Ribera del Duero – an invitation

Ribera del Duero is an area that have brought many spectacular wines to my glass, over the years. I still remember one stormy evening about 15 years ago in Hellerup. We tasted many good wines this evening, but the 2 Vega Sicilia Unico, and the Vega Sicilia Reserva Especial still stands out in my memory.  I my opinion the wines of Ribera del Duero have a very strong character and when you taste them blind, they tend to taste like Bordeaux wines, but still with a Spanish touch. …

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Jean Daneel Shiraz – 33 måneder på fad?!

33 måneder på fad kan afskrække mig i de fleste tilfælde, men ikke i smagen på denne vin. Jeg læste det først på bagetiketten, efter at have nydt vinen til et herligt langtidsstegt stykke fårekød.

Jean Daneel er en energisk vinmager der laver en meget intens serie af vine og normalt er jeg vild med hans Chenin Blanc. I dag stod det dog på første årgang af hans Signature Shiraz. Wellington/Napier hvor Jean Daneel har hjemme er et af de mere varme distrikter, men han formår alligevel at fremstille vine med god balance.

2005 Jean Daneel, Signature Shiraz, WO Wellington, South Africa – deep ruby color with an open bouquet. Very intens on the nose with notes of plums, dark chocolate an blackberry. Only a hint of vanillaoak. On the palate you get attacked by the high alcohol (15,5%) and after that a wave of blackcurrant fruit, mature plums, sweet vanilla and chocolate notes. The acidity is well balanced with the nice velvety tannins. The wine goes perfect with intens sheep with plenty of garlic and basil. Still young, with a nice potential for ageing. I think this will develop for another 3 years.



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2007 Niepoort, Charme, Douro

2007 Niepoort, Charme, Douro

Tasted and drunk non blind from Riedel Sommelier Hermitage glass 3rd of March 2012.  Note inspired by SAT from WSET. http://www.wsetglobal.com/documents/dipsat_wine26.04.11.pdf

Appearance and nose:

At opening: Transparent ruby with medium (+) intensity. Raspberry, currant and very delicate leather notes.
After five hours: Toasty coffee-beans. Dark sweet plum and dark chocolate. Still fine raspberry aroma characteristics.


Dry and then it evolves in all over your palate! Velvety soft tannins that coats every corner on your palate. Medium (+) flavor intensity, medium acidity. Only medium body, maybe even medium (-). Alcohol is 13,5% and well balanced. Flavour characteristics of strawberry, raspberry and a huge field of flowers. Only a touch of leather and spice from the oak ageing. Black schist and a slight mintyness that keeps the wine very fresh. After five hours open it just evolves even further and brings in coffee and chocolate notes. The taste lingers on for a long time in complete balance, where the fruit intensity balances the mature fruit.


This is an outstanding wine because of it’s fantastic balance and freshness. Very nice complexity, but never looses focus on the primary fruit. I think this wine will develop over the next 5 – 10 years, but it taste so fantastic right now that I will have problems keeping my hands away.

Rating on my 100 point scale: 95 points.


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2010 Allain Graillot, Crozes-Hermitage

2010 Allain Graillot, Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone

Tasted and drunk non blind from Riedel Sommelier Hermitage glass 3rd of March 2012.  Note inspired by SAT from WSET.

Appearance and nose:

Deep purple with blue hue. Very intens on the nose with penetrating aroma characteristics of black pepper, smoked bacon, blackberry, black cherry and plums. Very complex on the nose.


Dry with medium (+) acidity and flavor intensity. Medium (+) coarse tannins that soften up after a few hours, but are still very present. Flavour characteristics of sweet black cherry, plums, cranberry, blackberry, bacon and black stone! Medium (+) body with 13% alc well integrated. A very intens wine that grabs you and keeps your focus. The taste lingers on for a long time in good balance.


An outstanding wine that will benefit from further ageing. I will keep my remaining bottles for at least 3 years, but I think the wine will improve up to 2020. The complexity and the tannin-structure is the benchmarks for this impressive wine. Even though you have tons of massive fruit, the wine keeps “cool” because of the acidity and the black minerality.

Rating on my 100 point scale: 91+ points.


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Guess a wine, WSET Diploma note

I just tried again to test my skills, this time I guessed it blind on area and vintage. Can you guess this wine? Note after WSET Diploma Systematic Approach to Tasting.

Appearence: Clear, medium ruby with legs

Nose: Clean, medium (-) with developing aromas characteristics of raspberry, rose petal, cherry, dry wood and green bell peber.

Palate: dry medium acidity, coarse medium tannins, medium (+) alcohol, medium (-) body and medium (+) flavor characteristics. Notes of green bell peber mostly, stalky and dry wood, raspberry and red cherry. Medium (-) finish that dries out on the palate, unbalanced.

Comclusion: acceptable to good, lacking fruit concentration and balance. Ready to drink and will not improve.

I guessed 2007 Bordeaux, because of the lack of concentration and fruit. Acceptable guess.

The wine was: 2007 Château Saint Genès, Premieres Cotes de Blaye, a Château owned by Bernard Magrez


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2003 Steenberg, Sauvignon Blanc, Constantia, South Africa

Served blind on a Sunday night from the neighbours deep cellar. Lets say I was surprised…

Appearance: clear, medium lemon and almost small bubbles along the side of the glass. (Which misled me to believ it was a young wine. “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”.)

Nose: Clean and very pronounced with developed Sauvignon Blanc notes of green grass, elderflower, green apple and stony minerality. Peach came in and minggled with the white flowers. (So typical modern Sauvignon Blanc that I couldn’t stop following this idea)

Palate: off dry, medium acidity, medium(+) intensity, a little too high on alkohol, my guess correct: 14%. Typical notes of green apple, white flowers, chalky minerality, elderflower and a bitter peach. White pebber comes crawling over the tongue with lemon fruit as well.

Very nice balance with clear focus on the fruit and nice minerality. Long finish with plenty of clean fruit.

Conclusion: Very good quality, drink now – will not develop further. My guess: top level New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2007.

Afterthoughts: Impressive! A very good development on this wine, still plenty of fresh fruit and intensity. I guessed 4 years off on a Sauvignon Blanc? Imagine that, not good….

Disclaimer: I work for the importer of Steenberg here in Denmark.…

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2006 Arrocal, Maximo, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Tasted with WSET Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine.

Appearance: clear, deep garnet with narrow legs

Nose: Clean, pronounced with developed notes of mostly secundary aromas of leather, figs, coffebeans, and then plums, blueberry and aggressiv oak flavours; vanilla and toast.

Palate: Dry with high acidity and medium tannins that dryes out and seem very oaky. High intensity and high alkohol, both in an agressiv matter. Notes of wet wool, oak vanilla, leather and then som black cherries and plums. The oak gets almost caramel-like.

Unbalanced wine with to much oak and to little fruit. Medium length where the oak dominates within seconds.

Conclusion: good, drink now or the rest of the fruit will dissappear. Premium priced.

Afterthoughts: this is a now classic example of how some Spanish wineries want to do it all, but doesn’t have the fruit and knowledge to get the wine balanced. The backlabel said 26 months on 200% new oak. I guess this wine would have been outstanding if it had been bottled after 12 months instead.


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2007 Markus Molitor, Bernkasteler Badstube, Kabinett, Riesling, Mosel

Appearence: clear medium with lemon green colour and small legs

Nose: Clean with medium (+) intensity, youtfull with yellow flowers, peach and strong chalky minerallity present, orange peel,

Palate: off dry with high acidity, low or missing tannin, low alkohol, medium (-) body but medium(+) intensity. Notes of yellow flowers, peach, lemon, white chalk minerality again, steely. Fantastic crisp structure with excellent balance between acidity and fruit intensity. Medium(+) finish. Sweetness seems a little low with focus on bitterness and acidity.

Conclusion: very good quality, can drink now but will develop. High price.
Not tasted blind, but with great pleasure. Even better on the second day in the decanter.…

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