Friday, November 12, 2010

Domaine Fourrier Gevrey Chambertin Vielles Vignes 2007

It turns out that there's a member of staff out there that had never in her life tried Epoisses. In order to rectify this we produced some of the pungent cheese and opened a bottle of this to see if they could all get along.

Dark, bright Burgundy with a brilliant ruby core.

Juicy fruit, earth and a touch of spice well married on the nose. Red cherries, cranberries and just a hint of strawberry sweetness towards the finish.

There's some green on the edges of the palate, though a big mouthful of Epoisses takes care of that, driving that fantastic fruit right up to to the roof of the mouth. It's intertwined earth, cherries, raspberries, cocoa and winter spice on the palate - layered, structured and while perhaps a little lean at the moment, precise and delicious. At the moment it needs food but is still lovely stuff.


Tasted 11 November 2010 at Luvians Bottleshop

Monday, November 08, 2010

Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir 2006

I've not much experience with Oregon Pinot Noir. I lament this. Bottle by bottle, I shall attempt to rectify the situation.

Proper Pinot hue of darkened ruby raspberries; there's a soft hint of haziness (the wine is unfined and unfiltered). That haziness seems ghostly though, as somehow it has no effect on the impressive clarity. Some manner of optical illusion?

The nose is red fruit skins - strawberries and raspberries, covered in powdered cocoa. A touch of gaminess underneath but very well integrated with the fruit.

So remarkably soft on the palate. Velvet gloves lined with exquisite leather. Frapped strawberries, raspberries and sage leaf, all nicely balanced with that velvet. It's quite a sensory delight, and remarkably delicious. There's a wee hint of oak vanillin on the finish (a long one), but that's the only imbalance I could find. It even adds a bit of charm. There's little hint that this is 14.5%. The mouthfeel is gorgeous and the fruit's lovely. My only critique is that it's a bit simple, which would be fine except that it's over £40 a bottle.

***(*) If this were £25 cheaper, it would be ****(*)

Tasted 6 November 2010 at Luvians Bottleshop

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Ridge Lytton Springs 2005

It's always irked me how expensive Californian wines are in the UK, probably moreso than any other country's markup. It's not just that they tend to convert dollar-to-pound plus five or so percent, it's also that Americans browsing will insist on reminding you just how much more expensive they are. To be fair, every French, German, Italian, South African, Spanish, Australian and New Zealander that's looked at our prices has made similar comments - and it is similarly irksome - however, I'm not any of those nationalities. I am American. I feel a sense of responsibility, just by association. Of course, it's nothing to do with me, and once a wine has travelled eight or so thousand miles and been taxed and redistributed, there's quite a lot of excess expense that must be accounted for.

In any case, I've always liked Ridge. I feel their wines stand up to the transatlantic premium.

Dark but not too foreboding. The purple is turning ruby.

Quite ripe on the nose - blueberries and quite a bit of mocha as well, but not in an aggressive or unbalanced way. Then comes vanilla and a touch of creaminess. It's almost like crannachan. In fact, it is exactly like crannachan. Awesome.

Ridiculously ripe and fruity. Freshly so, though - not jammy and barely remiscent of compote. It's just bunches of ripe, dark blue and black berries. The mouthfeel is fleshy plums - there's almost no acidity but I'm not really missing it. This is hedonistic, but never unbalanced. The fruit is fresh, not oversweet. The finish is pleasingly velvety.


Tasted 5 November 2010 at Luvians Bottleshop


Friday, November 05, 2010

Chateau Pontet-Canet 2004

My contribution to the evening's wines was one of my favourite Paulliacs. I'd not tasted the '04 before (the first vintage of their snazzy new and environmentally unfriendly bottle) and was quite excited.

Quite the dark and grumpy Bordeaux. Purple edges.

Wow. Claret that smells like claret. Sinewy cassis and cedar with the odd pencil shaving, a touch of spearmint and breath of sweetness.

Young. Dark. That cassis sweetness is stopped in its tracks by the youthful tannins, which while soft are bracingly dry. I love it. Proper classed growth claret. That tastes as it should- tight & knotted with depth, structure and dimension all providing a classic canvas-like texture.


Tasted at Broomie's 28 October 2010

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve Personnelle 2002

I had dinner with the legendary Broomie last week and we, as usual, got stuck into some gems. This wine in particular is an old favourite for both of us.

Youthful green gold, bright n' shiny.

Fresh tropical nose with spice and a juicy fleshiness that hints a fibrous (mango?) texture.

So good. Ripe & honeyed melon/serrano fruit with pithiness and subtly layered beeswax & starfruit skinned mouthfeel that reveals minerality as it retreats. Then that fibrous fleshiness lingers with perfumed white fruit and something darker, flintier, on the finish.

Drink now, later and for the next decade. Maybe longer.


Tasted at Broomie's 28 October 2010

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Consolation Armistice Late Harvest Syrah 2007

This is a unique wine, picked the winemakers on 11 November 2007. There is no fortification and fermentation took several months. Only a barrel's worth was made. As far as I'm aware, the conditions have not been right for late harvest in that vineyard since, and the wine itself looks to be a one off. That is both brilliant and slightly sad.

Inky purple - the edges like a bleeding sharpie.

Intense, focused blueberry nose. Hints of varnish - seems to have some spice too. Broody & moody.

So remarkably pure of fruit and deep of texture. It's chewy but still lifting and clean. Then that great schiste-y minerality rides in just under the dusty though sometimes feisty tannins. I've never really tasted anything like it.


Tasted 27 October at Luvians Bottleshop