Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Some recent wines, including some new additions to my list

TLD and I have been enjoying some pretty nice wines over the last week or so, including some that I have now added to the Leon Stolarski Fine Wines list (if there is a link, you can buy it - if not, then you can't!);

Cono Sur Sparkling Brut NV Bio Bio Valley, Chile
Mostly Chardonnay, with a little Riesling and Pinot Noir, this has an impressively strong mousse, with plenty of fine, long-lasting bubbles. Lovely fresh, floral, lemon and apple aromas, with biscuity notes and a hint of lime oil suggesting a touch of richness. And indeed the palate does deliver some richness, with that lime oil note adding a perception of sweetness to what is essentially a pretty bone-dry wine, though chock full of citrus and tree fruit flavours, loads of mouth-watering acidity and a lingering finish. This is a mightily impressive wine and, having bought 6 bottles from a local supplier (and now drank 2), I was going to go back for more. Unfortunately, they have now sold out......... :-( But I shall enjoy my remaining 4 bottles. 12.0% abv.

Cono Sur Riesling Reserva 2009 Bio Bio Valley, Chile
The freshness and vitality in this wine is evident from the little "sigh" of residual CO2 it gives as you twist the screwcap, releasing a wave of lemon, lime zest and floral aromas and a fair whack of classic Riesling slate and wet stone. The freshness is heightened by a delightful "prickle", evident on both the nose and the palate, with an immediate lime zestiness which fair races across the mouth and almost makes your eyes water. But this wine is anything but simple, for it offers masses of lime/lemon and tart apple flavour and a hint of lime oil richness - and real mineral depth, rather like a really good, almost-dry Alsace Riesling. In fact, I have tasted Alsace Grand Cru's that have given less pleasure than this little beauty. You may be thinking "Cono Sur?! Aren't they a big Chilean producer making (in the main) mass-market wines?" Well think again, for this really is a top-quality example of its kind, produced in one of the coolest and most southerly vineyards in Chile, and clearly ideal for growing this most wonderful of white grapes. The back label says "Enjoy upon purchase", and whilst I do not disagree (for it gives great pleasure now) it gives even greater pleasure on day 2, so I fancy it will evolve nicely over the next 2 or 3 years - perhaps a lot longer, given that it is sealed under screwcap. A brilliant wine - and a complete steal at just £8.50.

Jean-Marie Bouzereau Meursault 2000
This is the second one of three bottles I picked up relatively cheaply a year or two back and the second time it has been bang on the money. Pale gold, watery rim, very bright and limpid. Clean, fresh, slightly lemony aromas, with a touch of apple and loads of mineral/damp earth - high-toned and really very expressive, in a non-Meursault way (by which I mean no overtly oaky, struck-match things going on). It really is very integrated and winey and undoubtedly Burgundy in origin. The palate is super fresh, with not a hint of toffee/oxidation - which is increasingly rare in a 12 year-old white Burgundy, these days - but certainly not lacking in evolution or complexity. Lots of apple pie/cream/cinnamon flavours and again plenty of earthy minerality. It doesn't have any pretensions to anything particularly grand (or even premier!) but it is a mightily enjoyable wine, which partnered some fishcakes and a bit of baked salmon with some home-made mayonnaise very nicely. 13.0% abv.

A mediu-deep cherry red colour. Aromas of cherries, too, of both the black and red varieties, with bramble, damp earth, polished wood and mixed spices - it really is quite heady stuff, when it opens-out. The palate initially seems a little dumb/closed, but emerges after half an hour in the decanter, with flavours of sweet and sour red cherry, soft citrus and bramble. There's a nice layer of rustic tannins, again quite earthy and spicy, with lots of juicy acidity and a touch of agnostura bitters on the finish. A delicious wine, which does everything you want a decent Chianti Classico to do. 13.0% abv. A bargain at £9.95.

Chanson Père et Fils Côte de Beaune-Villages 2007
A light-to-medium ruby red colour, with some darker, more evolved tinges which, along with the nose, suggest this wine has spent at least some time in older oak barrels. Aromas of raspberry and wild strawberry are accompanied by notes of cedar, polished wood, forest floor and a touch of vanilla. The palate too shows a touch of evolution - medium-bodied, with plenty of bright, juicy red fruit flavours, mouth-watering acidity and a gentle tannic grip, giving the wine a nice sweet and sour quality. Offering a nice degree of complexity and evolution, this is lovely to drink right now - what I would call a Burgundy lover's Burgundy. 12.5% abv. How often do you see decent Burgundy at under a tenner, these days? £9.95.

And finally (for now, at least) this real cracker of a wine from my beloved Languedoc.........................

J M & V Alquier Les Bastides d'Alquier 2005 Faugères
Still quite a youthful purple colour, with just a touch of blood/cherry red on the rim. The aromas coming out of the glass are deep, dark and considerably complex, offering a mix of bramble, redcurrant and black cherry fruit, with hints of orange peel, exotic spices, leather, damp earth and eau de vie. 18 months' ageing in oak barrels (30% of which were new) has imparted a subtle oakiness that caresses rather than assaults the senses, making for a totally harmonious and beautifully-scented wine. The palate is awash with the flavours of the south - big, bold red and black fruits, pepper and spice, garrigue herbs, a touch of meatiness and again a hint of damp earthiness. And whilst still quite youthful, the oak and tannins are already nicely integrated and everything is held together by a core of juicy acidity, whilst the finish is long and grippy, with sweet and sour flavours that linger for an age. It is delicious on day one, but spectacularly good on day two. By anyone's standards, this has the hallmark of a very fine wine. And by Faugères standards, it really is the benchmark wine of the appellation. 14.5% abv. £17.95.

News on more (lots more) new wines very soon.................


Anonymous said...

Leon, How much does the sparkling Cono Sur retail at? Rich.

Leon Stolarski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leon Stolarski said...

Rich - unfortunately, I don't have any to sell. :-(

You may be able to find it elsewhere though (I don't know) and it shouldn't cost the earth.