Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Downing MCR Christmas Tasting

Friday, 16 December 2011.
A tasting of 12 wines for Downing College MCR, with a Christmas theme.

 NV Chateau Renni Cava Brut. Spain.
Just Great Wine £8.95 | B+

Textbook Cava - crisp, dry yet still showing nice fruit structure. The mousse is perhaps on the aggressive side, but its lively and inoffensive, good to drink. Provided for review.

NV Silvola Rosato, Cantina Beato Bartolomeo Breganze. Italy.
Cambridge Wine £11.49 | B+

Nose is of strawberries and cream; smells sweet and sherbety, like strawberry ice cream; attractive and welcoming nose. Plenty of fruit; just a touch off dry, showing lots of rounded red fruit that isnt tart or aggressive; mid to low acidity. Its light, pretty and very drinkable.

2008 Felton Road Chardonnay. Central Otago, New Zealand.

Creamy, buttered toast and some nutty notes - the oak treatment shows well; the fruits shows below that. Palate is integrated; ripe white fruits showing alongside the integrated oak flavours; slight pithy / grapefruit tinged bitterness at the finish. Textured, full bodied wine; very classy. Drinking very well now.

2005 Meursault Vielles Vignes, Dom Vincent Girardin.
faulty - corked and premature oxidation

2007 Matahiwi 'Holly' Sauvignon Blanc. Wairarapa, New Zealand.

Golden straw in colour. Theres green notes of bell peppers and asparagus, layered with sweet vanilla and gentle oaked /toasty characters; but the peppery character gives an undertone. Palate is layered, also some green notes; the oak is together and well supported by the plentiful fruit. Not as punchy as I remember it, the age has mellowed and integrated everything; drinking nicely.

1997 Riesling Hochgewachs, Trabener Wurzgarten, Weingut Werner Muller. Mosel Valley, Germany.
Cambridge Wine £12.25 | B+

Intense lime and limepeel on the nose, almost an air freshener like quality to it; fresh and limey, with some white flowers thrown in; attractive. Palate is citrus dominated; fresh and light; high acidity but theres a decent amount of residual sugar, maybe 20g/l; gently off dry. Fat, lemony feel to it; still fresh and lively

2008 Grasshopper Rock 'Earnsclough Vineyard' Pinot Noir. Central Otago, New Zealand.
Naked Wines £18.49 | A-

Plenty of red cherries, with sweet spice coming through (cinnamon and nutmeg); really fragrant, then comes some raspberry and kirsch; rather sweet smelling. Lots of rounded fruit; juicy sour red cherries; lush and very forward fruit, immediately appealing; fresh acidity and hardly any tannins. Lively, so drinkable.

2009 Mercurey 'La Framboisiere' Domaine Faively. Burgundy, France.
Cambridge Wine £19.50 | A-

A more grown up version of the Pinot above. Deeper fruit on the nose, darker cherries and plums; less spice, replaced instead by earthy and farmyard touches. Palate also very juicy, lots of immediate fruit hit; raspberry and red cherries; not fully extracted, feels nimble and light-footed; maybe a bit short on the mid palate (maybe their Premier Cru will cover this). Fresh acidity, low tannins, for early consumption but yields so much pleasure.

1999 Cono Sur '20 Barrels Merlot'
see previous tasting note here

1997 Henschke 'Cyril Henschke' Cabernet Sauvignon. Eden Valley, Australia.

Blackberry and blackcurrant compote; cool cassis, wine gums and pastilles abound; sweet fragrant fruit; theers also a slight greenish touch to it, like basil / leaves. Palate shows so much fruit, sour plums and red cherries, then blackberries; fresh acidity, vibrant, the high notes are singing merrily. Lingers on the palate, sustained fruit on the mid palate; textured almost creamy / sherbety, layered complexity. Tannins just creeping in at the back; drinking beautifully now, but will still develop; now-2022 +. One of the best straight Cabernets from Australia that I've ever had.

Warre's Otima 10yo Tawny Port

1970 Dow's Vintage Port

Rose hips and rose petals; its rather floral and sweet smelling, then some herbal mint, raspberry liqueur kicks in.  Palate is intense and full, sweet fruit still there, but mellowed out and long; juicy, fresh acidity; still so much vibrancy and life to this, perfect balance and poise. The mid palate fruit and length on the finish is remarkable; this must have been one powerful port in its youth. Outstanding, one of the best vintage ports I've had..

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