Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Formal Hall

Sunday, 03 June 2012.

Five wines with dinner, with port and claret afterwards - rather more than the norm, we're all in Diamond Jubilee mood here.

Las Montanas Sauvignon Blanc

A correct varietal Sauvignon Blanc, shows the green leafy aromas along with some citrus; clean but very short on the palate, finishes with a slightly bitter (and not entirely pleasant) aftertaste.

2006 R de Rieussec, Bordeaux Blanc Sec
faulty - corked

2005 Suckfizzle Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

Quite nutty on the nose, the oak treatment shows, can almost smell roasted almonds and hazelnuts; quite waxy and oily too, suspect its from the Semillon; only slight hints of greenness from the Sauvignon; all beautifully integrated and together; really full and forward nose, but nevertheless inviting. Clean on the palate; its filling and fruit forward; grapefruit and citrus, paprika pith almost, with savoury hints; integrated flavours, still a bold wine but no one thing dominates.

2009 Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay, Sonoma Country

The oak treatment shows, but this tends towards the creamy buttery spectrum, with dried coconuts and sweet vanilla too; not overpowering. Palate feels slightly clumsy and lumbering, just about enough fruit to carry off the oak but it does need an ice bucket; lest the oakiness overwhelms.

2005 Chateau Rieussec, Sauternes 1er Cru

Lovely botrytis, honeyed nose, tending towards treacle and golden syrup, smells rather heavy. Feels quite lumbering on the palate, I fear it lacks acidity and lift to it; the honeyed fruit is there but isnt bright; if anything, the somewhat dull mouthfeel makes me think this isnt the best bottle of '05 Rieussec I'll try.

1963 Avery's Special Reserve Vintage Port

Lovely sweet raspberries, touch of liquer there; very floral, rose hips and turkish delight, plenty of high notes; then a slight medicinal, cough syrup menthol like notes which develops over time into wine gums and pastilles and a lovely spiciness. Still very lively on the palate, ripe raspberries, vibrant streak of acidity too; amazing freshness given its age. Fruit is light and reserved, almost notes of candied citrus, such is its acidity. Its not voluptuous, instead showing finesse, precision and focus with a lingering, fading finish. Excellent stuff. Unfortunately it declined quite rapidly after decanting - the port I tasted on opening and three hours later after dinner was sadly not the same, it had lost quite a lot of the brightness and liveliness.

Update from Avery's Wine. In 1963 Avery's made six pipes of their Special Reserve Vintage Port which was blended from 1 pipe of Taylors, 2 pipes of Fonseca and 3 pipes of Sandeman. Apparently this blend was subsequently very highly rated by various wine writers and critics. Quite right too, I might add. Many thanks to Duncan Pilbeam of Avery's for the information.

2005 Chateau Patache d'Aux, Medoc Cru Bourgeois Superieur

Textbook after dinner claret - dark fruit with licorice leaps initially, but it quickly resolves to yield to a more rustic, earthy, smoked tobacco and cedar nose. On the palate, theres sustained dark, sweet fruit on the mid palate; not big but very consistent and generous throughout; ripe tannins melt away towards the finish; pleasant acidity. Superb balance, everything in its place; good claret really needn't cost the earth; drink now - 2020+

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