A convivial occasion so no notes taken. These were the wines.
The Au Bon Climat was a – rather expensive – pinot noir from California. We found it easy to drink but disappointingly bland with none of the grip you would expect from an equivalent Burgundy. Opinion on Cellar Tracker, which Geoff checked this morning, was much the same.
Much better, and cheaper was Les Yeuses, a Pays D’Oc syrah from a vineyard roughly halfway between Montpelier and Beziers. From MWW, £9. Much more complex than the pinot, with lots of fruit. Very good value.
Geoff’s dislike of Sauvignon Blanc rivals my dislike of Gewurtztraminer so he should really comment on this. In essence it’s the perfect SB for people who don’t like SB in that it has none of the well known characteristics of the grape. Much more Burgundian in style (especially in the Section 94 cuveé) and it could pass for a chardonnay. A very classy wine. 2015 Dog Point Section 94, from WS, about £20.
Geoff – on the SB. Richard summed it up precisely as being perfect for those who dislike SB. Dogpoint claim extended contact with the lees when vinified and this must make a lot of difference. The wine loses those overt grassy/gooseberry notes and its acidity becoming more hay-like, broader and restrained. The question is why is it made like this? Too much SB around at low prices? Is this style needed to be able to charge more? Whatever the reason, it was lovely.
Disappointed with Bon Climat – well made but just a nice sweetish red wine that was broad and a ‘crowd-pleaser’.
Les Yeuses was really good value, firmly structured, with hints of Syrah in the taste, powerful but not overly so and finishing dry and focussed. Excellent.