What we've been drinking (6 - 13 March 2009)
Château Saint-Jacques 2003
Graham and Beatrice Nutter bought this Minervois property in 2002. ‘Yes, it’s living the dream,’ says Graham, ‘but you can’t underestimate the work and financial investment necessary if you want to create good wine.’ Good wine this certainly is – a garrigue-scented blend of 60% Syrah, with Grenache and Carignan making up the balance. Earthy, dark and brooding, this has remarkable balance and acidity given the heat of the vintage – no leaf trimming was the secret, according to Graham. There are only 1,000 bottles left of this vintage, available via Stokes Fine Wine and Goedhuis.
Reliquia Barbadillo, Palo Cortado
After spending my weekend studying Sherry for my Masters of Wine exam, I decided to treat myself to a glass of very old Palo Cortado from Reliquia Barbadillo. I knew this Sherry was going to be exceptional but it surpassed expectations. The nose had beautiful nutty aromas but with lots of layers and some oak flavours. The palate was full and very complex with lots of nutty and dried fruit charcaters, the finish was exceptionally long, with a very attractive oak flavour. I am really looking forward to enjoying more of this treasure within the next few weeks.
Acting Assistant Editor, Decanter magazine
Niel Joubert, Chenin Blanc, Paarl, South Africa 2008
Though we were in Earl's Court, not Davos, you’d expect a dedicated fondue restaurant to have a Swiss Fendant on their wine list. It wasn’t to be, but nevertheless there were a few well-priced, crisp young whites from which to choose to cut through all that melted cheese. Juicy tropical fruit and zesty acidity followed on from bright, fresh pineapple aromas – the perfect foil for such a rich dish. By no means the most complex Chenin you’ll ever have, it’s a tasty drop and, in hindsight had far more character and body than the quite bland Chasselas grape of the Alps.
Dominique Cornin Macon-Chanes, Les Serreudieres, Domaine de Lalande, 2006
Having rushed around town, attending a viewing of the Tate Modern's
Constructivism exhibition, then on to the launch of London Restaurant
Week, I wanted nothing more on arriving home than to dive into a
refreshing white. This delivered. An attractive yellow gold colour, the nose showed bright citrus notes, crisp green apple and juicy pear. Soft, supple and round, it slipped down like liquid silk, offering wonderful whacks of floral honey and white peach. A young, vibrant gem of a wine with captivating minerality and a creamy lingering length. Dangerously delicious.
Jacob's Creek Riesling 2007
Before you pull your keyboards towards you in outrage, this isn't inverted snobbery. I bought a bottle because I needed something to add a bit of bite to a spaghetti carbonara, and we ended up drinking it during supper. Nicely chilled, it's a very drinkable, aromatic mouthful, with lemon and lime flavours, some secondary Riesling character coming through and a nice dry finish. We know from blind tastings at Decanter that Jacob's Creek - the wine on which the Aussie industry is built - often comes through to take four and even (once, nearly, with the Reserve Chardonnay) five stars. It's a very good, workmanlike, unpretentious wine. You'd still never take it to a dinner party, now would you?