Thursday, 7 July 2016

Vina Casa Marin

Jakarta, 31 May 2016

A selection of wines by Vina Casa Marin. The wines are distributed in Indonesia by PT Dimatique International. Apologies for the quality of the pictures (more specifically, lack thereof), couldnt find a dry bottle to photograph for the whites.

2009 Riesling, Miramar Vineyard

Plenty of high notes on the nose: lemon and citrus dominates, then hints of kerosene and waxy lemon peel. On the palate, bags of citrus supported by racy yet juicy acidity; it is lip-smacking, mouth-watering stuff. So lively, fruit and acid really sings together; theres a decent amount of residual sugar but you really wouldnt notice it. A high wire act, so vibrant and bright, still rapier-like in its focus. Lots of life ahead of this, drink now - 2020+.

2011 Gewurztraminer, Casona Vineyard

On the nose: lemon some spritz and peel, maybe some green apple too? Citrus again on the palate, but it is wider and more generous; fruity acidity balances out the mid palate. Theres more weight too; feels more rounded and settled compared to the racy Riesling. Should make a versatile food wine. Will keep but dont think it'll improve, drink now - 2020.

2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Laurel Vineyard

Textbook aromas: green leafy notes, ripe gooseberry, then develops to sweet lemons; as it warms, the green peppers begin to show too. Good fruit profile on the palate, fruity acidity with some residual sugar left in the there; very generous on the mid palate, even hints of minerality on the finish. Still feels youthful, yet very together and assured in its expression. A gourmand wine, this is a seriously classy. Drink now - 2020.

2008 Pinot Noir, Lo Abarca Hills Vineyard

Nose is stalky almost woody, the herbal and vegetal notes wrap around the red plums. On the palate there are remnants of a sweet core of red fruit (plums and cherries), but it has developed with tiem and lost the sweetness, the acidity and tannins too fading away. Cool climate, not over extracted in style; a more restrained, ‘adult’ style Pinot; a gentle, food wine. Surprising fruit still left given the age, drink now.

2009 Syrah, Miramar Vineyard

On the nose, ripe plums and berries with lots of white pepper too; the nose is reminiscent of Northern Rhone reds from the ripe year. On the palate, fat acidity, really quite filling acid, so much so the fruit takes a back seat. Crunchy red fruit, like red cherries and currants; quite disconcerting in that the nose makes you expect something and the palate delivers something else. Age has lightened the fruit, but acidity carries through; might keep, but wont improve, drink now.

Overall impression

To be honest the reds were rather strange and I am not entirely certain why wines of this age were shown, given that the core fruit of both reds has faded away. On the other hand, the whites (which should be pointed out arent that much younger than the reds) were absolutely wonderful: the Gewurztraminer was Alsatian in style and a pleasure to taste, the Sauvignon Blanc a classy, gourmand wine. The Riesling was still so lively it reminded me of Mosel Spatleses. I have little doubt this Riesling will last well into the next decade. I've previously tasted and been impressed by Casa Marin's whites and this tasting just reinforces why they are deservedly so highly regarded.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Maison Louis Jadot

Jakarta, 31 May 2016

A tasting of Maison Louis Jadot wines from Burgundy, or more specifically, from the Cote d’Or, led by Sigfried Pic, Export Director. With thanks too to Franklin Huber of PT Bogacitra Nusapratama (Boga Fine Wine), who are Jadot’s distributors in Indonesia. The wines are written in the order they were tasted.

2013 Bourgogne Chardonnay

Pale yellow green in colour. On the nose, immediately sweet white fruits (peaches ) and lick of sweet vanilla , with some high notes showing too. On the palate, flvours are lemony with good fruity acidity; good entry but fades on midpalate, mouthfeel is pleasant. Balanced, well made if perhaps rather textbook Bourgogne Blanc; it is fresh, approachable yet food-friendly, intended for immediate consumption.

2012 Meursault Villages
Slightly deeper in colour. Aromas are of vanilla and creamy oak, fragrant and thick, follows through to white fruits and peach. Smells ripe and maybe a touch alcoholic. White fruit on the palate with lemons and some nuttiness too, more filing and creamy in texture; fruit is generous, acidity enough to keep it going and minerality on the finish. It is a more substantial and ‘bigger’ wine, suited to heavier dishes. A balanced, well-made wine that is proudly typical of Meursault; drink now – 2020.

2009 Beaune ‘Les Theurons’ Premier Cru

Fragrant, ripe red fruit, also some woody and stalky notes, touch of sweet oak too. On the palate, feels restrained and very linear, actually tastes quite closed and woody, the fruit is hidden away perhaps softened by age. Quite masculine in style, fresh acidity still and some tannins to keep it going. This will keep but I don’t think it’ll improve and given the fruit isn’t particularly expressive, I’d recommend drinking up, drink now - 2020.

2009 Beaune ‘Les Avaux’ Premier Cru

Red fruit, with some white pepper and roses, high notes also there. Theres more crunchy, fruity acidity on the palate, with flavours of unripe red cherries and raspberries. More generous in fruit and acid, wider and larger in the attack but fades too quickly. Theres some vivacity (especially acidity wise) on the palate, which is exciting but I just wished it lasts on the finish. Not unlike the Les Theurons, will keep but I don’t think it’ll improve, drink now – 2020.

2010 Pommard ‘Les Grands Epenots’ Premier Cru

Fragrant sweet oak, ripe red ruits, almost floral even; as it warms up, theres some undergrowth and stalky notes too. On the palate, the fruit and flavours are muted, everything seems together but not singing? The acidity is still lively, the tannins slightly softened out but should allow further aging. Disconcertingly, the entry, midpalate and finish tastes almost the same muted self. It is painfully inexpressive.

This is not typical of Pommard Grand Epenots. Some Burgundies are known to enter a ‘closed’ phase during their adolescence (hence the advice to drink young or wait 10+ years). If one is being kind, perhaps this Jadot Pommard Grands Epenots is in such a phase and in this case, I am inclined to give it the benefit of the doubt.

2008 Chambolle-Musigny Villages

Heading towards barnyard and rusty notes, quite developed notes that can only be from aged Burgundy; then fragrant and red fruits touches come back. Fresh acidity still, but the fruit has definitely taken a back seat, some might say faded away. Acidity is still vibrant and fresh, quite fruity even; tannins has softened too. Unfortunately, the fruit isn’t expressive and I get the sense that this wine is tired, far more so than a wine of its age should be, I have a suspicion that the storage conditions thus far has not been ideal.

Overall impressions

In the world of Burgundy, Maison Louis Jadot needs little introduction and this was an interesting snapshot from their frankly huge portfolio. The whites were straightforward, typical and correct: the Bourgogne Chardonnay balanced, the Meursault bigger and more textured. The two Beaune Premier Crus were very different from each other, the Les Theurons showing a more masculine edge to the rounder Les Avaux. Given that there are no Grand Crus in Beaune, these two Premier Crus do represent the finer end of Beaune, though I must say these two bottles aren’t the most expressive Beaunes I have tasted. The Pommard Grands Epenots, as written above, slightly confuses me and I don’t know what more I can add on that. In a terroir as fickle as Burgundy, it is worth noting that the Beaune and Pommard Premier Crus are from very good vintages, with good aging potential. The Chambolle-Musigny, from a lesser vintage, was a curiousity that is probably past its best. In all, certainly a thought provoking tasting.