Sunday, 13 February 2011

A lovely, Spring-like Saturday, plus 2 very different white wines

Although today is grey, damp and blustery around these parts, yesterday provided a tantalising glimpse of Spring. It was a lovely day to be out on the golf course (even though my game wasn't exactly on song - though I did come tantalisingly close to another hole-in-one) and we even had to take a layer of clothing off after a few few holes, with glorious sunshine and the temperature almost nudging into double figures. Of course, it is still only mid-February, so there is still time for a sting in Winter's tail, but I always feel that when March is approaching, we're almost there. Having said that, I think the long spell of bitterly cold weather we had in November and December has delayed the growing season a little - perhaps not a bad thing, since the seasons have certainly been a bit out of synch over the past few years. So I guess it is just about the right time for these pretty little flowers to put in an appearance.............

The first Snowdrops of Winter, spotted by the side of the 17th green

Hain Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Kabinett 2009, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany 
Here's something that fits perfectly with the almost spring-like weather we enjoyed yesterday. TLD and I enjoyed our first bottle of this wine whilst sat on the terrace at the Hotel Piesporter Goldtröpfchen in September last year  - and have enjoyed several more since then. It really is a wonderfully drinkable and more-ish wine, with aromas of limes and wet slate, nettles and cut grass, apple and mandarin orange. Over the last few months, it has shed a little of its puppy fat, with the intensely mouth-watering acidity integrating more with the rich, almost Spatlese level fruit. I have no doubt that this wine will age and evolve gracefully for another 5 to 8 years, but I find the combination of mandarin and lime, a touch of honeyed richness and oiliness, together with truly mouth-watering acidity almost impossible to resist. Look for this wine appearing on the Leon Stolarski Fine Wines list, within the next month or so. The price will be around £11.75 - a bit of a bargain, for a wine from a top grower, in a top, top year.

Mullineux White 2009 Swartland, South Africa (widely available - average price around £14.95)
61% Chenin Blanc, 23% Clairette and 16% Viognier, fermented and matured in 225 litre barriques (it doesn't say how new, or for how long). This is the third in a trilogy of wines from this grower that I have drank over the last few weeks, and I was hoping (given some positive - even, occasionally, gushing - reviews I have read) for great things. On first pouring, the nose displays quite pronounced sweet apple and stone fruit aromas and a touch of Chenin minerality, with background notes of honey and sweet oak vanillin. But I don't really get much in the way of freshness - it comes across as big, rich and ripe, without any of the high notes or suggestion of acidity that I would expect from a wine dominated by Chenin Blanc. The palate shows more promise in the acidity stakes, but still not quite enough to lift it sufficiently for my taste. There's a good deal of Chenin flavour, again with some rich, baked apple flavours and a touch of mineral, but the overall impression is of a slight pithiness and alcoholic warmth, rather than elegance and freshness - perhaps more in the way of a southern Rhone blend (and, to be fair, 40% of it is just that). After a day or two in the fridge, the remains of the bottle begin to show a little more freshness and the overripe flavours have receded somewhat, although the elegance I crave has still failed to materialise. It is an OK wine, but I was hoping for so much more, and I wouldn't buy it again. If you're interested in trying something in the same vein (in fact, a very similar blend, from the same region) that really does tick all my boxes, then I would suggest the gorgeous (and significantly cheaper) The Liberator Episode 1 The Bureaucrat 2009, which I will happily sell to you for the princely sum of £12.95. ;-)


1 comment:

Vinogirl said...

Spoke with my mother yesterday who said the snowdrops that I planted when I was a teenager are blooming. Thanks, for a photo-reminder of old Blighty :)