Wines of Copenhagen - RIP Liver
Copenhagen! What a dream you are. My trip to the city was very spontaneous and motivated by multiple factors - need for a vacation post shit show that was 2016, lack of time to take a longer vacation and desire to drink new wine. I booked my tickets for the first week of January and off I skidaddled into the new year. If you're questioning geographical choice of vacation, yes I knew it would be cold. But boy did city deliver! If you read my more coherent "guide" of sorts in the previous post, you'd know I basically just drank, ate and walked around for 5 days. I have yet to brave the idea of bike riding everywhere as the Danes do, next time.
One thing I didn't really explore were the individual wines I had the fortune to taste. Before you start asking yourself out loud while reading/observing, yes, there were a lot of samples. 42+ wines for 5 days is more than decent, if not terrifying. And no, I do not have precise tasting notes to accompany each and every one. My most frequent tasting note of the trip was "That's some good shit right there" or "That's fucking delicious" but that's not really helpful and we actually had a debate at the table about how we'd like to return to more technical tastings in 2017. Less plonking and more serious tasting. But that's a whole other topic, I did make a lot of notes and can genuinely say that I liked all these wines. Some less, some more but it was overall an exhilarating experience. I made it a point to try and taste only new wines from all over the world and did (almost) just that. The collages below - inspired by the Instagram one of my favourite Czech wine writers and bloggers Jan Čerovský - are a majority of the wines I tried over the trip. Thank you to all friends, new and old, that made these experiences possible. The world of wine is an exciting, varied and fantastic place full of complexity, fun and cultural heritage. The stories of the land and the winemakers, all in "just" a glass of wine. It still fascinates me.
Also, I'm surprised I'm still alive after those 5 days. I think my body and wine have become one. So much for a dry January!
- 'C'est le printemps' Crozes-Hermitage 2015 from Dard & Ribo - a cuveé always released in the spring following harvest, this Syrah based wine is the closest thing I'd call to a "noveau" Syrah if there was such a thing. No bomb tannins, almost too young but it super pleasurable. My answer to whether natural reds can be 'heavier' and not "just" 'easy drinking juice.
- Emidio Pepe Trebbiano - I wrote about this wine in my post about Label Grand from Vienna and it was as good as I remembered it.
- Matassa - when two New Zealander's buy an estate in Rousillon and decide to go all natural. A really good result. I look forward to tasting more examples from their portfolio in the future.
- Tschida Himmel auf Erden Miral edition - special cuvee made by Christian Tschida for restaurant Admiralgade 26, this wine was my equivalent of the most noble of everyday wines. Herbal, dark fruits but still light. Yum.
- Mercurey - made by handsome beast Billy Ward himself! It was a crisp Chardonnay that reminded me of ripe green apple skins and light perfume. Not heavy, just delicious. I was so proud of him and so honoured to have shared a bottle in his company over great lunch.
- Fuchs und Hase PetNat#1 - Mueller Thurgau, Gruner Veltliner and Gelber Muskateller, this pet nat was super delicious and interesting for me because a.) it proved my theory that you can just tell any Austrian and German wines apart from the rest because even if they have a wilder element to them they usually have such an overwhelming degree of precision and crisp cleanliness that it's hard to miss and b.) I'm really enjoying Muller in a sparkling form lately. Revival of the grape maybe?
- Magma Rock Domaine No Control - my first of two wines that I tried from No Control over the week, this one served by the glass at Noma's 'sidekick' 108 next door. 100% Gamay from 25year old plus vines, whole bunch fermentation. Had such an unusually deep and dark color, it was an absolutely fascinating example for me. Layered and work fantastically with the beef broth glaze pastry I had for lunch. Yum yum yum.
- Sancerre 2007 Sebastien Riffault - A man who I am told has hands the size of a bear and the heart of one too, it was my first time tasting his wines and definitely not the last. During my more conventional wine days, Sauvignon was a grape variety that I probably drank most of. Boy is this different in the best possible way. A bad ass Sauvignon that was like peach bee nectar with a splash of anise on the nose, a really special wine that's definitely perfect to pair with food.
- Jean Pierre Robinot's 100% Chenin Blanc pet nat Fetembulles - Stating that I love bubbles seems like unruly repetition at this point but DAMN. I'd drink gallons of this, so so good. Yeasty but playful, my kind of wine.
- Cremant de Jura Andre et Mireille Tissot - I had never ever tasted bubbles like this before, that was before I tried the Cremant du Jura from Domaine Labet also pictured shortly after. Traditional method bubbles, they were both hefty, intense flow of bubbles with layers and layers of flavour and spirit. Definitely wines meant to be shared with other people, the kind of wine that made me want to get on a plane and fly to Jura to find out WHY they both had this incredible specificity to them but yet were different at the same time. Was so excited to find a bottle of the Labet at Cafe Lounge in Prague. So amazing.
- Pinot Noir 2015 Pittnauer - One of the multiple wines from Pittnauer I tried that week, it wasn't my favourite expression of Pinot Noir but it was very drinkable. Plus those wine labels! Love them.
- Sur Charriere Poulsard Domaine Labet - Recommended by Alise, somm at Ved Stranden, this wine was exactly what we wanted in that moment. Light but layered, juice that delivers complexity should be shared. It was my first time tasting Poulsard and tasting Domaine Labet and it was a revelatory experience. Want. More. Now. Please.
- Graham's Natura Reserve Port - I definitely did not think I would find a Graham's port as part of the wine pairing at Amass. But as Bo, the somm and restaurant manager there said, neither did he. However, this port made from 100% organically grown grapes proved to be incredibly interesting and the best wine food pairing I've had in ages. So so good. Anyone who loves port should definitely opt for this as an alternative.
- Montermarino 2011 from Cascina Degli Ulivi - Bo mentioned above actually helped make this wine, with grapes harvested ripe, macerated for 3 days and then fermented in oak. Named after Montermarino, one of the highest hills in the region of Gavi. I don't know if it was a subjective matter of Bo having his own hand at it or the wine itself but it was a beautiful expression of Gavi, unique and delicious.
- Renner Sistas Waiting for Tom - Typical St Laurent, Blaufrankisch and Pinot blend. D e l i c i o u s. That's all I have to say. Would really like to visit them this year as they're not far from where I live and it's a beautiful story of two sisters hustling and just making great wine in Austria. Such a fan.
- Fusion Domaine No Control - Also 100% Gamay, but this time a fusion - hence the name - between Gamay from Auvergne and Gamay from Beaujolais and different types of vilification. Gamay for president please, it was a super tasty result.
- 2013 Les Quarterons Sancerre Sebastien Riffault - FROM A MAGNUM. ENOUGH SAID. I did not want to let go of the bottle, it was wine heaven.
To great producers, beautiful wines and the beautiful people who work with them and allow us all to enjoy them. Cheers. I'll be back soon CPH.