Feb 2, 2012

Tasting @ Villa Ruusuniemi

The first tasting I organised in 2012 was in Villa Ruusuniemi in Helsinki. The villa is an old Metso Plc. (share ticker MEO1V) corporate villa, now privately owned by investors and the restauranteur, and with impressive sauna, swimming pool, congress and restaurant facilities.

I organised a tasting for my fellow colleagues most of whom had never participated in an actual wine tasting. The aim was to have five different grapes for tasting, and mix old world vs. new world as well as include classical French based grapes grown in the new world. And it was a great pleasure to find that the venue had Riedel wine glasses for tastings - the owner / restauranteur told they organise very high class wine tastings at the Villa where dozens of thousands of euros could be consumed during one event. I am waiting for my invitation...

Mud House Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (Malborough, New Zealand) 

A lot of passionfruit and exotic fruits in this one with nice acidity, the nose is full of aromas. It is great to find a wine with such crips acidity in the same package with a lot of fruit - however the alcohol content is somewhat over-the-top (at 14% abv) and thus a little less alcohol and this would have been in perfect balance. The wine was selected Wine of the Year 2010 in the most important wine fair in Finland obviously due to its fruitiness and structure. And the price €12,95 certainly does not hurt.

Bouchard Aine & Fills - Hautes-Côtes de Beaune 'Les Prieurés' 2009 (Cote de Beaune, Burgundy) 

Citrus fruit with toasted oak and buttery mouthfeel, however the oak dominates here while acidity and fruit should both have been higher. Seems a bit overoaked in my opinion, the wine was matured 8 months in oak. Maybe holding the wine for a longer time in steel tanks could have helped the acidity to remain there. Vintage 2009 is great in Burgundy, however the fruit component is not great in this one.

Antonin Rodet - Château de Mercey Maranges 1er Cru Les Clos Roussots 2008 (Cote de Beaune, Burgundy)

 A premier cru pinot noir from an area not generally well-known, the vineyard is in the most southern-part of Cote de Beaune. This wine's fruit was not up to par with the oak, while acidity was pleasant. Seems like the challenging year 2008 did not produce ripe enough grapes for this one, or extraction in vinemaking was not enough. It had red berries and cherry notes in the palate, a medium bodied pinot. The wine spent 18 months in oak barriques, maybe less could have resulted in a more balanced wine?

Nugan Estate Alcira Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (Coonawarra, South Australia)

The Alcira Vinerard is located in Australia's prime cabernet country, Coonawarra, which soil type matches the soils found in some of Europe's premier cabernet vineyards. The full-bodied 2007 was already somewhat developed and ready-to-drink (although could still be stored), nice eucalyptus and mint mixed with cabernet's blackcurrant and chocolate. The nose is really intensive, and aftertaste lingers in the mouth for a long time. Great extraction from grapes to bottle and oak is present, however does not dominate which is good. This one was the favorite wine of the group. For €19.82 it is value for money.

Chateau de Malle 2005  (Sauternes 2eme Cru) 

The dessert wine had plenty of apricot and honey notes as well as nice acidity which really improves the taste - the wine was not perceived as "sweet" by tasters as other sweet wines in general. The trick with Sauternes wines is in general that their acidity gives them an edge as the more acidity there is the less sugar tastes in the wine. Round and thick, it was beautiful in the glass and tasted like sweet apricot jam. Nice.

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