Sunday, 6 July 2008

General, 1 June 2008

Three wines with dinner, a white wine extraganza.

Ombra Prosecco NV
Oddbins - £8 B+

Nice fruity sparkler from Italy. Well made, lots of fruit and freshness, mainly apples and pears. Its off-dry with a residual sugar that can be clearly felt; it drinks well on its own, slightly chilled. Nothing to fault really, its your standard summer drink. Its OK value, but its reliable and my local Oddbins is quite keen on it (that, or they bought too much stock and are desperately trying to flog it off).

Independent adjudicator rating: 8.5/10. He was very keen on this, thats all I'll say.
Was had with: Melon terrine The terrine was rather weird, the food-wine match was alright. Good palate cleanser to start the dinner.

Devils Lair Chardonnay 1998, Margaret River, Australia
Noel Young - £8 (bin end sale) A-

Now this was some wine. I must admit that right after opening, there were suspicions of it being corked. Further sniffings and ten minutes later, this wine just showed what its all about. There is a rather musty/dusty note that you normally get with aged white burgundy/Champagne, in a way, it was almost yeasty. The nose to this wine was incredible: mild ginger, lychee, chamomile, with a sweet floral character to it. The palate was focused yet still generous, the fruit had been replaced by a settled elegance and creaminess (the oak treatment showing through), with a structured minerality and acidity. It ticked all the right boxes for an aged white wine, and much kudos must go to Devils Lair; just shows that cellaring a wlel-made new world white can be rather rewarding, you just get a very different perspective of the wine. I must say I was very impressed, and for the price, what a steal.

Independent adjudicator rating: 4/10. He did not like it at all (prefers the fruit-driven ones, you see). Said that the wine was way too tired and that the fruit had gone 'about five years ago'.
Was had with: Grilled rainbow trout. Food was superb, wine was superb but the combination did not work. My feeling is that the wine has too much character and so did the fish, and they clashed.

Berry's Own Tokaji 4 Puttonyos 1999, Hungary
BBR - £20 (approx) A(++)

This too was something. This decadent Tokaji was meant as a celebratory drink and boy did it perform. Obviously very well made, with a long lingering finish that juts goes on and on and on. The nose was of candied citrus fruits, with that chemical note that is unmistakeably Tokaji. The palate was rich, lush and very very long; the complex well-integrated flavours just sort of dances on your palate; fills each corner of your mouth with a different sensation. Despite its age, it still has lots of vigor and life in it; the acidity and structure will allow aging and development for at least another ten years. I have not tasted many Tokajis in my time (mostly due to cost constraints), but this one I will remember for a long time to come, my only regret is that BBR no longer stock this.

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