Tea! And Fruit! But Mainly Tea!

And I don't particularly mean that the wine smells tannic. Rather it has the fragrance of tea, some sort of dark leafiness. Then there is some more leafiness, of the tobacco sort, and then interestingly, braised red cabbage, and then finally a bit of smoke.

By contrast the palate has lots of bright fruit, and indeed it isn't all that tannic. It's fresh and medium bodied (viz, that means light for a Malbec), and really rather tasty.

My good friend TallAsAVan, Malbecista Supremo, observes that Malbec always says blue fruit to him, which I don't find. What I do often find is fishy. I've never even seen one, but that sort of dried fish called Bombay Duck (Why is it called Bombay Duck? It's been around too long to blame the name on Google Translate. Perhaps it's another case of Your Finger You Fool?) often pops into my head on tasting the bigger, more full bodied kinds of Malbec.

So it is an interesting change to find this lighter example of the grape. Well done chaps.

(Whoops – the details: Viu Manent Malbec 2007, Colchagua Valley, Chile, 14%, £7 from Oddbins. really rather tasty = 3++)


Sweet Wine Wednesday #4

Another SWW, another new flavour. This time it was dill (the herb, not the dog), found in a very lively eighteen-year old Riesling from the Pfalz region of Germany, the delicious (delicious = 5, before I forget) Dr Bürklin-Wolf Wachenheimer Rechbächel Riesling Auslese '90. But dill was only one of the flavours. There was a ton-load of buttery goodness, another herbaceous note which I think was nettles, definite popcorn, and a wee bit of rubber.

All that was just the nose. The taste was intense lime-lemon meringue pie, and then a tiny hit of mushrooms at the tail end. An absolutely delicious wine, and well worth keeping for decades yet, I would guess.


Blanc, Sec, and Foursquare

Hugh Johnson uses the term 'Plain Wine' in describing Gaillac in his 1983 Companion to Wine. I don't supppose he meant to compliment the wine, but here I am drinking a Gaillac Blanc Sec and finding that Plain Wine sums it up very well, and that plain wine suits me very nicely please-and-thank-you.

Lions Lamartine Gaillac Blanc Sec 07 is made with Mauzac and Loin de l'Oeil, grape varieties found in no other part of the world. Mauzac is said to impart a flavour of apple peel, but instead I find a strong taste of honey in this old-fashioned wine. It's very, very refreshing, (very very refreshing = 3+),but in a style which is a thousand miles away from Kiwi Sauv Blanc refreshing.

Update : After I decided I liked Johnson's term 'plain wine', I found another wine that falls into the category. Le Monache Bianco is a Cortese / Sauvignon Blanc / Chardonnay blend made by Michele Chiarlo in Monferrato, in Piemonte, Italia. On tastings, people find it uninteresting, but with certain foods it sings. Less fashionable, but nonetheless a useful style of wine, long may it continue.