Jancis Robinson was in town to launch her new autobiography, “Confessions of a Wine Lover” (See my thoughts on this book under “Book Reviews”). Excellent independant merchant Peter Green had arranged this tasting evening, with JR choosing the wines. Each wine tied in to her career and development as a wine lover/writer and was chosen on that basis. It was a great evening. The wines were very good indeed and JR is a great raconteur with a lovely marriage of subject authority, enthusiasm and wit. She must be one of the least patronising and best informed writers in the world of wine. All wines supplied by Peter Green, Edinburgh.
Domaine des Petits Faîteaux, Touraine Sauvignon 1996 – £4.50
Very pale straw colour. Clean nose of pear-drops and flowers, hints of wet stones. Loads of pure, clean pear and apple flavour and reasonable body. Grapefruit acidity in the finish is wonderfully fresh and pure.
von Schubert, Maximin Grünhäuser Bruderberg Riesling Kabinett 1994 – £14.99
Pale colour. Whiff off sulphur blew off to reveal astonishingly intense nose, redolent of minerals and flint. Superb balance on the palate with lots of luscious, peachy fruit, some sweetness and the same minerally character. A dry, nutty edge shows up in the finish with plenty of clean, lime acidity. Very long, very, very nice.
Petaluma Chardonnay (South Australia) 1996 – £13.50
Medium golden yellow colour. My kind of chardonnay on the nose: pure lemony, boiled sweets character with lots of yeasty finesse and subtle, sweet oak. On the palate very smooth and medium bodied with restrained tropical fruit, but a savoury edge through keen acidity. Long, lingering, more-ish finish. Oak is integrated and balanced. Overall harmony and obvious quality.
Faiveley, Mercurey “Domaine de la Croix Jacquelet” 1995 – £9.99
Medium but fairly dense, soft ruby red. Sweet berry nose, creamy with developing earthy aromas. Slightly thin on the palate with plenty of mouth coating tannins, some strawberry fruit, but very cleanly made and stylish. Warmth in the finish which is still pretty tannic. Needs time.
La Rioja Alta, Viña Ardanza 1989 – £9.95
Quite brown on the edges. Usual gorgeous, smoky, red berry nose with lots of sweet oak and almost Burgundian perfume and spice. More of the same on the palate. Had the ’87 last week and perhaps that was slightly better. Oh for a nice piece of lamb or a steak.