fontodi Chianti Classico 2001

An initial nose of sawdust and red meat calms down after half an hour, leaving dark berries, new shoe leather, some lingering oak, and an odd note of cocktail sauce. Prettier on the palate, with red plums, strawberries, and chocolate. Medium-bodied, with moderate acidity and grippy tannins that seem wood-influenced. Probably not as ho-hum as I’m making it sound, but I look for more brightness and elegance in CC. I expected better from this producer. $22, and I’d already bought another bottle. Darn. 13.5% alcohol.
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Re: WTN: Miscellaneous August notes

by David from Switzerland » Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:21 pm

Lots of airing usually helps, that is, if anything helps at all. Can't comment on possible misstorage, but vegetal bitter notes can be due to an (otherwise possibly unnoticeable) cork taint also.

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
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Re: WTN: Miscellaneous August notes

by robs_r » Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:43 am

With respect to the Nigls, I am also not so sure if the '06 GVs really reach the heights they should based on their pedigree. I've already commented on it earlier but the alcohol levels are clearly at the very upper limit for me (for the Reislings, they are clearly over the top). Let's wait and see. M. Pronay likes the '06 Privat a lot.

The GV `05 Privat on the other hand was a clear success for me. An outstanding wine from my point of view but I am not so sure about the aging potential. Maybe it is true that one should not wait too long.

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Robert Ruzitschka
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Re: WTN: Miscellaneous August notes

by Cliff Rosenberg » Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:19 pm

I'm surprised you don't think the Nigl's will age. I haven't checked in on the '99s in awhile; perhaps I should. But I did try the 00 Riesling Privat about a year and a half ago, and it was still very young. It took at least an hour to open up and was lovely. I think the most recent Nigl I tried was the 04 Privat GruVe, which I thought would be super in time.
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Re: WTN: Miscellaneous August notes

by David from Switzerland » Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:23 pm

Nigl himself doesn't think the wines should be held onto longer than about ten years - at least, that is what he told my parents when they visited the winery earlier this year. My personal experience is just that there is little to gain once they resurface from hibernation.

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
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Re: WTN: Miscellaneous August notes

by Cliff Rosenberg » Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:27 pm

Interesting -- any idea how long that typically takes? I was a bit surprised to see how tight the 2000 was recently, from such a soft, approachable year. I would have thought his top wines followed roughly the same aging curve as good white Burgundy.
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Re: WTN: Miscellaneous August notes

by David from Switzerland » Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:13 pm

A rule of thumb on when to open Nigl? Must admit I never thought about this. :(

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
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„J'ai gâché vingt ans de mes plus belles années au billard. Si c'était à refaire, je recommencerais.“ – Roger Conti

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