23rd November 2009
We just had a good look at some of our more tasty wines, so I thought I would share some brief impressions of those which showed really well.
First, Jacquesson Cuvee 732. Jacquesson is a small but perfectly formed Champagne house with moderate prices - we have been selling previous releases of this superbly light and elegant Champagne for the same fair price, £29.95, for over 18 months. (An aside - when I pick up the morning newspaper I get enraged by half-price offers of champagnes in the supermarkets, when the supposed starting price, for some second-rate champagne, is usually £35-40!). Second pleasant surprise was the Bernhard & Reibel 2005 Riesling from the famed Weingarten vineyard in Alsace; both intensely grapefruity and bone dry, a text-book example (£15.95).
Among the reds, first a pair of Pinots: very different but both excellent. The 2008 Creation Pinot Noir (which comes from just higher up the Hemel-en-Aarde valley than the better known wineries of Hamilton Russell and Bouchard Finlayson) is really coming into its own, with the oak integrating well and generous layers of black fruit. By contrast Jean-Marie Fourrier's Gevrey-Chambertin Aux Echezeaux was delightfully red-fruited and fresh, with true Pinot aromatics and terrific length. Further on the pure Graciano (which is unusual) 2002 Rioja from Valserrano was outstanding - youthful, very perfumed and refined. The final reds offered a flight of contrasting Syrah/Shiraz - from the lovely, cherry-toned Foundry Syrah made by Chris Williams in Stellenbosch, to Yann Chave's 2004 Hermitage, now really coming into its own, and showing secondary notes beside its power and length, via the highly promising 2007 Tabali Reserva Especial Syrah from Limari, all cassis and mocha, with hints of eucalyptus - a wine which would embarrass many Aussie Shirazes at twice its modest price of £11.50.