Mad ideas always turn up, and they quickly gain legitimity by simply lingering around. This one was about binge drinking with some extraordinary wines,
that is, opening a few truly great bottles just for fun while getting wasted in the process – and never jotting a single line down about them.
It took a few years for everyone to give in, but finally we popped the necessary corks for the fun – but we failed to drop the pens, though. We were just not ready for that yet.
Alvaro Palacios Le Terrasses 2007
Very deep ruby, quite typical for Spanish wines. A very fruity nose with dried sour cherries, some plum, and a notch of chocolate coming through. Both the look and the nose promise depth and concentration, but the wine does not live fully up to this – well, that would be way too good for its place in the Palacios-hierarchy anyway. The wine is thick material with firm tannins, but it is relatively simple stuff. Still, it has a grand-wine-feeling, if you like that vibe, go for it. It scores 88 points with me.
Greenock Creek Cornerstone Grenache 2007
A pale garnet colour, that looks quite improbable at first for a grand wine. An unusual, but interesting nose, really intense though, and aromatically rich. Roses come through, lots of dried fruits, with sour cherry and strawberry, even a bit of spice. There is much less power on the palate, high alcohol provides the body with just enough acids trying to balance the scales, as tannins are completely lacking for me.
I took it for some funny new-worldish barolo with no tannins for some reason, but it was a grenache. A very interesting one indeed, I have only met a few pinot noirs and sangiovese give this kind of light-garnet-full-bouquet wine, but this grenache fails to stand up to the very best of them. I think there is some more complexity available in this direction, and it is probably very hard to get the balance right for the high alcohol in this wine style, but it is still an outstanding wine, scores 90 points with me tonight. I would love to try some more of these grenaches.
Alvaro Palacios Moncerbal 2005
A fantastic fruit bomb, that is also able to show complexity. Lots of primary fruit aromas on the nose, but they are not really red wine-like. Bake cherries remind me of a friut cake, tropical fruits like orange and passion fruit make me look for words. If it came in a black glass, I might even took it for a white wine. Some chocolate and cocoa notes tell a tale of barrel ageing.
Acids lead the way on the palate, they are surprisingly lively, and they are able to tackle the high alcohols, tannins are few. Tropical fruits rule the mouth, too. Pure, concentrated, and lively. Starts and 90 points and climbs higher and higher, reaching up to 95 points in the end.
After an early dose of milk and sunflower seeds a bit of sweetness lingers on the nose, with lots of walnuts coming through. It is rather vegetal than fruity. On the palate it is fruity though, with sour cherry, and blackcurrant flavours. Surprisingly high on acidity, it looks still too young. A thick material, a talented supertuscan slowly starting to unwind. Undoubtedly above 90 points, say, 91 points for now, and that rather refers to enjoyment than potential. I hope to check back in 3 to 5 years. I would expect to meet a lean, more elegant wine with good complexity by that time. Pretty reserved at the moment for a 4 year old Tuscan wine. Decanter was right with saying best after 2013.
Gere Kopar 2006
The benchmark Bordeaux blend with lots of Hungarian wine fans since its inception in 1997, this wine is the flagship product for Attila Gere’s winery in Villány. It is made in size now, some 70.000 bottles were produced in the 2006 vintage. The composition has also been changed in 2006 to 52% cabernet franc, 46% merlot, and only 2% cabernet sauvignon. It used to be 40% cabernet sauvignon, 40% merlot and 20% cabernet franc, but the latter varietals will dominate from 2006 on. A good choice, if you ask me.
A thick, stingy nose with some chemical barrel notes at first, it cleans up quickly to present coffee, a local trademark Gere-note (not unlike of the typical Chateau Margaux character, I would say,) rum & walnuts (also found in Tuscany,) and some sour cherries care for the fruit.
Fresh acidity leads the way in the mouth, takes over a high alcohol, more fruits coming up with a powerful dose of cherry, and some cedar. A long aftertaste, with some 5 years to run upwards, I think, more open and mature at this stage than the Sassicaia, but still has potential. 91 points.
The big brother to the Kopár 2006, a very limited barrel selection of 1.200 bottles. The first Hungarian red wine sold for cca. 100 euros in retail, thus making a splash in the Hungarian wine world. Definitely a wine that needs to surpass the Kopár and stand up to international comparison.
A less intense nose than I expected, this wine showed a bit more class at a family gathering a month ago. True, the company was less impressive. It is still very focused, fruity, much more, than the Kopár, less sweet, but more concentrated. Very intense flavours of sour cherry, plum, and blackcurrant, also with a hint of non-sweet spicyness.
A well composed, fat Villány red integrated seemlessly, with a huge lot of alcohol and tannins, perfect tannins in fact, never lazy for a moment, kicking around, that needs time to tame and mature. Enjoy it now or say, the next 10-15 years. At 94 points this is the best Hungarian red wine I tasted yet.