Fruit. What is it good for?

Over Christmas I tried several rather posh bottles from my stash. The one from which I was expecting the best was Chapoutier Hermitage "La Sizeranne" ('99, cork). Fairly mellow, and very savoury, with lots of mineral and salty notes as well as a strong whiff of white pepper, perhaps even meaty or gravy-ish, there was nothing fruity about it at all. I absolutely love drinking this kind of wine. It was certainly excellent, 4, but I suppose I had been hoping for greatness (ie 5, on a scale of 0-5).

What was really interesting about it, however, was the discussion the wine set off. My Aged Pater, having been alerted to the poshness of the bottle, took pains to try it carefully, but then asked - very politely, mind - "so what is it that's so good about this?"

I didn't want to get defensive about the wine, so I tried to describe it, much as I have done in the first paragraph above. I believe I also said something about the magic of such savoury flavours coming from fruit juice, which prompted the AP to observe that the lack of fruitiness had surprised him. He did remark that the wine was growing on him.

I suppose my conclusion is that there are too many straightforward fruity quaffers, and not enough wine-y wines. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I was doing my managerial duty with our new recruit today by bringing in the dregs of a Huber Beerenauslese (06)from the other night so he could try it. He was unimpressed at first but very engaged by my chat when I described the notes of wet leaf and forest soil, it had very little acidity and distant fruit and I think for a newcomer it was hard going, He softened his view in the end to finding it 'interesting' but still let me finish his glass.

I read in a wine review recently "this is more of a wine for intelectual drinking" hmmmmm,

rodbod said...

Wet leaf! Of course! All these late harvest wines I've been scribbling, "autumn leaf" in my tasting notes, but feeling vaguely not quite on target. Of course it's wet leaf. Thank you Marty.

Give it six months and your new guy will be as mushroom-and-farmyard obsessed as the rest of us. Has he tried the Alberdi Reserva 2000 yet?

Um. Cowboy?