I’m still here… tasting white wines!
Aside from the odd #newwinethisweek post I’ve been a bit lackadaisical when its come to writing posts so far in 2015. Sorry about that; its not that I don’t love you all anymore, its simply that the changes in my circumstances haven’t led to too many interesting topics arising! I don’t want to bore you all with the ins and outs of dealing with landlords and solicitors (still waiting for the second draft of the lease!), but I have been doing a lot of tasting to pull together what I hope is an exciting and interesting wine list and here are my notes of some of the white wines (reds to come in a few days) that have got my pulse racing over the past week or so…
When I started pulling the list together there was one thing I was certain about; Domaine Pinson Frères Chablis HAD to be on the list. We visited the domain in the summer of 2013 and fell in love with the family and their superb wines. After a bit of online searching I found out that Christopher Piper Wines, based in Ottery St Mary in Devon, bring these wines into the UK, as well as plenty more fantastic looking numbers. But let’s start with Pinson…
Domaine Pinson Frères Chablis 2013, Burgundy (Christopher Piper Wine £16.99)
Apples lemons and the waft of seaside rockpools. The acidity is electrifying; I bet this is what sucking lemons in the sea must taste like. Classic Chablis; purity of fruit and wonderful minerality; textbook Chablis – I love it. 91 points
Domaine Pinson Frères Chablis 1er Cru Mont de Milleu 2012, Burgundy (Christopher Piper Wine £22.42)
Delightful mix of fresh and bruised apples, a real earthy note and just a hint of toasted nut; smells like an autumn day after it’s rained. Gentle and well-mannered acidity guides first the apples then the lemons across the palate to a cool and classy mineral finish. Top quality Chablis from a top quality producer. 93 points
Now let’s head a little further south and check out a wonderful village Burgundy from Jean-Marc Morey…
Domaine Jean-Marc Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 2010, Burgundy (Christopher Piper Wine £26.94)
Proper grown up Burgundy. Oak and lees make way for apples, peaches and just a touch of fennel on the nose. This is a wine of texture with a delightful fat body. Buttery and toasty before the acid clears the path for apples, peaches, even a hint of lemon on the finish. The finish is nutty, toasty and long. Got better and better the longer in the glass – suggest decanting. 93 points
Now its’ time to head west to the Loire Valley and check out a couple of wines made by the same winemaker, with the same grape variety, in the same vintage… this is why I love wine so much!
Domaine Christope Pichot Vouvray Sec ‘Côteau de la Biche’ 2011 (Christopher Piper Wine £13.48)
Sweet apples, juicy oranges, wet cut grass and wild honey on the nose. Silky, crystalline texture with flavours of apple juice and honey, the lazer-guided acidity making it ever so refreshing. Really classy. 91 points
Domaine Christope Pichot Vouvray Demi-Sec ‘Le Peu de la Moriette’ 2011 (Christopher Piper Wine £13.48)
Baked apples and savoury nut, like an apple tarte-tatin with that delicious self-saucing caramel. The texture is like a melted glacier; so clean and pure. The flavours are apples and lime juice with a sweetness that gently creeps up on you due to the fantastic balance of acid and sugar. Thrilling. 93 points
Time to head even further west and a little south to Galicia in Spain. I love a bit Albariño but for the last 12 months I have been going on and on about Godello, which I think just offers that little bit more…
Crego e Monaguillo Godello 2013 (Highbury Vintners £11.50)
Juicy peachy and orchard fruit and a hint of citrus that creeps up on you. The apple comes to the fore on the palate then I’m left with a bright and tangy acidic streak and still the saline freshness I associate with Albariño… Albariño plus?? 90 points
Bodegas Avancia Godello 2012 (Bordeaux Index £18.00)
The first hit I get is a lees-y quality then ripe apples and peaches but there is also a cool minerality; reminds me of a good quality 1er Cru Chablis! The fruit is deliciously ripe and decadent, with peaches, apples, even a hit of tangerine; there is a beautifully integrated salty tang that seems to go on and on. You can taste a gentle oak influence here, someone who understand how much and how long to use it. Drink with percebes… if you know what they are or if you can find them! 92 points
And what good is a list of great white wines without Riesling?? Let’s start with an old favourite from Western Australia before heading for some real class in Germany.
Ad Hoc Wallflower Riesling 2012, Western Australia (Wine & the Vine £15.25)
Limes, slate, touch of citrus, a hint of something tropical and slightly floral, and just the onset of plastic/petrol– but ever such a pure nose. Pure lime juice and fantastic acidity on the attack, followed by the warmth of something rich and tropical. The texture is glacial and the clean slate shines through, along with some citrus pith. 92 points
Weingut Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt Riesling Kabinett ‘Scharzhofberger’ 2009, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer (Christopher Piper Wine £19.04)
Ripe golden delicious apples and bags of citrus on the nose, with a clean mineral streak of crushed slate; the sort of wine you could sniff for hours. A touch of sweetness on entry; sweet apples, a hint of passion fruit, plenty of cool minerality and fabulous acidity. 92 points
Schloss Johannisberg Silberlack Riesling 2013 (Exel Wine £45.00)
Apples, citrus and honey give a very mellow and regal nose. Beautiful texture like melted ice, high pitched apple fruit, a hint of honey and subtle, classy yet persistent acidity with a delicious flinty finish carrying the citrus for what seems like minutes. It actually is minutes! I can’t believe how short this review is for such a long and wonderful wine… read it twice!! 94 points
And let’s finish with some Sauvignon Blanc. What was the Ant? Dis yiu really say Sauvignon Blanc?? You bet I did… this one knocked my socks off!
Alphonse Mellot Sancerre ‘La Moussiére’ 2013 (Fine & Rare £34.40)
Is this really a Sancerre? The nose is so muted at first that I have to check there is any wine in the glass! Then comes the citrus burst of lemons and an amazing and very precise minerality; it smells far more like Chablis than Sancerre! The palate is so gentle and pure with plenty of lemons and just a hint of passion fruit. But the real standout here is the taut and precise acidity, the texture is so finessed I’m struggling to describe it. This is one of those times when the famous name on the bottle more than lives up to the price tag. 93 points
See? Look how hard I’ve been working! I’ll be back with some fantastic reds in a few days.