Tuesday, 5 May 2009

April tasting notes Part 2 - some notable white wines

Here are some notes on just a few of the more note-worthy white wines tasted in April at the weekly meetings of the Nottingham Wine Circle and a (more leisurely) monthly get-together at Le Mistral restaurant in central Nottingham. Note that all of these wines were tasted blind and (as always, on these occasions) were served in quick succession, so my notes are necessarily brief - and occasionally disjointed(!)

Vincent Girardin “En Truffiere” Vieille Vignes 2003 Puligny-Montrachet
My word, this is good! Sweet, spicy, vanilla oak and mineral notes. Rich on the palate, but beautifully balanced. Not at all bad for a 2003!

Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Blanco 1987 Rioja Reserva
Have I ever tasted a bad wine from this grower? If so, I don’t remember it. Rich yet light, aged yet still full of life, beautifully-judged oak and cracking acidity. A match for any aged white Burgundy or Hermitage. Cracking wine.

Nigl Gruner Veltliner Privat 2002
Rich, almost like an Alsace Pinot Gris. Caramel, spices, flowers and butter. Lovely rich, long palate. Cracking stuff.

Albert Grivot Clos de Perrieres 2004 Meursault
Essence of rich Chardonnay. Peaches and nectar, lovely acidity, spicy and subtly oaked. Long. Fabulous Burgundy.

Domaine Benedetti 2006 Cotes du Rhone
100% Grenache Blanc. Lovely nose – apple, pear and an interesting note of icing sugar, with floral, almost Viognier-like. Rich, long, lovely balance. Delicious and unusual.

Cave du Roi Dagobert Tokay Pinot Gris 2001
This is lovely and rich, almost buttery, with a suggestion of late harvest about it. But it had lovely acidity, too, and most around the table were guessing Riesling – but the richness made me stick with my choice of Pinot Gris. And a lovely one it was, too.

Domaine Guillot-Broux 2000 Macon-Chardonnay
So called because it actually comes from the village called Chardonnay. A really fabulous nose of gunflint, smoke, flowers and all sorts of tertiary aromas. No overt fruit aromas or flavours – just gorgeous, rich, balanced wine. And natural, too – made with no sulphur. I loved it!

Les Vins de Vienne Reméage Vin de Table N/V
Bubblegum, and jasmine on the nose – otherwise, a touch closed. The palate is nice, though – rich and spicy, yet dry and lemony. An interesting wine – not great, but really very good for the price (£8-ish from Adnams).

Domaine Pascal et Annick Quenard Chignin Bergeron “Sous Les Armandieres” Vin de Savoie 2007(?)
I’m not absolutely sure of the vintage, but this was a cracking wine. Bergeron is the Savoie name for Roussanne (more usually found in the Rhone) and this is 100% Bergeron. Apple pie, custard and ginger on the nose (honestly!) A touch of richness and fruit, but essentially light, floral, mineral and very elegant. And very lovely!

Averys “Fine White Burgundy” Bourgogne Blanc 2006
I wouldn’t normally bother writing much about a wine from the Laithwaites stable, but this one is from their (recently acquired) respectable arm, Averys of Bristol. Produced by top grower and negociant Nicolas Potel, it has a gorgeous, rich, flowery Chardonnay nose, with a kiss of oak, flint and gunsmoke. You could almost be in Meursault – and you nearly are, because this is produced from vineyards bordering that more exalted appellation. And this wouldn’t disgrace a 1er Cru label. Rich, elegant and long and lovely.

Part 3 follows tomorrow – some brilliant reds (and even a rosé)!

Leon Stolarski

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