Posts Tagged ‘Mommessin’
The birthday boy’s choice for this month’s themed Bring a Bottle club was Burgundy (good choice!), with a stipulation for more reds than whites. That is in fact how it worked out but not always for the best of reasons.
Even if the wine is off it can serve some photographic purpose. Sadly two of the five whites were either very oxidised (Chablis 2000, Emanuel Dampt) or just oxidised, the latter a real loss: Meursault, Les Forges Dessus, Domaine Prieur-Brunet 1996. The photograph too was a mistake but a rather happier slip of the hand.
Petit Chablis, Cuvée Special Juliette Anaïs, Patrick Piuze, 2010 was in much ruder health: obviously young and fresh, tart apple and lemon sherbet, we all agreed that it is a remarkably good wine for its humble appellation. The Puize label now has quite a following in this part of north Hampshire courtesy of Caviste. The second bottle is also available locally: Macon-Cruzilles, Clos des vignes du Mayne, Aragonite, 2009. Some of us had tasted this before as it is supplied by Grape Expectations and very good it is too. On this bottle the oak was not as evident as a few months ago, rather it was showing attractive stewed apple notes, some creaminess and mild oak. The final white was a class act with honeyed, gooseberry and even some exotic fruit aromas, good oak and mineral notes, complex, fine and long. On this occasion the appellation lived up to its name: Puligny-Montrachet, Moret-Nominé, 2006.
The evening’s reds were an excellent line-up and some quite venerable:
Nuits-Saint-Georges, Mommessin, 1993
Hospices de Beaune, Premier Cru Guigone de Salins, 2002
Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Les Cazetiers, Vallet Frères, 2000
Chambolle-Musigny, La Combe d’Orveaux, Jean Grivot, 2005
Aloxe-Corton, Premier Cru Les Chaillots, Louis Latour, 1996
Auxey-Duresses, Terre des Velle, 2009
The 1993 was doing pretty well, managing to combine a blue cheese or germolene aroma with pure raspberry fruit, but it was rather drying out and tough on the palate. The 2002 was a beautifully velvet Pinot Noir, with some ageing notes and some weight, probably at its peak. There was further development on the 2000, the best of the older wines, with lovely old fruit and that velvet texture again. The 1996 started off in dusty and wet cardboard mode but then recovered itself, with some fruit but it was fading with noticeable drying tannins. Of the younger wines the 2005 shone with its lively raspberry and strawberry flavours, subtle and perfumed if still structured and tannic. And the 2009 was young and fruity as it should be with a whiff of gun powder and toasty oak, even marzipan. Evidently there were far more highs than lows in the red wines.
Burgundy not being noted for its sweet wines, the final offering was an excellent Vin Doux Naturels but far out of region: Grand Reserve, Rivesaltes, Les Vignerons de Terrats, 1974 – not quite the year we were celebrating but a good approximation! And the wine was charming and subtle as the celebrand: sweet caramel, raisins, orange peel and a fine sweetness with smooth alcohol. Special birthdays are something to celebrate!
The June meeting of the Overton-based blind tasting group was the usual mix of fine bottles, some disappointments and perhaps the least good wine we have ever had (is that sufficiently polite?). And it was a large tasting – 17 bottles. While it is difficult to concentrate for that long (even for those of us who are committed ‘spitters’), this was partly due to some members bringing interesting pairs of wines to taste side by side. As always, the food at the Red Lion was excellent. The photos this month are on my IPhone so there are no technical issues to discuss, you will be pleased to hear!
|Wines 1 & 2 we agreed were in the old world. The Gavi di Gavi (ie Gavi from the commune of Gavi not just the DOCG as a whole), Minala 2009, was mid yellow in colour with a gold tint, quite warm on the palate, pleasant apples/pears fruit, balanced. Once we knew we were in Italy, I guessed Gavi. ‘Never more than pleasant’ says Oz Clarke, which is a bit harsh of a wine which can be dull but has some fine examples.|
|Much more fashionable is the Albariño grape from NW Spain, the Rías Baixas region bordering the Atlantic. Most wines are unoaked, to maximise the Viognier peaches/apricots aromas. But this producer has one barrique for a wine from 100 year old vines right by the sea. Albariño Barrica, Goliardo A Telleira, Albariño Rías Baixas 2009: richness is the key quality, ‘tinned peaches’ someone offers as a tasting note. For me, by the standards of a premium white wine, I am not sure there is quite enough going on.|
|It was not difficult to spot that this was Riesling – green apples and petrol notes on the nose, high acidity, some residual sugar. Most tasters thought it was new world, perhaps because of its assertiveness. In fact it was Domaines Schlumberger, Kitterlé, 2005, Alsace Grand Cru. The Kitterlé vineyard has perfect exposition getting sun from morning to night, on a slope of 30-60°, with poor and sandy soil, giving concentrated wines from very low yields. The wine was mineral and developing those characteristic petrol notes, a good weight, characteristic-ally fatter than the same grape variety across the border on the Rhine.|
It was a great idea to bring two wines from the same Meursault-Genevrières vineyard in Meursault, Burgundy, separated by eight years and produced by two different branches of the Jobard family.
Unfortunately, the Francois Jobard 2000 was suffering badly from that Burgundian disease, premature oxidisation – caramel and cardboard is not an attractive combination. The young wine (Antoine Jobard, 2008) had attractive limy fruit with excellent vitality.
|A rare moment in this group – a rosé and an unusual one, Harbourne, England, 2001 – and yes that’s not a misprint, it is 10 years old. Slight strawberry nose and then … ‘appears to lack any form of palate’ … ‘made in Scotland?’ ‘grape juice and Irnbru?’. Probably the worst wine we have tasted in this group and brought in jest by one of us who has a limitless supply of unusual bottles. Quite instructive nonetheless – we take fruit on the palate for granted until it’s not there.|
|Those with eagle eyes will see that the label still tells us that this is Ch. d’Angludet, AC Margaux, 1974. We of course did not know this at the time. A mushroomy nose, a rather sour palate and still some tannins. After about ten minutes some sweet raspberry/ strawberry fruit began to emerge, so it was well worth the wait. Impressive for Bordeaux of this level at this age in a poor vintage – the judgement, ‘mediocre’, from Michael Broadbent is quite kind.|
|This started with pronounced bottle stink so we parked it for ten minutes. Bottle stink was the consensus, not faulty, just not showing. Eventually some fruit emerged but this wine did not shine. Definitely a disappointment from Mommessin, Santenay, Burgundy, 1993. But there was much better Pinot Noir to follow, not that we knew that.|
|After the struggles with the last three bottles, this was straightforward pleasure – pale and fragrant and pretty obviously Pinot Noir, but quite weighty and structured. Most went for New Zealand but it turned out to be ‘Knox Alexander’, Au Bon Climat, Santa Maria Valley, California, 2007. Some of the vines are Burgundian apparently, but the wine is definitely from a warm and reliable climate. Time for some food and give the note taking a rest.|
|Two new offerings from Caviste: Ch. Puy Castéra, Haut-Médoc 2008 and Domaine Cheveau, Saint Amour, Les Champs Grillés, Beaujolais 2010. No notes on either of these – but both good examples of Bordeaux and Beaujolais respectively – I did say I was having a rest from note taking.|
|For me this was the wine of the evening, pale ruby with a brick red edge, fresh on the nose but with a bit of ageing, violets and red fruit, but then a real vitality on the palate, great elegant tannic structure and fine acidity. I was in Pinot Noir territory thought the ‘pale colour + tannins’ should have pointed me to Nebbiolo: Barolo DOCG, Castiglione Falletto Scarrone, Bava, 2000 To decoded the label: from the Scarrone vineyard of the commune of Castiglione Falletto, immediately east of the town itself. The producer is Bava.|
|Another pair of wines, the first red, the second for comparison … white. Two young Australian classics just arrived in a very small consignment at Caviste. I don’t think anyone spotted the producer, Spinnifex with its Lola 2010 and Taureau 2008. The former is mainly a Rhône blend – Marsanne, Semillon, Roussanne, Viognier and Ugni Blanc – a really intense wine bursting with energy. The latter is Tempranillo, Graciano, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon – Rioja meets South and South West France in Australia? Buy now and do not drink yet!|
|With this final red, I knew what it wasn’t but not what it was. Ripe fruit, plums and damsons on the palate, deep in colour, rich with excellent acidity. After a few exclusions we agreed on Italy and some wanted to make this Sangiovese. Tuscany was a good guess but not that grape variety – too dark in colour at the very least. In fact it was a Super Tuscan Merlot: Girolami, Castello di Bossi, IGT Toscana, 2001. Late picked Merlot, 28 days of maceration, oak aged for two years – a powerful, forthright wine.|
|And finally … a sweet wine with a complex nose of apples, caramel, honey, not very acidic but balanced. No real clues here for Stefano Inama’s Vulcaia Aprés Veneto Bianco IGT, Vino Dolce 2001 – being late harvested Sauvignon Blanc (no less), part fermented in acacia barrels and then matured in barrels for 9 months. A suitable climax, and along with the Barolo, a favourite wine of the evening.|