Saturday, 10 December 2011.
A blind tasting organised by the Cambridge Food & Wine Society (http://cambridgefoodandwinesociety.org.uk/) of wines which were trophy winners at the 2011 International Wine Challenge, wines were chosen and tasting led by Stephen Vincent. I have previously tasted some of the wines featured on the night, primarily at the IWC Taste of Gold event earlier this year - my notes will reflect this prior knowledge. Prices, where indicated, are retail by the bottle.
2010 Stanley Estates Sauvignon Blanc. Marlborough, New Zealand.
Noel Young £12.99 | A-
International Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand White, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Marlborough Trophies.
First tasted here. This time theres more ripe tropical fruits flavours showing through, touches of guava and passion fruits; theres still lots of green notes (capsicum, leafy, green peppers) but it isnt as dominant as I remembered it to be. The slightly off dry hints of residual sugar still there, as does the notes of pebbly wet stones and very attractive streak of minerality.
2008 Pieropan 'La Rocca' Soave Classico. Italy.
Noel Young £23.99 | A-
Italian White and Soave Trophies
Yellowish straw in colour, much deeper than your average Soaves. Ripe white stone fruits on the nose; which carries through to the palate, filled with ripe peaches and apircots; fleshy and mouth filling. Good citrus and lasting acidity on the finish; decent mineral structure; strikes me as being quite oily in texture.
2009 Chablis 1er Cru 'Vaillon' Domaine Christian Moreau Pere et Fils. Burgundy, France.
Noel Young £21.75 | A-
Chablis and Organic Trophies
Some citrus and white fruits on the nose, followed by floral touches; some flinty and smoky notes too. Palate is classically steely and taut; great acidic structure but is generous, without being lean; minerality shines alongside ripe fruit structure. Juicy, mouthwatering finish; correct and classy. My favourite white of the night.
2009 Penfolds Reserve Bin 09A Chardonnay. Adelaide Hills, Australia.
House of Townend £52.20 | A-(+)
Champion White Wine, International Chardonnay, Australian Chardonnay, Australian White and Adelaide Hills White Trophies.
Now I wasnt so sure about this wine when I first tasted it earlier this year; a second taste of it now still hasnt convinced me. Theres just too much oak showing on the nose, its the kind that immediately leaps up on you and drowns quite a lot else. Theres plenty of ripe fruit and acidity on the palate, but I felt some disjoint between nose and palate. I'd like to see how this develops with time; at the moment, it seems to me an oak and fruit bomb. Still not sure about price; we're now well into Cru Burgundy territory.
2010 Morgon Vielles Vignes 'Grand Cras' Domaine Laurent Gauthier. Beaujolais, France.
Noel Young £12.49 | A-
Red fruit dominated on the nose, with damsons and violets, also light spice touches. On the palate its juicy and ripe; plums and red cherries; really rounded, crushed red fruits with vibrant acidity; supple tannins. Its very well put together; not heavily extracted; showing its class, eminently drinkable. One of the best Beaujolais I've had in recent times.
2009 Chambolle Musigny, Domaine de la Pousse d'Or. Burgundy, France.
Noel Young £53 | A-(++)
Champion Red Wine, International Pinot Noir, French Red, Red Burgundy and Chambolle Musigny Trophies.
Red fruits on the nose, red currants and berries, followed by a warming spice; there are gamey / ferral characters too, touches of black truffles and followed by some sweet oak - a charming combination. Palate is concentrated, so much red fruit, plums and damsons; layers of complexity; vibrant acidity with fine, lengthy tannic structure. All the elements are there for this wine to age with grace, a long haul wine, drink 2015-2025. My favourite red of the night.
2009 Crozes Hermitage 'La Petite Ruche' M. Chapoutier. Northern Rhone, France.
Noel Young £14.39 | A-(+)
International Syrah, French Syrah and Crozes Hermitage Trophies.
Dark fruit on the nose, along with some floral, wild herbs and black pepper touches; also some meaty / gamey notes. Palate has sweet dark fruits; dark morello cherries and dark currants; not overly extracted, retains a nice juicy freshness to it. Acidity and tannic structure also impressive; from an outstanding vintage, this is another wine that will improve with age; drink now - 2020.
2007 Miguel Torres 'Perpetual' Priorat. Spain.
Noel Young £23.79 | A-(+)
The 2008 vintage of this wine won the Priorat Trophy.
Sweet dark fruits on the nose, along with cassis, dark chocolate; herby (mint mostly) and woody (sweet cedar / mahogany) notes are also there; then the sweet oak shows. Palate is concentrated, lots of dark fruit; blackberries and dark cherries; extracted stuff; lashings of sweet oak also shows but is integrated enough. Overall impression is of sweet dark fruits; a bold punchy wine; grainy tannins on the finish; should improve with age, drink now - 2017+.