Some wines tasted recently that are particularly noteworthy, and in no particular order. All tasted throughout July 2012.
NV Dosnon & Lepage Blanc de Blanc Champagne
Roberson Wine £36.95 | A-
Fresh citrus on the notes, only slight hints of bready / yeasty notes here; its bright fruit, lemon zest driven on the nose. On the palate, very zingy and nervy; ripe but rapier-like acidity on the palate, I'm guessing very low dosage but it allows the purity of fruit to shine through; focused and taut. Lovely precision, this feels like a Brut Nature / Brut Zero to me.
NV Dosnon & Lepage Blanc de Noir Champagne
Roberson Wine £32.95 | A-
On the nose, some hint of development and yeasty characters, citrus there too; classical Champagne nose. Gentle entry on the palate, but then it grows on the mid palate, unfurling plump and generous mouthfeel; feels rounded and ripe fruit; gentle acidity, probably dosaged towards 10g/l; decent persistence on the finish. Very together, but such a contrasting style to the Blanc de Blanc - and I love both.
1998 Crozes Hermitage Blanc, Domaine Raymond Roure, Paul Jaboulet Aine
Honey, ripe peaches, white flowers and acacia on the nose; its sweet and very floral on the nose, slight hint of oxidative nuttiness. On the palate, theres good weight of fruit; feels lush and ripe, vibrant balancing acidity, but its the sweetness and plump white fruits that really shows. Slight hint of pith at the end. Wonderful balance, a great food wine which has aged gracefully.
2006 Tahi, Domaine Treloar.
Cambridge Wine £17.99 | A-
Bags of fruit, jammy dark fruit compote and cooked fruits, does smell quite alcoholic / porty, underlines how much fruit there is; hint of dried herbs there too and baked earth. On the palate, fruit is bold but isnt punchy; I remember trying this a year or so ago and that extra year in bottle has smoothened out the rough edges. Fruit is dark cherry and red plums, feels plump and juicy; plenty of ripe tannins at the end to suggest this will keep a good few more years; drink now - 2016+
1987 Contino Rioja Reserva
Initially, wafts of undergrowth and earthy nose, followed by red currants and gentle sweet fragrance of cedar; theres some mustiness you associate with age, but that soon blows away with some time in the glass. On the palate, still bright and lively but very settled; gentle red currants for fruits, with unripe red cherries for acidity, some balsamic notes about it too. Its hanging on there, fully mature Rioja that tastes more like mature Burgundy than anything else.
1997 Luis Pato Vinha Pan
Only 6880 bottles and 90 magnums made.
Very interesting nose - theres jammy blackberry coulis and cooked fruit, but also some smoke / tar scents, tea leaves and some licorice thrown in too; an alluring depth about the nose. On the palate, it feels bold; bags of dark fruit here, despite the age, its still fruit driven; the smokiness and licorice notes carry through on the palate; good balancing acidity. Substantial weight on the palate, with grainy tannins towards the persistent finish; mature and complex, a wine to savour. Drinking very nicely now, but will reward a further 5-10 years cellaring; drink now - 2020+.
1989 Hermitage, La Chapelle, Paul Jaboulet Aine
Spicy blackpepper on the nose, along with earthy and woody notes, woody licorice; theres some hints of farmyard / rustic charm there too; fruit is dark plums. On the palate, the fruit is still bright and vivacious; red plums with some rusty edges, bright acidity; tastes much younger than it actually is, generous mid palate. Tastes well resolved yet youthful, really belies its age; shows the staying power of this wine; very fine tannins at the end, probably could keep a bit longer, but at its peak drinking window now; drink now - 2017+
1985 Mas de Daumas Gassac Rouge, VdP de l'Herault
Earthy, farmyard nose initially, quite rustic and rusty; develops into some spice and red currants, theres some volatile, slightly ferral notes too; looks and smells like old mature claret. On the palate, the acidity is fruity and lively; ripe red currants and cranberries, smooth and rounded; everything feels together and integrated; some signs of age; still very youthful for what it is though. Shows the pedigree...