A wine tasting for Downing College MCR during fresher's week; retail prices are indicated where known.
Conde de Haro Extra Brut Cava, Bodegas Muga. Spain.
The Wine Society £11.95 | A-
Serious bubbly from The Wine Society, made by Bodegas Muga of Rioja fame. Slightly bready / yeasty nose, with citrus too. Mousse on the palate is refined, vibrant acidity; fruit is forward, yet not aggressive; nice txture on the palate, doesnt just wash away. Classy stuff.
2010 The Society’s Exhibition Chablis Premier Cru ‘Vaillons’, Jean Marc Brocard. France.
The Wine Society £16 | A-
Richness comes through on the nose - ripe fruit with creamy / buttery notes, also the classic citrus verve. On the palate, minerality comes through underpinned by taut racy acidity yet the fruit is very ripe and yielding, bright lemony flavours; surprisingly generous flavours for a Chablis. Nice persistence of flavours too. Great value.
2011 The Society’s Exhibition Tasmanian Chardonnay. Australia.
The Wine Society £14.95 | B+
Zesty, lime peel and citrus oils on the nose, with some floral characters. Plenty of racy acidity, piercing high notes on the wine, like sucking on a wedge of lemon; very bright and vibrant stuff, intensely focused, if perhaps a touch too piercing. Great example of cool climate (and I suspect very early picking) Oz Chardonnay.
2011 Plantagenet Mount Barker Riesling. Australia.
Cambridge Wine £14.99 | B+
Again, very zesty, with lime peel and lime cordial on the nose, with lemony fragrance, very lively on the nose. Plenty of racy acidity, in a way only Riesling can achieve; rapier like, lemony flavours; eye watering. Just about stays balanced.
2005 Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling. Germany.
Cellars of Downing College | A-
Previously reviewed elsewhere - again showed wonderfully, just the perfect balance between fruit, sugar and acidity.
2010 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Cuvee Reserve, Maison Roche de Bellene. Burgundy, France.
The Wine Society £10.95 | B+
red frui on the nose, with some sweet spice and woody licorice touches, feels polished and quite old school; fragrant and appealing. On the palate, bright acidity with some under-ripe raspberries and red currants; not the most complex of flavours, but its evidently well made and has great charm.
2011 Kooyong Massale Pinot Noir. Mornington Peninsula, Australia.
Cambridge Wine Merchants £19.99 | B+
Bright cherry fruit on the nose, hints of earthy notes with some aromatic mahogany / cedar / leather there, indicating some judicious oak use; feels very polished, sophisticated on the nose. The fruit is somewhat underwhelming, under ripe raspberry and red cherries but on the tart side of things; feels like the fruit isnt properly ripe; nice crunchy acidity though. Just wished they had a bit more sweet fruit.
2001 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza ‘Reserva Especial’. Rioja, Spain.
The Wine Society £18.50 | A-(+)
I've reviewed this wine some time back and thought it would be good to revisit. As good as I remembered it, great concentration of flavour; textured and persistent on the palate. Drinking so nicely now, but will ag for another 10-20 years no problems.
1987 Contino Rioja Reserva. Rioja, Spain.
Personal collection | B+
Previously reviewed here.
2008 Pauillac. Bordeaux, France.
The Wine Society £16.50 | B+(+)
Dark fruit, cassis with polished wood, cedar, tobacco and leather notes; theres hints of capsicum too; decent depth to the aromas, feels brooding and like a proper claret. Good fruit on the palate; dense, structured dark berries and dark plums with balancing; plenty of grainy tannins but feels ripe; texture is a bit sandy at the moment, but theres plenty of fruit to make sure it resolves with time. This feels like a proper Pauillac, wouldnt be surprised if it came from the Lafite stable; drink 2015-2023.
1996 Chateau Cantemerle, Haut Medoc 5eme Cru. Bordeaux, France.
Cellars of Downing College | A
Beautifully integrated, mature claret - noets of cigar box, pencil shavings and graphite, slightly smoky / leathery characters too, along with earthy even capsicum still. Refined on the palate, very smooth and yielding; fruit is ripe and soft and effuses everywhere; good dose of balancing acidity. Generous, so very drinkable, excellent claret; drink now - 2020.
1982 Churchill’s Vintage Port
Cellars of Downing College | A-
Bright red fruit shows here, along with framboise and cherry liquer; fragrant rose petal aromatics. On the palate, its mostly sweet red fruit, just enough acidity to keep it going; a lighter style vintage port that has matured well and isnt showing its age. Delicate, very pretty.