Indefinable Pleasure

The best, most enjoyable wine experiences, say I, are the ineffable ones. The tasting where your notes are non-existent, or contradictory, or mainly consist of splash marks, but you have an urgent memory of a delicious, complicated something which makes you grin as you recall it.

So it is with the Verget Saint-Véran 'Terroirs de Davayé' 06. There are better white Burgundies, but Verget has long been a favourite producer of mine. The ambiguous number I arbitrarily attached to my notes(4++(-5?))summarises the battle between objective analysis and hedonistic pleasure. Plainly described, this is a medium bodied dry Chardonnay with some oaky character. Huh. Babblingly described, it's a back and forth, constantly evolving range of flavours, from white flowers to smoke to cooked grains to almonds to hazelnuts to brazil nuts to cashews to varnish to sharp metal.

Sharp metal. I don't know what I meant when I wrote that. But I know I liked it a good deal.


Sweet Wine Wednesday #5

After our Rieslingfest last time, we opted for a mixed bag - very mixed, as it turned out; we finished the evening with a curious basil flavoured sweet white wine called Longo Maï!, which did indeed, as promised, go very well with Crème Brulée.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Tonight's ampeloleptic treat, courtesy of the Tall Guy, was a blend of Merwah and Obaideh, but it might as well have been Viura, so much did the Château Musar White 01 resemble an old Rioja. I certainly don't recognise it from the description the Musar website gives, but nevertheless it was lovely. Mushroom soup and buttered toast on the nose, accompanied by a hard acrid note, led onto a palate of surpassing concentration, refreshing, light bodied and distinctly salty. A very fine 4+.


TN: Terra Andina Altos Carmenère / Carignan 07

As I may have mentioned before, Carignan is nectar to me, so I was excited to see this bottle. The Terra Andina Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc have gone down well with customers, and I rather rate them myself. High expectations then.

The first thing that hits your nostrils is intense blackcurrant, so much so that one is looking for Cabernet on the label, but then comes a herbaceous note, not the green-ness so common in Chilean wine, but rather some savoury herbs. The palate is intense, concentrated and very acid, and finishes slightly sticky.

After twenty-four hours of ventilation, the acidity has calmed down somewhat. Now there is a delicious aroma of coffee cake, and the metallic or bloody element which was there has strengthened. Add in notes of green tea and smoke, and you have a delightful and complex wine. It is definitely too young, except perhaps as a half-time refreshment for rugby players, if you see what I mean, but the rest of us can buy three, put two away for a couple of years, open the other and then drink it the day after tomorrow. Yum. Terra Andina 'Altos' Carmenère / Carignan 07: excellent (rugby players), very very good (the rest of us), 3++-4.