Muito Obrigado Portugal! Calheiros Cruz Douro Reserva 2002

This red blend was one of the best wines I had in the past 6 months. It consisted of Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz. About two years ago it had a predominant taste of spaghetti water, which impressed me for some strange reason. But now it show aromas of dark chocolate, a hint of coconut and a quite strong bramble taste. It was very dense and complex. The rather strong wood, which is normaly not my thing, appeared to be very sublime and gentle. This resulted in a very well balanced composition. The smell showed typical fruity Tinta Roriz scents, which can be very suprising for such a heavy wine when you have it the first time. The best of all was its price. It just cost ridiculous 12 to 15 Euro. I am glad to have another two bottles in my cellar.


Indigenous grape variety red blend from Turkey: Kavaklidere Selection 2003

This red blend made of the Turkish varietals Öküzgözü and Bogazkere comes from South East Turkey. It was rather bright in colour and showed some brown dicolourations on the rim. The fragrance was dominated by pepper, hay, slight oak and aged cherries. Its taste showed clear aromas of raisins, pepper, old hay, well matured cherries and a bit of marzipan!?! There wasn't too much fruitness left in this already well aged wine. The strong acid and the still remaining tannins were a little bit too strong for my taste. Its style wasn't over concentrated or did not have the usual character of a wine from such a southern region. It was more like a nice mid bodied wine which might be suitable for summertime consumption. I guess it should be finished off this or next year at the very latest.


Pinot from Spain and Switzerland - What a combination!

Bodegas Miquel Gelabert Vi de Taule de Balears Vinya Des Moré Crianza 2002

This one is my second Pinot Noir from Spain (first one was Mas Borras 2002 from Torres) and once again it is a positive surprise. This Pinot Negro from Bodegas Gelabert doesn't belong to D.O. Pla i Llevant region because Pinot isn't covered by the wine law. Its colour was very dark for a Pinot. Its fragrance was similar to the Mas Borras. I could spot aged raspberries and very well balanced vanilla scents. Floral scents of hay flowers were present as well. Its taste was very dense, but not heavy or alcoholic at all. It was dominated by the taste of very ripe raspberries. In a certain way it had a quite sweet style, but not a sweetness which some New World Pinot Noirs demonstrate. Due to a very pleasent acid it appeared to be very well balanced. The new oak wasn't dominant at all. It showed a very classical performance. It surely was a very well made Pinot Noir and it was absolutely worth to try. I enjoyed it very much. Its price however is like most wines from Mallorca (respectively Pinot Noir from Spain) a bit too high (approx. 24 - 28 Euro).


Schlossgut Bachtobel (Hans-Ulrich Kesselring) Pinot Noir No. 2 2004, Thurgau

This Pinot Noir comes from the Kanton Thurgau in Northern Switzerland. The vinyards are relativly close to Lake Constance. It wasn't the first time for me to taste Hans-Ulrich Kesselring's wines. I am always amazed how he can create such impressive red wines in this region around Lake Constance which is normally only famous for its light white wines. In case of a blind tasting I always would bet that these Pinots might come from Volnay or Monthelie.

This Pinot Noir No. 2 was not heavily influenced by oak (800 l barrels) and could be described as medium bodied (12,5 % Alc.). Its colour was of a very intensive, quite dark, ruby red which persumably came from the Macération préfermentaire à froid (for normal 14 days). The fragrance of this wine was quite floral and showed notes of rasbperries as well as strawberries. The taste is still a bit tannic and slightly bitter. It was surely still too young. A pity, but I was too curious to keep it longer in the cellar. The acid was quiet well, which wasn't a surprise for the year 2004. This very fruity (in a mute fruit way) wine was characterized by various fruits dark berry fruits. But it wasn't modern fruity / sweet or heavy at all. It showed very dry and classical Burgundy features. I most certainly can recommend this wine to any Pinot Noir friend even though it might be a bit difficult to get Kesselring's wines outside Switzerland.


Sparkling from England (don't be afraid): Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2000

I simply can't write too much about this sparkling wine. Try it, if you have a chance to do so. It consists of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, which I think by the way is a very adequate mixture. The perlage was very well and quite noisy. The mousse was just magnificent. I hardly can remember a better one (slight exagg.) . The taste itself was wonderful and almost sublime, too. The concentration was very dense, which provided this very fizz a rather strong body. Only the acid was slightly too strong. Just try it. I think it was a really great fizz. Unfortunately you will have problems to get it outside the UK. I assume in the future it won't be so difficult anymore, because the winery is about to enlarge their vineyards. I wonder if they can maintain this high level quality in a substantially lager company. I very much hope so!


Mexico: Traditional wines from the new world? Casa Madero Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

At the beginning I was quite pleased to see a very dense stinging dark red in my glass. The rim was slightly brown. The nose had a lot of power. Mainly paprika and dark pepper fragrances as well as some smoke and burned nuts. So far it was a rather nice and admitingly surprising experience. Unfortunately the taste swept the positive expression away. Astringent and crude acid, unpleasent bitterness, some petrol flavours and a weird impression of wet cellulose put my previous statement about the fragrance into perspective. Of course I could spot pepper and vanilla aromas as well, but these artificial flavours of cellulose (or somthing like that) destroyed my enjoyment. Two days later I've tried it again, but the disturbing aromas remained. Only some eucalyptus aromas, like Cabernet Sauvignons from Chile, developed a little bit. Maybe my bottle wasn't all right and I just got a wrong impression.

Light stuff from Lebanon: Chateau Musar Cuvée Rouge 2002

A typical light Lebanese wine with a hot strong raisin taste. The share of Cinsault appeared to be quiet high. In colour rather bright red. In my opinion very suitable for Arab food. Surely not an outstanding wine, but quiet pleasing for an every day occasion.