We shared a red and white blind tasting on Friday, Richard supplying the white while I delivered the red. Both wines, it transpired, were purchased from that wonderful wine company Tanners of Shrewsbury, where good knowledge of the wines they sell is really evident and greatly appreciated.
Richard had decanted the white wine which, when in the glass, assumed a light yellow colour, beautifully clear and bright (some wines do stand out in this respect) with some viscosity, but not much. The nose wasn’t particularly strong but its lemony freshness dominated quite a complexity of aromas. There was a slight caramel hint to the bouquet.
In the mouth, there was still plenty of acidity which balanced the quite ‘oily’ weight of the wine. The flavours were certainly tropical – pineapple, peach, apricot – but the distinctive notes were that of white stone fruits. This was a lovely sipping wine – and at 14.5% ABV deserved to be treated with some respect. It would last for ages in the glass and keep changing; Richard will confirm the taste later in the evening.
The wine was Rostaing’s La Bonnette Condrieu 2010, from a vineyard directly north of Condrieu village itself. The books state how this area – and its Viognier grape – has gained popularity since its near extinction in the 1960s, when only 30 acres were being planted, to the 405 acres of 2011. The wine is meant to be drunk young as, I suppose, its freshness is a beguiling part of the experience. A lovely wine.
[Richard, yes, delicious wine which continued to improve during the evening. Very typical viognier. Our second wine by Rostaing and another winner – actually both bought at the same time. Condrieu is never cheap, so £35.]
Richard: I took notes on the red, a Langhe Nebbiolo by Bocchino. Tasting it blind I found the nose recognisable but couldn’t place it. Annoying since I’d drunk this wine before, also bought from Tanners at the same time as Geoff. And we’d tasted a few Barolos at a recent WS Italian tasting in Brum (Tanners describe our wine as a ‘Barolo lookalike’). Brown rim, rich warm savoury on both nose and palate, full with a slight hint of alcohol. Some tannin giving structure. Excellent wine from an underrated region, which I’d buy again.