Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 2007

My consumption of fine white wine was below average last year. One of my resolutions for 2010 has been to address this issue.

There's silver and white gold bursting with brightness and brilliance. It lifts the light.

White flowers, chantilly cream, heather honey and barley all come through on the nose, underlined by a subtle citrus zing. There's honeydew melon there too. It suggests weight - it fills the nostrils: heady.

Compelling brightness on the palate - it lifts from the very start. Chantilly cream with melons & candied lemons, barley grist and soft, caressing mouthfeel. The length is exceptional. Remarkably complete considering its youth. That brilliance from the colour somehow comes through to the palate - it's bright and moreish. It's also got that wonderful decadence of good white Burgundy while never for a second seeming overweight or flabby. This is structured and precise. Fantastic wine with a good future.

Tasted 20/3/2010 at Luvians Bottleshop

Monday, March 01, 2010

Le Cigare Volant 2004

I remember the first time I read about Randall Grahm. I think he was recounting an Ostertag Riesling and, if I recall correctly, he described it as 'shaking hands with a mountain.' I could do a quick search and verify this, but I prefer the memory - I like that it's a touch vague and that I can't recall when or where I saw the article in the first place. I assume I read it around 2002. I've no idea when the incident took place, though I'm tempted to say early nineties. I don't mind the inaccuracy (and don't think anyone else will) as the time and place weren't really that important. What was important was reading about a Californian wine-maker talking about terroir. What was important was that 'shaking hands with a mountain' is still the best description of experiencing terroir I've ever read. Oddly, I didn't really get into his wines until some time after that. The only other wine of his that I've reviewed is here. I don't know why it's taken so long for me to give his flagship red the attention it deserves, but there you go. It's been a long month and I've tasted a lot of wine under 'tasting' conditions - this was opened after a long day tasting and enjoyed with a meal, as wine should be.

Violet and ruby run from the rim to the core. Still youthful without being foreboding. Nice brilliance in the light.

Savoury nose - hickory smoke with plums and blueberries, a touch of spearmint and bramble. Soft floral notes on the edges.

This is soft, gentle and deliciously understated. Quite fleshy plum and blueberry fruits on the palate, surrounded by that slightly smokey, savoury edge. Wild herbs arrive after the smokey notes and it's all balanced by a brilliant mid-mouth black olive brine acidity that I'm going to say is coming from the 35% Syrah in the blend. I may be wrong, but that's my guess. Long and lingering on the finish while being tremendously more-ish. You want another sip before you've finished tasting the last. Bravo. This is cracking stuff and just what I needed coming off a long day and the tail end of a cold.


Tasted 1/3/2010 at Shorehead