Monthly Archives: June 2016

1er cru white Burgundy


I was trying to explain to a colleague why I prefer wine to spirits and cocktails. The two aspects of wines which I find most interesting are subtlety of flavours and its evolving quality. For me,  as nice as a cocktail is on first tasting, I think that’s it, I understand it and like it – or not – but it will be the same for the next sip. Spirits likewise but I am ignorant of these drinks and recognise the gin market is now so popular that there must be more to it than I’m realising. Whilst uninteresting wine is wine that never changes or has no depth and subtleties, good wine changes in bottle and glass making the next taste different to the previous one. This dynamic quality compels me to pay attention and think about what I’m experiencing.

Puligny-Montrachet’s subtle and changeable qualities were in very much evidence in Sauzet’s PM 1er cru Champ Chanet 2011. The lemon colour, tinged with very pale green hinted at acidity and freshness and the nose continued that theme. Melons and matchsticks were the immediate impressions but that moved to a slight oakiness the longer it sat in the glass, whilst it still maintained its citrus appeal.

The layers of flavour came through in the palate. Fresh, soft lemons, very slight oak with good length this was a wine worth sipping. The overall impressions were of refinement, delicacy and balance – three lovely qualities.

[Richard – the fourth of the (increasingly expensive) bottles from a mixed Sauzet case. All the others have been blogged. Of the four I was least impressed by this one. Good but not great, rather forward with just a bit too much ripeness for me.]



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Botalcura Nebbiolo 2009


Our recent ‘find’, the on-line retailer Vin Cognito, came up trumps again on Friday night with an excellent Nebbiolo from Chile’s Maule Valley. Maule is Chile’s oldest wine region, well south of the capital Santiago, and with three times the rainfall but with the same dry summers. They have used the classic northern Italian grape variety, famous for brooding – and occasionally forbidding – Barolos and produced an approachable, high quality wine that had us reaching for another sip.

The bright red colour with no hint of either purple or brown suggested a wine in mid-life whilst the slightly oaked nose did not mask the fresh, cherry notes, slightly floral with and with tempting acidity. The palate was weighty and rich, of medium length and rich in fresh red fruits. There was a beguiling tangy quality, redolent of many Italian red wines, but without the tannins which can be off-putting. It was not overly long but the depth of flavour compensated.

This was a very well-made wine, serious but not overly so and, judging by the responses on the Vin Cognito web-site, very attractive.

[Richard: – very good and instantly appealing wine, spoilt only by a faint hint of woody cork on the nose. This failed to dissipate over time, as it sometimes does. The aromatic nose did compensate though. At £22 just about worth it and a wine I’d buy again. Geoff is far to modest to say but he identified the grape with no clues from me.]

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