Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Downing MCR - Tour de France

A selection of French wines, tasted Monday, 21 March 2011.
All reds decanted 2 hours prior to tasting.

2009 Muscadet sur lie, La Petite Fessardiere
Oddbins £7. B+.

Lively lemon, citrus notes, slight musty, bready. Palate is fresh, clean, fruit driven, nice linger. Will go well with seafood, good wine for price point.

1990 Chateau Reynon, Bordeaux Blanc
Tanners. B+.

Some wax, lanolin, cheese rind, straw, dusty, old fashiones, some oily touches. Not much acid left, fat palate, but somewhat knackered. A novelty.

2000 Josmeyer Riesling Grand Cru 'Hengst'

Explosions of lime peel, so much zing on the nose, so fresh; some petrol, oily kerosene, touch of ginger, white flowers; wonderfully lifted and expressive. Palate is awash with fresh, almost piercing acidity, like sucking on lemons, citrus. Lively, mineral there, still lean and highly strung; the bottle age shows, but will age another 10-20 years no problems. Great quality.

2000 Savigny-Lavieres, Premier Cru, Louis Camus-Bruchon

Earthy, savoury, game, some floral notes; crushed red fruits too, raspberry, cherry. So much lively lip-smacking acidity on the palate, sour cherry, slightly unripe raspberry, gorgeous. Nimble and light, drinking beautifully now.

1983 Chambolle-Musigny, Hubert di Arnonville
Nickolls & Perks. B+.

Slightly musty look (despite decanting and filtering), still classic burgundian notes as above, maybe more farmyard. Palate actually quite drying, still some fruits just about hanging on, would you believe; tart raspberry. Knackered, past its best, but not completely dead either. Novelty.

1997 Cornas, Chaillot, Thierry Allemand

Burnt, very green, bucketfuls of capsicum, red peppers; leafy, woody, some savoury characters - truly bizarre. Palate has plenty of red fruits, vibrant and fat acidity, quite light actually, matured. Slight disjoint between the nose and palate, somewhat disconcerting.

1996 Crozes Hermitage, Domaine de Thalabert, Paul Jaboulet Aine

Sweet spice, aniseed, clove, cinnamon; white pepper; red fruits, rusty (like blood), bovril, savoury. Mouthfeel rich and filling, red fruits so prominent, bitter cherry, dark chocolate. Lively acid still, so settled, lovely silky texture. Much joy to be had now, but still has life ahead.

2005 Chateau Villa Bel-Air, JM Cazes, Graves.
Berry Bros. B+.

Spice, cedar, some green pepper, some tobacco, and red fruits. Palate still dominated by ripe fruits, well balanced, lively acidity, vibrant; tannin still grips, will keep another 3-5 years. Drinking beautifully now.

2003 Chateau Ferriere, 3er Cru Classe, Margaux.

Sweet, rather fragrant nose, plenty of high notes, black currants; hints of sweet cedar. Palate smooth, seductive, supple; mainly dominated by red fruits, quite light on the palate but still filling, fantastic example of a Margaux. Very much open and approachable in its relative youth, this will develop another 10+ years.

1996 Chateau Haut Marbuzet, Cru Bourgeois Exceptionel, St Estephe.

Savoury, even a touch salty bacon; some gamey, animal notes; wood, licorice, maybe some cedar and tobacco; even bovril, after some time in the glass. Classic aged left bank; fantastic year, palate has settled; red fruits expressive, fresh and lively; touch of taut greenness at the end. Ready and yielding now, but will keep.

1999 Chateau Doisy Vedrines, 2er Cru Classe, Sauternes

Sultana, botrytis notable, raisin, honey, candied apricot, maybe some citrus. Palate full, nice acidity runs through, not cloying; balanced, held together nicely. Exciting, vibrant.

1996 Coteaux du Layon, Cuvee des Forges, Domaine des Forges, Branchereau

Really honey, treacle, floral acacia, pear drops. Thick textured, full, really fills the palate; acidity is there, maybe a touch on the flabby side compared to the Sauternes, but still exciting, lively, lingers a while too. Well made.

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