Apart from all the other things I have to do at the moment (day job, car mechanics for son(s), odd jobs for my mother, shovelling snow, cooking, packing wines etc!) I also currently have the somewhat more enjoyable task of tasting through lots of new wines and writing them up for my website. Here are are my notes on four more wines, enjoyed over the last couple of evenings (and no - we haven't finished them all!) which I have recently added to the website;
Delicate aromas of melon, apricot, quince and tropical fruits, with background notes of oregano and fennel. Although this is aged in oak barrels for 6 months, the effect is minimal - for reasons I have stated before on my blog, winemaker Guy Vanlancker hasn't bought any new barrels since 2001! The palate is packed with flavours of fresh quince, stone fruits and lemon zest, yet infused with a herby, spicy, almost savoury quality. Although the flavours are quite rich, the overall effect is of a bone-dry wine, with a backbone of refreshingly zesty acidity and a commendably long, spicy finish. £8.99
Sauvignon Blanc, from vines planted as recently as 2006. Sauvignon is not a variety permitted by the Limoux AOC, so this has to be labelled as a vin de pays, but it benefits from the same barrel fermentation and ageing as the Cuvée de l’Odyssée Limoux Chardonnay from the same grower (full tasting note to follow). And it makes for a really interesting, quirky wine. The colour is a quite a pale gold, with green tinges. The nose is gently oaky, but with lots of other aromas, such as lime and mandarin, apple, fennel, cloves and herbs. There are some backround herbaceous notes, but this is a far cry from the minerally, occasionally lean wines of Sancerre and the overtly fruity, herbaceous wines of New Zealand - but it remains recognisably Sauvignon. The palate also shows a touch of oak, but it is very skilfully done and adds structure, rather than dominating, with some quite intense flavours of orange zest, honey and apple pie, with ample (but not high) acidity and a nice, long, spicy finish. A really interesting and quite lovely wine.
Bright ruby/blood red colour, with a mix of primary and secondary fruit aromas (wild strawberry, raspberry, cherry), garrigue herbs and hints of polished wood and sous-bois. The palate shows sweet and sour red and black fruit flavours, spice and liquorice, with firm tannins and a nice lick of acidity. This is a robust, earthy wine, which has plenty of tannic structure, which softens-out nicely after an hour in the decanter, but needs food to show its best - a hearty winter stew or cassoulet would do very nicely! Not serious, but a nice entry-level Minervois. £7.50.
This is yet another wine from the Brigitte Chevalier stable, which I am enjoying as I type - and it is yummy! Opaque purple/blood red core, with a narrow ruby rim. Bramble, cherry and plum skin aromas, with notes of savoury, tar and undergrowth. The palate is rich and full of bramble and black cherry fruit flavours, and nicely savoury/meaty, with gentle spices thrown in for good measure. Rich, chocolatey tannins, allied to those soft fruits and excellent acidity make for a juicy, sweet-and-sour style of wine. It isn't complex, but it is a really delicious wine, which is both food-friendly and nice to drink on its own. £8.50.
Right - I'm off to prepare dinner for TLD and I, before settling down to watch Match Of The Day!