Wednesday, 25 May 2011. Led by Brett Turner of Cambridge Wine Merchants; prices are retail at their shops.
NV Champagne Autreau de Champillon Premier Cru
Some biscuit, bready tones, not yeasty though; still plenty of fresh citrus, green apple. Clean, crisp acidity, some developed brioche flavours on the palate; quite fat, generous and some persistence. A good example.
2009 Chablis Vieilles Vignes, JM Brocard
Mineral, wet stones; white stone fruits, some white flowers; touch of greenness about it. Palate is focused, some green pears, good minerality, fat acidity. Precise, shows great typicity.
2004 Saumur Vieilles Vignes, Langlois-Chateau. Loire.
Light gold colour. Funky nose, some salty tones; some white pepper, vegetal, perhaps fennel or asparagus; some minerality, smoke, even ash, like something freshly burnt. Seriously weird. Palate is wide and textured, full, acidity fat and persistent; fruit is muted, not showy, decent persistence. Grown up style, mature, need food. Will keep and improve.
2008 Pinot Gris 'Princes Abbes', Dom Schlumberger. Alsace.
Very floral, lifted white flowers of the field; smells quite sweet, tinned pineapples, maybe some lychees. Fat, long acidity, 18 g/l residual sugar but feels so much less, some minerality coming through at the end. Textured, full, coats the palate. Lingers, need food.
2009 Fleurie, Manoir de Carra. Beaujolais.
Smells a bit hot and cooked, a touch alcoholic, some aldehyde; crushed red fruits, some cooked cabbages / vegetal notes. Fat acidity, there's a tartness about it (like slightly underripe berries); plenty of fruit though, crushed raspberries, red cherries. Crunchy, vibrant, light.
2009 Brouilly, Manoir de Carra. Beaujolais.
Some mint, burnt tar, maybe darker berries; still some cooked, hot tones. Fresh acidity, slightly deeper than the Fleurie, plenty of fruits, not as crunchy. I prefer this to the Fleurie, its expressing better, more vivacious.
2009 Domaine Gayda 'Figure Libre' Cabernet Franc. Vin de Pays d'Oc.
Not allowed to grow Cabernet Franc for AOC in Languedoc-Roussilon, hence declassification to VdP.
Dark, woody; some mint, some green tones, green peppers; quite hot, some sweet spice; forward nose. Plenty of dark fruits; rather extracted, some depth there. Woody, some sweet oak on the palate, carries it well, enough fruit in there. Big, bold stuff, some tannic structure to age a few years. Badly needs food.
2005 Chateau Rousseau de Sipian. Medoc.
All the correct notes, textbook Medoc. Some green peppers, cassis; wood, pencil shavings; touch of smoke and sweet spice - all there. So much fruits, still rather big; tannins still there, grips at the back. Very together, drinking well now (I recommend decanting) but will keep another 3yrs or so. Need food.
2007 Domaine du Petit Metris, Coteaux du Layon Chaume
Honeyed, candied fruits, some dried figs and dates, bitterness? So much acidity, so much vibrancy, races through your palate; candied oranges, just so lively. I suspect plenty of sugar (I'm guessing 80g/l?) but doesn't feel it at all, not heavy. The lingering palate is of bitter oranges and marmalade, decent lingering finish. Very together, shows beautifully.
2001 Chateau de Madere, AOC Cerons
£6 (375ml). B+ great value
An appelation just to west of of Barsac, making similar wines.
Nice depth on the nose, candied oranges, botrytis there; some floral; altogether an appealing and beautiful nose. Palate has decent texture, fruit is there, acidity keeps it together; if anything slightly thin on the palate, showing its age. Probably won't improve with time but at the price, fantastic bargain.