Over 25.000 tasting notes

One of Norway's largest wine tasting note archives, containing more than 25.000 tasting notes. All tasted by one taster, not a panel, so Norway's most consistent archive as well. To find tasting notes? Search; mywinesandmore "wine name" on google, to find all notes from one property.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Phoenix has landed

Back when I got interested in wine some 23 years ago, Müller-Catoir would be on most Riesling afficionado’s lips if they were to mention their top five estates of Germany. Then something happened. And while Riesling during the same time had a revolution, Müller-Catoir slept like Dornröschen, almost into oblivion. But Phoenix has not only rissen. It has now landed, and that on a level amongst its peers. 

It is a different expression. It is not the pure fruity intense marvel of playful elegance of Robert Weil, it is not the intense fruit driven power of Keller, the mineral focus of Joh. Jos. Prüm or the unparalleled focus, playfulness and transparent power of Egon Müller. No, this is the balance of all elements, and I mean all. Rieslings where the acidity feels refined and integrated, alcohol is a sublime part of the body, never showing its slightest touch, harmony all over. This is the Lafite Rothschild of German Riesling. The one that doesn’t show all its cards at once, impeccably dressed, a cunning smile, silk scarf, yet has royal street flush on its hand. But being a gentleman, may not show the hand if not called for. God is in the details. This is Saville Row Riesling. 

Yesterday I published on Facebook that this is Pfalz with a Mosel touch. An hour later I got a notification from the Norwegian importer that the winemaker is in fact from Mosel. Well, I had no idea, but you can taste it. It has that double address. You see, I don’t follow German wines that closely. Not because I don’t want to, but there are just 365 days a year. I was in Germany in November, invited to an event at Geisenheim organised by the University of Geisenheim and Prowein. I haven’t been in a German vineyard since 2016 before that. For the last three years I have only set foot on German soil at Frankfurt and München Airports. The wine world is too big to be able to focus on everything you want to.

The ripe richness of fruit and body (Pfalz), so impeccably tamed by someone who loves balance and transparency in all levels (Mosel), as someone from the Mosel is likely to do. Well, likely to do. That makes it sound simple. To tame the ripeness of Pfalz in this way is borderline witchcraft. Have you ever tried Schätzel from Rheinhessen? Same thing if not from Mosel, the inspiration is from Mosel. Or how about Wittmann? Again, not from the Mosel. But his wife is. Does that give Wittmann’s wines the energy that is rare in Rheinhessen? I’m not sure, but the energy is there. And both are amongst my very favourites in Rheinhessen. 

You see, Dornröschen was asleep in a manor house in Pfalz, or the Palatinate as the English calls it until not only one prince, but two woke her up. Sometimes it takes two princes to make the difference. Everything isn’t fairytale all the time. Sometimes even two princes has to sweat and pull like Atlas to get the sleeping princess out of bed. Great wine is not made by itself, especially if you were not handed the reins with proper knowledge. Even if today’s owner is the ninth generation since 1744, the ownership came abruptly. Philipp David Catoir was not quite prepared to be lord of the manor when he had to take the helm. Together with winemaker Martin Franzen from the Mosel and graduate from Geisenheim they have climbed the highest mountain as they say. Stone by stone. 

I have not followed Müller-Catoir that closely, or Germany for that matter for quite a few years now, so I will quote Stuart Pigott, one of the doyens of German Wine writers;

First, in 2002, then owner Heinrich Catoir appointed the very talented, still young Martin Franzen winemaker; then in 2007 Heinrich’s som Philipp took over as owner director. Under them, the wines have become drier and more mineral, but unlike Hans Gunther’s wines, which would sweep people off their feet less than six months after the harvest, the contemporary Müller-Catoir wines are often underrated because they don’t reach their youthful peak form until they are a year or two old. That might not sound like such a big difference, but today most of the critics are judging all white wines at 6 to 10 months of age. This has turned Müller-Catoir from being a producer whose wines were idealized by the critics into one whose wines they regard with skepticism and even disdain.
Give them enough time, though, and they shine like sunlight glittering on a collection of precious stones, none more so than the Breumel in Bürgergarten Riesling GG, a wine of breathtaking brilliance. The words of Stuart Pigott in Best White Wine on Earth: The Riesling Story.

This is world class Riesling’s that won’t suck up to you. It demands your attention like a Bruckner symphony. They demand education to understand them. Riesling version 2.0 as they say. Or actually. It isn’t. No, it is the other way. This is your grace....

All wines tasted from Riedel Vinum Riesling except the Spätburgunder that was tasted from Riedel Extreme Cabernet actually, that I felt really brought the purity of the fruit forward. The only Norwegian critic to taste these in one flight. 
These small stripes thell you the quality level for each wine.

2018 Müller-Catoir M-C Riesling
Kr 179,90
Pale lemon yellow. Primary nose of apples, pears, still a bit yeasty, faintly floral behind. Fresh acidity, apples, minerals behind, pears, elegant texture, a bit more body for a gutswein, good length. Lovely focus. 88

2018 Müller-Catoir Haardt Riesling trocken
Kr 229,90
Pale lemon yellow. Apples, lemons, minerals, nuanced and detailed, floral, faint of orange blossoms, pears behind. Lovely, somewhat subdued nose. Fresh acidity, smooth palate, beautiful balance, this is so elegant for a dry ortswein, meaning village wine. Some lacks just that bit of concentration to fill up for the acidity, that is not an issue with this one. Linear finish, long. Needs air to open. A truly graceful dry Riesling. Superb balance of all elements. 92

2018 Müller-Catoir Herrenletten Riesling Erste Lage
Kr 309,90
Pale lemon yellow. Some citrus, apples, orange blossoms, pears, fine tuned minerals note, whiff of candied lemons nose. Fresh acidity, apples, lemons, nuanced, pears, starting out firm and linear before it gets a peacock tail from mid palate to the finish, broadens up getting complex and long indeed. A stunning Erste Lage. This would impress as a graceful style GG even. So delicate yet powerful. Ethereal. Like a song from Aurora. 94

2018 Müller-Catoir Bürgergarten Riesling Erste Lage
Kr 309,90
Pale lemon yellow. Fruit driven, apples, some lemons, pears, floral behind, faintly spicy towards cinnamon and cardamom, subdued minerals nose. Fresh acidity, apples, lemons, nuanced, detailed, citrus, minerals, sublime balance, more power than Herrenletten, maybe a touch less graceful and feminine, another hugely impressive Erste Lage. 95

2018 Müller-Catoir Bürgergarten «Im Breumel» Riesling GG
Kr 419,90
Pale lemon yellow. Apples, subdued minerals, some pears, touch of gunpowder, touch floral, ripe lemons, faint, very faint grapefruits, some orange and orange flowers nose. Fresh acidity, smooth texture, apples, lemons, incredible balance of power, concentration and freshness, this is no Mustang. This is that comfortable Jaguar XK8 with just enough V8 power and torque to be incredibly quick yet never dramatic on twisting country roads, yet comfortable enough to swallow all the bumps. It will change the scenery very quickly, and you will be surprised at the speed it can do it. This is that sort of unparalleled effortlessness. So effortless you might very well miss it. You need to pay attention. A stunning GG. Truly long finish. This is all about refinement. If you seek power, go somewhere else. This is sophistication and dry Riesling at its best. So easy to overlook. 97

2016 Müller-Catoir Haardt Spätburgunder
Kr 300,80
Bright ruby. Strawberries, some spices, scented, bright, intense, some vanilla, almost a peppery touch, floral, stunning nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, bright, red fruity, elegant, nuanced, detailed, playful, incredible balance, detailed and layered, beautiful mix of spices, red fruits, depth and wood. Blind you would be hard pressed not to put this in Premier Cru level in Burgundy. But commune would be difficult. The day all German Spätburgunder’s show this finesse, balance and fruit quality, Burgundy needs to look over their shoulders. This is a beauty! Long finish. Turns a bit herbal in the finish with air, so if you are sensitive to that, might not be for you. I think it gives lift. At this price point, a steal! 92

2018 Müller-Catoir Herzog Rieslaner Auslese Erste Lage
Kr 249,90
Demi. Towards lemon yellow. Rich of apples, some peach, apricots, faintly spicy nose, touch of orange peel. Fresh acidity, quite rounded, fresh, apples, lemons, lemon curd, faintly spicy, some minerals, fairly intense, lovely balance, long. 91

2018 Müller-Catoir Herzog Rieslaner Beerenauslese Erste Lage
Kr 469,90
Demi. Towards golden. Apricots, leach, ripe and overripe yellow apples, pears, some spices, quite rich and deep nose. Fresh acidity, spicy, apple cake, almost some nuts, peach and pineapples, spices, rich and fruit driven, gently grilled pineapples finish. Long. 94

2018 Müller-Catoir Herzog Rieslaner Trockenbeerenauslese Erste Lage
Kr 759,90
Demi. Deep golden. Rich, intense nose, apricots and pineapples, fine tuned spices, faint raisins and sultanas nose. Exotic and rich yet has a lightness like a silk veil just touching you gently. But probably more colourful like a Hermes shawl. Fresh acidity, intense, layered, tropical, bright, incredibly playful and refined, superb balance, mouthwatering, pineapples, apricots, raspberries, intense long finish. Just a touch hollow in the finish to be very picky. Incredible Rieslaner. 96

Monday, 9 December 2019

Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017 and more

2017 Quinta do Noval Nacional
MAY 19 Deep ruby. Dark fruity, rich, layered, nuanced, dense, incredibly deep nose. Spices. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, anise, dark fruity, spices, rich, layered, nuanced, dense, creamy, nuanced, long. Incredible wine. 100

2003 Quinta do Noval Nacional
MAY 19 Ruby. Intense, minerals, detailed, dark fruity, minty, intense, deep, nuanced, incredible depth. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, anise, dark fruity, spices, liquorice, detailed, minty, spices, liquorice, long. 97

2016 Quinta do Noval Vintage
MAY 19 Ruby. Dark fruity, blueberries, some spices nose. Rich and dark fruity, scented. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruity, spices, anise, liquorice, detailed, nuanced and long. 95

2017 Quinta do Noval Vintage Port
APR 19 World premier tasting with Christian Seely. Deep ruby. Rich, intense, layered, nuanced, detailed, dark fruits, rich and dense. Fresh acidity, ripe, dense, spicy, liquorice, layered, nuanced, minty, detailed, elegant, long. 95

2017 Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port
APR 19 World premier tasting with Christian Seely. Deep ruby. Rich, dark berries, anise, spices, layered, detailed, nuanced, intense and layered, touch of eucalyptus. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, anise, detailed, nuanced, layered, intense, spices, stunning balance, rich yet subtle, long. Superb. 98-100

2005 Quinta do Noval Tawny Colheita
APR 19 Garnet. Amber, dried fruits, anise, figs, scented, detailed and layered nose.fresh acidity, fruity, detailed, dried fruits, some spices, elegant, nuanced, long. Superb balance. 94

And since we are closing in on Christmas, a few more Ports...

2016 Churchill’s Vintage Port
Kr 649,90
Deep ruby. Dark fruits, almost leaps out of the glass, some spices, rich, dense nose, scented. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruity, intense, spicy, very fruity, deep and layered, this will need years to reveal all its secrets. Long. 96

2016 Niepoort Bioma Vintage
Kr 649,90
Deep ruby. A fine fragrant nose of dark fruits, hint of raspberries and some floral notes, almost touch of black tea. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruity, spices, anise, juicy, beautiful body and texture, long finish. 95

2016 Quinta do Vale Meao Vintage Port
Kr 579,90
Deep ruby. Rich, intense, dark fruity with red berries, almost juicy nose, so fruit driven. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, again hugely juicy palate, detailed and layered, rather playful even with concentrated fruit and depth, long finish. 95

2017 Taylor’s Vintage Port
Kr 880,-
Deep ruby. Intense dark fruity, exotic spices, liquorice and layered nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, quite rich and dense, layered, superb fruit quality but alcohol shows rather sharply throughout the palate, even a bit on the nose. This disturbs an otherwise stunning Port. Depending how tolerant you are to the alcohol notes, this will be between heaven and hugely annoying. I land in the middle. 96

2017 Quinta do Crasto Vintage Port
Ikke sluppet enda.
Deep ruby. Amazing nose of floral notes, raspberries and more intense of blackberries and dark fruits. This almost leaps out of the glass but in a very graceful way. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, truly juicy and pure feel to it, bright expression, raspberries and dark fruits, a lively and mouthwatering Vintage Port, very long finish. 97

Portviner fra Symington’s tilbake til 1940

Symington er kanskje ikke et navn du gjenkjenner fra noen portvinsetikett, men familien eier noen av de fremste vinhusene i bransjen.

På 1600-tallet eksporterte man alt vin fra Douro tilsatt druesprit for at den skulle tåle reisen bedre til eksportnasjonene, men dette var begynnelsen på dagens portvin. I 1729 ankom skotten William Warre Porto og han ble kompanjong i selskapet Clark, Thornton & Warre. Det var gode tider og Warre ble raskt eneeier i selskapet som siden kun har båret hans navn. Hans barnebarn ble kastet ut av firmaet etter at han limte fast en ansatt til pulten, men han skulle gjøre en fremragende karriere i militæret så selv Wellington ble kjent med portvinene fra Warre’s. 

Christopher Smith fra England ankommer Douro og etablerer Smith Woodhouse 1784. Han var både medlem av parlamentet og senere overborgermester i London. Hans sønner tok importørbrødrene Woodhouse inn i selskapet og dermed fikk vi dagens navn. Symington’s kjøpte dette huset i 1970.
Bruno Evaristo Ferreira da Silva etablerte portvinshuset som skulle bli kjent som Dow’s i 1798 men fant raskt ut at det stort sett bare var briter som drakk portvin, og han måtte finne seg en engelsk kompanjong. Han giftet seg i London og ble boende der til sin død i 1850. Under Napoleonskrigen måtte han sende vinene med et kaperskip som han selv eide, for ikke og bli robbet på veien. Med full bevæpning, kaperbrev og det hele. Sønnen tok over og fikk kompanjongen Cosens og firmaet het Silva & Cosens. Etter hvert kom oldebarnet fra Warre’s inn som medeier også. I 1877 kjøpte de Dow’s som var mindre, men mye mer kjent og de byttet derfor navn til Dow’s. John Warre som var daglig leder i Dow’s ble alvorlig syk på sin bryllupsreise og man henvendte seg til unge Andrew James Symington, ansatt i Warre’s om ikke han kunne hjelpe. 

Robert Cockburn var med i Wellingtons hær og kanskje smakte han der vin fra Warre’s, for han etablerte i alle fall portvinshuset Cockburn’s i 1815. Han må ha vært en kjekkas og en kvinnebedårer, for han giftet seg med Mary Duff som den engelske poeten Lord Byron skrev kjærlig om før han ble berømt. Kanskje hun ante lukten av portvin der fremme og så på det som mer spennende enn poesi?
I 1826 skipper Graham’s sine første viner, men av en litt annen årsak enn vanlig. En portugisisk vinprodusent skylder penger og det eneste han eier er 27 piper med portvin, det vil si 27 tønner. Og dermed sitter man plutselig på en del vin man må selge for å få regnskapet til å gå i hop. Vinen ble en umiddelbar suksess og med denne gjelden fra en vinbonde ble kanskje verdens mest berømte portvinshus skapt. Og ingen i dette huset la spesielt merke til at den ene kontoristen het Andrew James Symington. 

Men Symington’s eier også Gould Campbell og Quinta do Vesuvio, samt noen flere eiendommer. Alt dette grunnet at Andrew James Symington ankom Porto i 1882, bare 19 år gammel. Han giftet seg lokalt med Beatrice Leitao de Carvalhosa Atkinson hvis bestefar hadde vært i portvinshandelen siden 1814. Gjennom hans mor igjen kan Symingtonene i dag spore forfedre tilbake til de tidligste tidene i portvinshandelen gjennom fjorten generasjoner og vi snakker 1652. Så dagens familie har lange røtter og en bred portefølje å ta vare på. 

Andrews inntog skapte sterke bånd som førte til at etterkommerne ble eneeiere av både Dow’s og Warre’s i 1961. Helt siden starten har familien tilbragt mest mulig tid i selve Dourodalen og du skal ikke snakke lenge om familiens quintaer, det vil si vineiendommene eller gårdene om du vil med noen av dagens medlemmer av familien, før du ser et litt flakkende drømmende blikk. I 1970 fikk familien kjøpt Graham’s også da dette huset ble lagt ut for salg, og her hadde familien hatt et fotfeste nesten hundre år før, selv om det er Warre’s og Dow’s de har hatt en hånd på hele veien.
Fjerdegenerasjon med Paul, Johnny, Dominic, Rupert og Charles kom med fra 1979 og fremover og det er denne generasjonen som også kjøpte Quinta do Vesuvio i 1989 samt Cockburn’s i 2010, to eiendommer som har laget historisk signifikante viner. 1927 Cockburn’s Vintage Port regnes av mange som noe av det beste laget av portvin. 

I det siste begynner så smått femte generasjon også å komme inn i driften. Huset, eller husene, klarer å ha helt egne karakteristikker og stilarter selv om de har samme eier. Her er vinene som i øyeblikket er i markedet og det er kun 8 flasker av 1940 Graham’s Single Harvest Tawny tilgjengelig i Norge. Familien har fortsatt sterke bånd til Storbritannia, blant annet har tidligere statsminister John Mayor vært gjest på en av familiens quintaer nok ganger til at man nå har John Mayor suiten der.
I dag har de også Vinum restaurant i Graham’s Lodge i Porto som er et must å besøke om man er i området. Maten er fremragende, vinene det samme og utsikten over byen når mørket faller på er uforglemmelig. 

Graham’s Extra Dry White
Kr 259,90
Pale straw yellow. Apples, leach, hay and light notes nose, touch of citrus.fresh acidity, dried fruits, some spices and smoky notes, nuts, good length. 87

Warre’s Otima 20 Years Old Tawny
Kr 249,90 0,5 liter
Amber. Dried fruits, raisins, some caramel and nuts nose. Fresh acidity, dried fruits, orange marmalade, nuts, detailed and spicy, juicy, good length. 89

Graham’s 10 Years Old Tawny
Kr 349,90
Amber, ruby core. Dried fruits, anise, some cherries, apricots, nuanced, detailed nose. Fresh acidity, fruity, elegant texture, dried fruits, juicy, elegant and nuanced, long. 91

Graham’s 20 Years Old Tawny
Kr 549,90
Amber, garnet hue. Dried fruits, anise, figs, dates, some caramel, faint floral mote nose. Fresh acidity, fruity, dried fruits, some figs and dates, nuanced, elegant texture, long. 92

Graham’s 30 Years Old Tawny
Kr 949,90
Amber. Dried fruits, anise, figs, dates, some caramel, nuanced and layered nose.  Fresh acidity, fruity, dried fruits, figs, dates, elegant texture, nuanced, long. 93

Graham’s More than 40 Years Old Tawny
Kr 1399,90
Amber. Dried, fruits, anise, some figs, dates, tea, nuts and floral notes, touch of citrus nose. Fresh acidity, dried fruits, elegant and nuanced, figs, dates, lovely texture, smooth and rounded, long. 94

1994 Graham’s Single Harvest Tawny
Kr 999,90
Bottled 2019. Amber. Dried, fruits, nuts, some caramel, dates, raisins nose, faint orange marmalade notes. Fresh acidity, elegant, bright and nuanced, playful, juicy, beautiful balance, long. 94

1963 Graham’s Single Harvest Tawny
Kr 2750,-
Cask 9 bottle 209, bottled 2018. Amber, golden rim. Floral, scented, dried fruits, nuanced, layered, detailed, stunning nose.nuts and nut cake. Fresh acidity, elegant texture, detailed, nuanced, superb balance, dried fruits and nuts, layered, long. 98

1940 Graham’s Single Harvest Tawny
Kr 8900,-
Bottled 2019 Amber, golden hue. Dried fruits, nuts, nut cake, caramel, floral, some orange marmalade, marzipan raisins, figs and dates. Fresh acidity, elegant texture, detailed, nuanced, bright, superb intensity, complex and layered, elegant, beautiful balance, long. Incredible stuff! 97

Cockburn’s Special Reserve
Kr 189,90
Ruby. Dark fruits, blueberries and blackberries nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruity, juicy, elegant. 87

Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve
Kr 249,90
Ruby. Blackberries and light spicy nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, anise, dark berries, lighter. 87

2014 Graham’s LBV
Kr 209,90
Ruby. Blackberries, anise, blueberries and spices, liquorice nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruity, blackberries and spices, fruity, intense and playful, long. 90

2008 Smith Woodhouse Unfiltered LBV
Kr 289,90
Deep ruby. Rich, dark fruity, blueberries, intense and layered nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruity, juicy, elegant body, somewhat lighter but seems more focused, long. 92

2015 Cockburn’s Bicentenary Vintage
Kr 759,90
Ruby. Dark fruity, blackberries and spices, intense deep fruity nose, lightly scented. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruity, blackberries and blueberries, juicy, layered, dark berries, long. 94

2012 Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos
Kr 429,90
Deep ruby. Blackberries, dark fruity, blueberries and liquorice, intense nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruity, blackberries, rich and intense, nuanced, long. 95

2006 Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos
Kr 529,90
Deep ruby. Rich, dark fruity, blackberries and spices, liquorice nose, intense. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruity, blackberries and spices, blackberries, long. 95

2005 Dow’s Quinta do Bomfim Vintage Port
Kr 229,90 demi
Ruby. Blackberries and anise, liquorice, blueberries and starting figs nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, anise, dark fruity, blueberries and spices, long. 91

2000 Graham’s Vintage Port
Kr 999,90
Ruby. Blackberries and spices, liquorice, nuanced, dates nose, cigars. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruity, figs and dates, nuanced, layered, long. 93

1995 Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage
Kr 999,90
Ruby. Coffee, blackberries and spices, liquorice, some tea, layered nose. Dates. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, anise, dried fruits, spices, nuanced, liquorice, dark berries, long. 93

1985 Dow’s Vintage Port
Kr 1199,90
Ruby. Figs, dates, tobacco, dried fruits, liquorice nose, some forest floor notes. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins softening, dried fruits, anise, liquorice, detailed and nuanced, long. 94

1983 Graham’s Vintage Port
Kr 1399,-
Deep ruby, garnet rim. Dried fruits, some marzipan, figs, dates, rich, nuanced and intense nose, layered. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dried fruits, anise, spices, layered and detailed, superb balance, long. Superb bottle. My best to date! 96

1994 Dow’s Vintage Port
Ikke tilgjengelig 
Ruby, garnet rim. Dried fruits, anise, figs, dates, scented, nuanced nose, layered. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, anise, dried fruits, spices, liquorice, intense and layered, nuanced, long. 93

1977 Gould Campbell Vintage Port
Ikke tilgjengelig 
Magnum. Ruby, garnet rim. Dried fruits, anise, liquorice, figs and dates nose. Fresh acidity, some tannins, dried fruits, some mint, light chocolate, spices, long, narrower finish. 92