My turn to taste blind tonight. Geoff arrived with a bottle wrapped in foil. I knew instantly it was a white wine as he put it in the fridge but that was as good as it got. Couldn’t get the grape (had a real riesling feel to me) or the country, which turned out to be Australia. Eventually, after a few clues I settled on the marsanne grape, which was correct, but, in truth, it didn’t taste anything like that grape does in Rhone bottlings, not that 100% marsanne is common in the region as it is usually blended with rousanne. Anyway, a lovely wine: pale green flecked with gold, pellucid, lemony aroma with some lanolin, persistent taste with some length which developed well in the mouth. I could’t smell the honeysuckle everyone else references but I sometimes think that there is only one tasting note – often from the producer – that everyone else copies. Seeing the label took me back because I used to buy Tahbilk quite often – Waitrose sold it and I’m always a sucker for a retro label, although I see that the font was changed around 2007 to something more modern. Lots of interesting stuff on their website (but nothing on how the marsanne is vinified – any oak, for example) including the fact that they have the largest marsanne planting in the world. No supermarket availability that I could find but several independents carry a range. This bottle came from Loki in Birmingham.
[Geoff – this is a superb wine which just got better throughout the evening. I drank it with roast chicken, lemon and tarragon dish about 90 mins after initial opening. It became fuller but with still the attractive acidity that kept it interesting. One of my memorable wines but I can’t find any more of this vintage.]