Monthly Archives: November 2017

Unmistakeable (again)

We’ve used this blog title before but some wines are instantly identifiable, usually just from the nose. Thus I recognised the aroma from this wine and thought (correctly) it was from the Jura. The aroma of the savagnin grape, with it’s sherry like nose, is hard to miss – even though we rarely taste the grape and have never blogged it. An aroma I particularly like, though Geoff wasn’t so keen. The deep yellow colour is also typical.

In fact this bottle (Domaine de la Pinte, Cuvée d’Automne) has some chardonnay added but I couldn’t detect it, unless it was the lemony, stewed apple taste. Jura wines are hard to find  and this one doesn’t seem to be listed by anybody in the UK. The producer lists it at €16.

[Geoff: definitely not to my taste. I found this too appley acidic, unsubtle and without any richness. It was a wine was interesting rather than enjoyable, like orange wines. There might be better examples but I won’t be looking too hard for them.]


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Friends and neighbours

Geoff and I live on the same road and we take turns to host wine tastings. Usually the wines are tasted blind so we have no idea what to expect. This most recent tasting – with the wine below, by remarkable coincidence, featured wines from the same region, made within a few kilometres of each other, not that I picked up on this.

‘Not pinot’ I confidently exclaimed. Certainly the colour – a pale clear red – was typical but the nose with lots of strawberry and raspberry led me to think it was a differently vilified southern French variety. In the mouth, rather firm and tannic, lacking complexity and without the flavour the vivacious smell led you to expect. But certainly moreish. Needless to say the wine was pinot. Perhaps I’ve tried too many New World pinots recently…

As you can see, quite a classy bottle. I leave Geoff to explain the geography.

[Geoff: Aloxe is the first Cote de Beaune village you come to driving south; it sits underneath the hill of Corton. Traditionally the wine has been thought of as having a fine bouquet but rather robust on the palate and I would say that is what we found. This wine was one of several different Burgundies I bought from M & S after they had been considerably reduced – to clear stocks – from the normal retail of £35. At full price it would definitely not have been VFM, as Richard’s description implies. It was good with some rich flavoured boeuf bourgignon, however.]


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A myth in the making?


Vin Cognito is an on-line wine supplier who can both supply good quality wines and, nearly as important, write about them in an engaging way. But you have got to be in the mood to sit and read the cleverly crafted screed. The essay that accompanied Decelle Villa’s Bourgogne 2014 re-worked Jason and Golden Fleece fable, i.e. initial disappointment followed by a wonderful, last minute find of white Burgundy at a (just about) affordable price. And it was good, as we found on Sunday night.

A weighty-looking green with hints of lemon, the wine proclaimed youth – and body – but it was an initially shy youth. It started to come out 15 minutes after being poured (needed decanting, I thought) and started to reveal some very classy notes of lemon zest with a slightly creamy (oak?) aroma. This, to me, smelt of a quality white Burgundy – lovely. The flavour was intense, long and dry. All fresh lemons backed up with green hazelnuts, this wine was “not a sipper”, it needed food, the flavours were so intense. I thought it still had plenty of development to come and Richard later decanted it – but he can write about that. It was a very good for an entry level Burgundy

One small statement in Vincognito’s thesis about the wine was worth noting. They said of the producers Decelle Villa,  “Well, here’s a producer whose wines defy that logic, at least for the time being, while they are making a name for themselves.” A touch of realism in the myth-making, perhaps?

[Richard: we’ve blogged on wines from Vin Cognito before and they are a reliable supplier, especially if you want something different. I purchased a couple of bottles of the above after getting an email saying how good the wines were, limited quantity, hurry, hurry, hurry, etc. Experience with The WS has taught me that such emails can often be a little over-enthusiastic  – but not in this case. A classy wine which improved with decanting becoming rounded and creamier, as you would expect. Worth keeping the other bottle for a couple of years, I think.]

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A delicate Aussie?


This wine exudes power – its most significant characteristic. Kooyong chardonnay 2016 from the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia is made from grapes grown on sandstone and ironstone, as the website states “adding a characteristic firmness and masculinity to structure already present”. Sand, loam and clay are also present in varying quantities and the wine certainly reflected this complexity. It wasn’t all Aussie machismo. It was very enjoyable – a good find by Richard.

Pale lemon green in colour with medium viscosity, there was a delicate, floral note to the understated nose which took a while to open up and reveal some typical match-stick notes. The ‘iron fist in a velvet glove’ analogy was exhibited on the long, dry palate which showed after some initial fruit sweetness. Then the power was turned on – intense, focussed and battery-charged for a long drinking window which will show more pleasing complexities. The wine had no hint of the fat buttery notes of the out of condition old-style Oz chardonnays. It was really enjoyable.

[Richard, from TWS as part of a mixed red/white Mornington case. Geoff deduced the location once he realised it was a New World wine. A very classy wine with some Burgundian overtones.]



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Who needs en primeur?



Claret from Bordeaux was the first wine to be offered en primeur and it is still the biggest market for those of us who like to buy wine in advance of shipping or even bottling.

But, for a while now, dissenting voices have been heard. Unless you are after a particular chateau which may sell out early there is now little point in using the en primeur market since, firstly, there is an awful lot of claret around and, secondly, prices of newly released claret are much the same, or even more expensive than, mature wines.

Tonight’s wine – Chateau Coufran 2004 – is a good example. Around £17 from MWW, fully mature with the tannins integrated, classic claret nose – savoury, meaty, some eucalyptus. Big mouth feel, in a rich, not austere style doubtless caused by it being Merlot-dominated. A bargain and I’m sure you wouldn’t enjoy a similar 2014, say, as much.

[Geoff: Given my recent views about old red wine this was a great example of how they can taste. Not expensive and from a seemingly endless supply that Majestic possess, this wine is drinking well right now. Two years time may see it a little tired as the CS proportion is only 15%. As the better wine critics write ‘snap’ or ‘grab’ it now, ‘before it’s all gone’.]

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