A Medoc from Stellenbosch: Kallista 2004, Vriesenhof, Stellenbosch + some original friends

Isn’t it nice to have a couple of comparable wines next to each other waiting in line to enter your gullet? Of course it is! This time I had a very interessting tasting with several Bordeaux'ish red blends. Why Bordeaux'ish? Well because the most classical Medoc (for me) came from Stellenbosch. Let's start with this one.

Vriesenhof Estate Kallista 2004, Stellenbosch

The Kallista 2004 was a “true” Medoc from Stellenbosch. Very continental and classical style. Extremely surprising! In a blind tasting you might get deceived by the austere, straight, forward, pretty powerful, gentle and down-to-earth style of this red blend. A well known feature of the Vriesenhof wines in general. This Blend was composed of 37% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Cabernet Franc. My first impression was: rather hard and classic style, hyper dry, not all too fruitful, maybe a bit clumsy, still rather hard tannins and stronger acid, plenty of chocolate, dark rubber, some animalistic components, slightly stinky fragrances and still pretty juvenile. After a while impressive cold and dark cherry flavours, as well as quite a lot of red paprika powder flavours, developed. A gentle and rather fresh acid remained. The wild animal components faded a bit, but never vanished completely. A certain amount of black pepper, and aromas of wild spices joint the reclined party in my mouth. The impressive power and elegance remained throughout the whole evening and the next day. Very convincing wine with a fantastic QPR. I really don’t want to compare the styles of the consumed wines. In my personal and utterly subjective opinion this wine was by far more Medoc than the other ones. Maybe with the exception of the Langoa-Barton 2001. This one was very St. Julien, agian in my utterly subjective opinion ... 

Chateau Langoa Barton 2001, St. Julien

My first impression of the Langoa-Barton 2001 was very silky and a light combination of typical Medoc wine flavours. Quite a lot of spice, black pepper, a bit tar, a slight hint of eucalyptus, a bit too much steel, a lot of pencil, somehow impetuous, not so power-gentle and surely elegant like many St. Julien wines. Later far more contenting flavours of milky-bitter-cherries, pepper, coffee, a hint of bitter choco and undergrowth developed. After some hours and on the next day a more typical elegance and arrogance took the lead. Just the way I like my Juliens. Nice treat, but 2001 wasn’t a super vintage for sure. A little bit more force and power would have been better ;-)

Chateau Sociando-Mallet 1999, Haut Medoc

At first, the Sociando appeared far more accessible, silkier, rounder and maybe a more “sweet” than the others. I got flavours of chocolate, cappuccino, dark berries, ketchup, a hint of cola and a bold variety of warm indescribable feelings. Its style was straight, a bit warm, cosy, mildly elegant, with a certain freshness and almost quaffable. Later more rigid and butch flavours like white and black pepper combined with wilder spicy components evolved. Impressive Medoc expirience without a lot of potential to improve. Drink up, I say!

Chateau Tour de Pez 2010 (barrel sample), St. Estephe

This Tour de Pez 2010 I was a barrel sample I “snitched” from a wine merchant. It is always a nice opportunity to overlook the development of a young wine for several days. My first impression was purple soup! Great! I got loads of caramel, liquorice, rubber, cassis, smoke, fart, intensive fruit and juvenile sweetness in my nose and on my palate. Very fleshy and forceful stage at this moment. Surprisingly not as harsh and hard as I would have expected this wine at the moment. The tannins or acid were rather tame and peaceful. Already pretty accessible, but not as a Bordeaux. More like a powerful / juvenile Grenache based wine from the Rhone region. On the third day the distressing features faded and a decent young Bordeaux appeared. I see a lot of potential for this one. According to that impression 2010 will be a fantastic vintage. Again …. Beware very high headache potential!

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