Saturday, October 31, 2015

2014 Burgundies: Report from the Vineyards -- Day 10

The morning started with a tasting at Bouchard Père & Fils. The reds from the Côte de Beaune were mostly badly hit by hail. Bouchard did a good job with the material it had and did not overextract. The Pommard-Rugiens (badly hit by hail) and Le Corton (not much hail) were the standout wines. With no hail on the Côte de Nuits, the wines were on the whole better, with the Nuits-Cailles and Vosne-Suchots being especially good. (Continue reading here.)

Friday, October 30, 2015

2014 Burgundies: Report from the Vineyards -- Day 9

Thursday started early in Premeaux-Prissey at Domaine Jean-Jacques Confuron. The wines are all successful and in a forward, easy-drinking style with very dark fruit. Alain Meunier will begin the bottling in the middle of November. Particularly notable were the premiers crusVosne-Romanée Les Beauxmonts, Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Boudots, and Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru, all of which were excellent representations of their respective terroirs. The Romanée-Saint-Vivant is excellent, too, but is less forward than the other wines. (Continue reading here.)

Monday, October 26, 2015

2014 Burgundy: Report from the Vineyards -- Day 6

Following the weekend in Paris, I returned on Monday to dense fog that one often finds on the Côte de Nuits at this time of the year. But the outstanding wines at both Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé and Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier lit up the morning. At both locations, the wines reflect the suppleness and finesse of the vintage at its best. I thought the Amoureuses as both particularly stood out. (Continue reading here.)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

2014 Mosel Grosse Gewächse -- Part III (Mittel Mosel)

When I started in Burgundy at the beginning of this week, I still had not finished my report on German Grosse Gewäche tasted in Wiesbaden, much less reports on individual estate visits. I’ll fit those in as I have time.

I found the wines in the mid-Mosel region considerably more varied than those from Clemens Busch and Heymann-Löwenstein further downstream, and indeed for a number of them, I did not perceive sufficient quality to write up here (allowing for the possibility that the wines just were not showing well as the possibility that they were not very successful). A problem with many is that they tasted sweet – an imbalance of sugar and acidity. It clearly was a very difficult vintage in this region, and congratulations to those who came through the best. (Continue reading here.)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

2014 Burgundy: Report from the Vineyards -- Day 5

I had fewer visits than normal on Friday, but still very good ones.

Bernard Maume’s children sold Domaine B. Maume to Morey Tawse, the rich Canadian also behind Domaine Marchand-Tawse, a little over three years ago. Mark Fincham is now in charge of the wines, although he says that Bertrand Maume still offers some advice. The estate has been converted to organic and biodynamic operation and has applied for certification (which will take some time). The wines here were extremely good, although quite different in style from those made under the Maume regime. They are more elegant and pure and generally not as wild. Be sure to check my notes on the tasting when they are posted. (Continue reading here.)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

2014 Burgundy: Report from the Vineyards -- Day 4

Only two visits today. In the morning, to keep my palate fresh for a long afternoon, the only visit was to Guy Roulot in Meursault. Dazzling wines, but, alas, production was only 50% of a normal vintage. I’m glad to know some restaurants in Paris and Burgundy where I can get them at reasonable markups, for otherwise, I’ll never have another chance to see them. (Continue reading here.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

2014 Burgundies: Report from the Vineyards, Day 3

Today started at Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux with Charles Lachaux, who has taken over from his father. As with all the domaines I mention in my daily reports, I’ll subsequently give a wine-by-wine report, but I found the wines here impressive. They are dense but pure and elegant with great freshness. (Continue reading here.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

2014 Burgundies: Report from the vineyards: Day 2

On Tuesday, I visited two excellent domaines of contrasting styles in Rully: Marie & Paul Jacqueson and Vincent Dureuil-Janthial. Both have excellent reds and whites in 2014.

I also visited Domaine Michel Lafarge in Volnay where the results were excellent, as always. (Continue reading here.)

Monday, October 19, 2015

2014 Burgundies: Reports from the Vineyards: Day 1

I’d hoped to start posting notes on tastings I’d done, but tonight, at least, there just isn’t enough time left. What I can do is give a short summation of the day and by keeping that up, you can see how the vintage is unfolding in my eyes. Individual notes will eventually follow. (Continue reading here.)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

2014 Mosel Riesling Gross Gewächse: Part I (Hetzenport and Winningen)

With this post, I begin the Mosel GG’s that were presented in Wiesbaden at the end of August. There was a total of 37 wines ranging from the near where the Mosel joins the Rhein at Koblenz to near the French and Luxembourg borders in the Saar, and there was huge diversity in the quality of the wines presented. In part, that may reflect the slow-developing nature of the vintage, but there were also difficult conditions that the producers faced with respect to the health of the grapes. At this point, I probably prefer as a group the 2013 Mosel GG’s that were presented at Wiesbaden in August 2014 and I certainly prefer the 2012s presented in August 2013. Nevertheless, there are many excellent wines and with further time, others that were less impressive may come around. (Continue reading here.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

2014 Nahe Riesling GG: Part II (Schlossböckelheim, Niederhausen, Norheim, Traisen)

The previous post had direct vineyard comparisons of Schäfer-Fröhlich and Emrich-Schönleber wines, as well as other wines by those two producers. This one features direct vineyard comparisons between Schäfer-Fröhlich and Dönnhoff, as well as other wines by those two producers. It doesn’t get any better than this, folks.

Gut Hermannsberg, which has been producing increasingly good wine, did not show anyGG’s this year. Perhaps we will see them in next year’s tasting. Alas, I did not have time to visit the estate this year. (Continue reading here.)

Monday, October 12, 2015

2014 Nahe Riesling Grosse Gewächse: Part I (Bockenau and Monzingen)

Even though conditions in the Nahe often were more challenging in 2014 than in regions such as the Pfalz and even though the Pfalz was phenomenally successful in 2014, one can argue that the Nahe wines once again take the cake. Certainly, these two producers hit it all, and in the next report, I’ll have the wines of Dönnhoff, as well as more Schäfer-Fröhlich, and then a report on the outstanding wines from Diel, Kruger-Rumpf, and Salm. (Continue reading here.)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

2014 Rheingau Riesling GG: Part VI (Rüdesheim and Geisenheim)

A bit more variability here than in other parts of the Rheingau, although there still is a good number of outstanding GG’s here. As with 2014’s everywhere, the question is will the wines continue to improve with time (which could explain some of the disappointments). (Continue reading here.)

Friday, October 9, 2015

2014 Rheingau Riesling GG: Part III (Erbach and Oestrich)

There were more wines from Erbach that could have been GG’s that weren’t present at this tasting – because they did not pass the tasting panel or because they weren’t even presented (perhaps held back to present next year?)?

What there was was, for the most part, very good. (Continue reading here.)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

2014 Rheingau Riesling Grosses Gewächs: Part I (Hochheim, Kostheim, Walluf)

With this post, I begin the reviews of the 2014 Rheingau Rieslings. Although there were some wines that did not impress, the great majority were impressive, making for the strongest showing overall that I’ve found in this region for many years.

As with some of the other regions, there were producers who usually show at the Wiesbaden tasting who were not present this year, again, possibly an indication of the slowness of the wines to develop? (Continue reading here.)

Monday, October 5, 2015

2014 Northern Rheinhessen Riesling Grosses Gewächs: Part I

On the whole, this is a good showing for wines of Dienheim, Oppenheim, and Nierstein, which, on the whole, have not been especially inspiring over the past several years. The one off note is the butteriness in the Kühling-Gillot Hipping and the St. Antony Pettenthal, possibly due to use of new oak casks. St. Antony managed to pull it off, but this is a trend that I would not like to see continue. (Continue reading here.) 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

2014 Southern Rheinhessen (Westhofen and Dalsheim) Riesling Grosses Gewächs: Part II

Here we are not only in the heart of the most exciting white wine region in Germany (the World?) today, but also with its three greatest producers: K. F. Groebe, Keller, and Wittmann. Unfortunately, Klaus-Peter Keller was on vacation when I was in the region, so I only tasted his wine at the Wiesbaden GG preview. I did visit Groebe and Wittmann and will have subsequent reports on their other wines. (Continue reading here.)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

2014 Southern Rheinhessen Riesling Grosses Gewächs: Part I

The boundaries between the southern Rheinshessen and northern Pfalz are political, not based on differences in terroir. As a result, it is not surprising that many of these wines bear a close resemblance to the Northern Pfalz wines that I reviewed in the previous post.

The southern Rheinhessen is perhaps the most exciting region for Riesling in the world today. If you come across these wines (and those of other producers, whether in the VDP or not), don't pass up the chance to try them. (Continue reading here.)

Thursday, October 1, 2015