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BORDEAUX 2019 VINTAGE
by Markus del Monego MW
118 VINTAGES TASTED
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Jorge Muga, Wine Maker (Spain)  had a tasting of  29 Wines  from  1 Producers 

Bodegas Muga Reserva 2016 /This wine is ruby-red with glints of brick-red and a medium-high depth of colour. Dense legs which provide you with a sequence of patterns around the sides of the glass. Initially you can find notes of red fruit aromas such as blackberries and reminders of spices. This is all well balanced by smoked aromas from its time in wood which had received a light-to-medium toasting. A subtle vanilla pod aroma coming through with roast coffee nuances. A smooth, mellow attack, with tannins wrapping the sides of the mouth with hints of menthol. In the finish the interesting lingering persistence is worthy of note.

You can pair this wine with veal, Iberian ham and charcuterie and some kinds of stews and hotpots.

Blend: 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 10% Mazuelo & Graciano

2d 16h ago

Markus Del Monego MW , Pro (Germany)  had a Blind tasting of  12 Wines  from  4 Producers 

Anteprima - Top Wines from Italy

This tasting was showing a wonderful choice of very fine wines originating in Tuscany. One pirate coming from Sicily was making the tasting even more fun. Three vintages were on show displaying marvellous qualities from some of Tuscany’s best producers. 2018 proved to be a very convincing vintage, the weather was warm and the heat was not too excessive. With an average production, the estates could enjoy some normality after the small crop of 2017. 2018 will be a wonderful vintage with freshness and elegance. 2017 was a challenge for Tuscany as in many other regions the weather was offering almost the whole content of Pandora’s box for the vintners: frost, heat and drought. The result was a small crop, often with shrivelled berries on the grapes and a certain amount of over-ripeness. The issued wines are quite concentrated but show firm tannins. 2016 the yields were also unfortunately low, but the vintage is a very fine one with an impressing aromatic potential. Stunning wines can be found in Tuscany (and on Sicily).

3d 20h ago

Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  had a tasting of  8 Wines  from  4 Producers 

Smith & Sheth ‘Cru’ Omahu Cantera 2017 – A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Tempranillo. Only 146 six-packs of this wine were made. The grapes came from vineyards with stony riverbed soils in the Gimblett Gravels subregion of Hawkes Bay. They were destemmed and co-fermented in open top vessels and punched down twice daily during fermentation. The wine spent 19 months in barrel, most of which were new American oak, which is comparatively rare for this style in this region. The stunning aromas leapt from the bottle as soon as it was opened. Filled the room. Fabulous stuff. Just gorgeous. Inky black notes, cloves, spices, vanillin notes, florals, with soft, cuddly, supple tannins to finish. Great length and fine concentration with underlying power. A fine, layered style. Has many years ahead of it, though delicious today. 95.

4d 3h ago

Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  had a tasting of  22 Wines  from  1 Producers 

By the end of 2018 I have collected 23 vintages of Trotanoy in my cellar, purchased from different sources in Denmark and abroad - 2015-14-12-10-09-08-05-04-01-00-1998-95-90-1986-85-83-82-1978-75-71-70-1966 and 1916. Few months before tasting taking place in Copenhagen, March 2020, I purchased a perfect bottle of 1964 Trotanoy and decided to replace 1986 Trotanoy with it. I've always wanted to learn more about this property, since I only tasted very few vintages from the bottle before and most of the my TNs were from barrel tastings during primeurs. I was really lucky with my purchases - only one vintage out of 23 presented at the tasting was corked and it was 1995.

Trotanoy is a very complete wine, powerful, corpulent and with strong backbone, but also with much elegance, finesse and sophisticated touch. It's a very long life span, so you think Trotanoy can live forever! Ocassionally, it gives his famous brother, Petrus, a run for its money. For me, it's among three very best Pomerols, together with Petrus and Lafleur. And of course it's one of Bordeaux best wines!

5d 22h ago

Neal Martin, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  had a tasting of  26 Wines  from  12 Producers 

The 2017 Quinta do Noval Nacional, which was trodden under foot in lagares and matured in wood for 18 months, demands considerable aeration in the glass even after extended decanting. Eventually it offers an enthralling kaleidoscope of aromas of blackcurrants, clove, thyme and very subtle truffle aromas (not scents that I often find in young Vintage Port.) It is a mercurial bouquet that constantly shape-shifts in the glass. The palate is full-bodied with perfect balance. This is a faultless Vintage Port whatever way you look at it. From start to finish it conveys a sense of beguiling symmetry, a leitmotif of the 2017s, then astonishing energy and persistence towards the finish with cracked black pepper and clove liberally sprinkled over the vivacious black fruit. Sixty second after the wine has departed you can still feel its presence. This is an astonishing Nacional. Period.

6d 23h ago

Essi Avellan MW , Wine Writer (Finland)  had a tasting of  13 Wines  from  5 Producers 

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2008 / 97 points / Remarkable purity and finesse on this racey and mineral Comtes packed with energy and tension. Elegant restraint on the smoky-toasty, coolly fruity nose with lemon and flower potpourri. Linear and long, beautifully mouthwatering. Still young but enormously enjoyable.

8d 22h ago

Markus Del Monego MW , Pro (Germany)  had a tasting of  10 Wines  from  7 Producers 

Primeurs in difficult times

When I was visiting Bordeaux early March, Corona was a threat on the horizon and France has been more concerned by a strike of the air traffic control. However, I was travelling to Bordeaux and had the chance to get some first insights to the 2019 vintage. I was very much looking forward to the “en primeur tastings” which were scheduled for March 26, 2020 but the tastings were cancelled mid-March. Immediately I contacted the different associations and wineries in Bordeaux and asked for samples. The result was a small number of wines which arrived in Essen before the shutdown of France made shipments rather difficult. These first samples of the vintage 2019 were tasted under pristine conditions to assure a fair and equal assessment of all qualities. In fact, the samples proved right the opinion of some of Bordeaux’ leading figures. Bruno-Eugène Borie from Château Ducru-Beaucaillou sees 2019 in a line with the excellent vintages of 2016, 2010, 2009 und 2005. Henri Lurton talks about his best vintage, along with 2016, he has ever vinified at Château Brane-Cantenac. Philippe Dhalluin from Château Mouton-Rothschild asses the vintage as rich and abundant in quality and also in quantity. After some smaller crops they came back to an average production. Emmanuel Cruse from Château d’Issan sees that 2019 has a lot in common with 2016 yet preserving more freshness. It is a very good vintage but appearing at a very difficult time on the market. In fact, the start of this vintage was very positive. Enough precipitations during winter were retained by soils like chalk and clay. Vineyards on these water retaining soils had a huge advantage in the future growing period. With exception of a wet June, the vintage has taken advantage of a rather dry climatic condition, which prevented diseases in the vineyards to a huge extend. No chance for powdery or downy mildew. Even the heat waves were not really harming the vines as rain set in, always at the last moment but still early enough to prevent massive water stress and a slow-down of the maturity. The late physiological maturity brought a lot of alcohol, but the wines show more freshness as in the previous years. Fabien Teitgen, Winemaker of Smith-Haut-Lafitte relates this freshness to the good acidity “due to cool night temperatures during the ripening period”. This fact is also good news for white wines. „They are the big surprise “, says Olivier Bernard of Domaine de Chevalier. At Château Coutet in Barsac, Philippe and Aline Baly were harvesting in three passes with a total of 19 harvesting days. They judge the conditions as rather ideal: “These climatic conditions have generated a harvest whose quality is indisputably present.” Same samples made their way to Essen and I have tasted them. Some more samples are announced and will hopefully arrive during the current week. There will be a weekly update of my tasting notes, whenever samples will arrive. Unfortunately, 2019 arrives in a difficult time, the Corona virus puts the world in fear and makes trade more and more difficult. Trade berries and new customs duties create a difficult frame for this vintage. However, we should not forget one thing: there are wonderful 2019s waiting for us, wines with ageing potential and charm which will survive every crisis.

11d 1h ago

Christy Canterbury MW, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  12 Wines  from  8 Producers 

Peay 2012 Pinot Noir Pomarium Sonoma Coast / Nick Peay said, “Our style is somewhere between Burgundy and California. The major difference is that we’re not on limestone. The second big factor is that it’s cold here in July and August, but it’s warm in Burgundy.” (Frankly, Burgundy’s warmth and chill factors vacillate a lot, even in mid- to late-summer.) As such, Peay doesn’t use whole cluster; the “jalapeño” of stems isn’t a character he, his brother and his sister-in-law like. This pale and crisp but dense and muscular wine delivers black plum skin, blackberries, licorice and forest floor.

11d 23h ago

Jeff Leve, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  14 Wines  from  14 Producers 

Bordeaux has been on a hot roll lately. Think about it. 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2018 and who knows, even though it is early, 2019 is also looking good!
Each vintage has its own mark, its individual sense of identity and uniqueness of character. 2016 Bordeaux is such a great vintage!  Consider this. Out of all those above-named vintages, there are 2016 wines better than you find in any of those years. And that is really saying something!
In 2016, like in all great years, every appellation produced beautiful wines, and each has its own stars. You can find fabulous wines on both banks and in all price ranges. The Petit Chateaux are superb. Right Bank wines are gorgeous and some of the best wines from the Medoc are potentially the best-ever from their respective vineyards.
2016 has it all. The wines combine concentration of flavor, purity of fruit, zesty acidity, ripe tannins, power, elegance, refinement and richness. The aromatics are complex, and the length and mouthfeel go on and on. The best wines offer the ability to age and evolve for decades!
2016 is the most recent bottled vintage in Bordeaux. The wines are currently available to consumers. If you are seeking to enjoy the best of the best, this article is for you.
During both tasting trips to Bordeaux this year, I tasted close to 500 recently bottled 2016 wines. These are the top 25 wines of the vintage.

12d 23h ago

Benoît Gouez / Moët & Chandon, Wine Producer (France)  had a tasting of  15 Wines  from  1 Producers 

Moet & Chandon Gran Vintage 1990 / Pale gold, with fine, slowly rising bubbles. A powerfully complex bouquet of freshly baked biscuits, smoky malt and mocha overlay more delicate notes of vanilla bean, verbena and candied citrus peel. In the mouth this vintage is remarkably full and harmonious, with notes of coffee and a forceful finish.

The 60th vintage from the maison is considered one of the 20th century’s best. Exhibiting warming notes of vanilla, mocha and candied orange peel, it is characterised by its harmonious fullness.Truly remarkable, the 1990 vintage is renowned for its balance of complex, mature flavours and rounded structure. The generosity of this champagne means it can be enjoyed now or for many years.

Pinot noir (50%), chardonnay (40%) and meunier (10%) make up this vintage, disgorged in October 2003. Following a mild winter, warm and dry weather continued into March. Then came the April frost. Happily, intense rainfall in the days before the harvest meant that the grapes developed well and high levels of acidity were achieved, helping to ensure longevity.

13d 21h ago

Stuart Pigott, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  had a tasting of  22 Wines  from  21 Producers 

Château Haut Brion 2009 / Extravagant and exotic, but still lively, this is a super-concentrated and elegant wine that's already breathtaking, yet has enormous aging potential. Plenty of wet earth and mushroom character alongside the cassis and blackberry aromas. Super-long, perfectly balanced finish. Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019) 100 points

16d 1h ago

Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  had a tasting of  25 Wines  from  13 Producers 

Alpha Vineyard Chardonnay 2015 Toumpa Vineyard /Toumpa means ‘lower-altitude basin’, like a location in a valley. 1.3-ha vineyard at 620-710 m. Sandy-clay soil over limestone. Hand harvested. Skin contact under inert atmosphere at low temperature. Controlled alcoholic fermentation in fine grain, untoasted Bertranges and Jupille oak barriques with regular stirring on fine lees. Maximum 7 months following vinification in the same oak casks. TA 5.7 g/l, pH 3.51, RS 1.6 g/l.
Unexpectedly peachy on the nose, with citrus freshness too but the oak is hardly visible except in a delicate creamy spice. More creamy on the palate but I have to say this is masterful use of oak and lees, giving a gentle creamy quality rather than a heavy oak flavour. Gentle and fresh, elegant and persistent. I am not sure it has the concentration for long ageing but there is no hurry to drink this. (JH)

17d 9min ago

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