These notes were taken at Prime Wine Group´s autumn tasting called Celebrations!
The Diebolt-Vallois line up is of a higher class. The only exception is their NV Rosé which is cool and seedy with some dry raspberries and gravel. Fair but simple (~84p). The rest was much more fun, the NV Tradition Brut shows of a fine, creamy nose with lots of flowers and sweet lemons and a dry, long, finely tuned taste (~90p). The NV Blanc de Blancs has a Deep nose with notes of bread and lemon cream and a tight, focused taste. Very, very good (~91p). Moving up the quality ladder, the 2006 Blanc de Blancs reeks of elegance and intensity while the taste is crisp, cool and concentrated (~92p). On the same level, the 2006 Fleur de Passion displays fine aromas of Almond paste, tangerines and flowers, while the mouthfeel is young, racy and promising. This will need +5 years to blossom (~92p).
Moving on to Henriot. The NV Brut Souverain is light, easy going and quaffable but lacks depth (~85p). A big step up is the NV Blanc de Blancs with its scents of hyachint, fresh bread and sweet minerals. The taste is young and creamy. Very, very good (~89p). Then I was able to compare their Brut Millesime from 2005 and 2006. The younger vintage is Deep and elegant with notes of hay, flowers and butter cookies. It has a tight, restrained taste that needs time (~90p). The one year older version is more open and full of ripe apples and a long, refined taste. Better today (~91p). Last up is the NV Rosé which is big on the nose and in the mouth with notes of ripe raspberries, earth and a hint of chocolate. This I like (~89p).
More Champagne! The NV Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs from Launois oozes purity and refinment alongside notes of vanilla ice cream, sweet/sour lemons and dried flowers. Great! (~91p). Even greater is the 2008 Grand Cru Cuvée Reservée with its deep, racy nose with notes of almonds, hyachint, cold butter and wet rocks. The finish is pure, aristocratic and just lovely. This is going in the cellar (~93p).
I start the white wine foray with three Chablis from Domaine Laroche. The 2010 Premier Cru Les Vaudevey is light, cool and displays lots of ripening lemons on the nose, but the taste is tight like a knot and a bit sharp (~83p). Then two Grand Cru´s, first up is the 2009 Les Blanchots which is Deep and powerful on the nose while the taste is more restrained with nice fruit and acidity. This will need time (~89p). The 2009 Les Clos is even deeper and tighter on the nose while the taste displays a smoky, intense, pure mouth feel. This will turn out great in +5 years (~91p).
I have a soft spot for Vincent Girardin´s Whites, and these two were no exceptions. 2011 Puligny-Montrachet is all about creamy, focused Chardonnay fruit on the nose paired with a stringent taste with a very fine acidity. Drink now and the coming +6 years (~90p). The 2007 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot is a hedonist dream with its complex, deep, beautiful nose and its pure, racy, concentrated taste. Drinking fine now but wait +3 years for the real reward. Great stuff (~93p)!
The 2011 Clos de Val Chardonnay has a spicy, fine lemon and tangerine nose with some butter cookies thrown in. The taste is fresh, cool and drinkable. Very good (~87p). The 2006 Rijk´s Private Cellar Chardonnay is big, ripe and mature with a fine depth and lots of creamy lemon fruit with some pineapple tossed in. Big yes, but it works. The taste is also big and warm but the structure is there and it offers up a big mouth ful of juicy Chardonnay fruit (~90p).
Finishhing of the white wines is a beauty, the 2012 Reyneke Reserve White which is made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc. It has a penetrating, fresh and salivating nose with freshly cut grass, assorted flowers and lime with a refined, tight taste with a fresh acidity and purity. Classy (~92p)!
I start the reds with two bottles from Bodegas Roda. The 2008 Roda Reserva has a warm, concentrated nose with vanilla cooked red fruit and a mix of leather and undergrowth. The taste is warm, mellow and finely concentrated (~90p). The 2001 Roda I Reserva has a nice maturity with notes of dill, cooked fruit and moist undergrowth. The taste is mature and warm with soft tannins and mellow fruit. Very good but a little soft (~89p).
The 2011 Chianti Classico from Querciabella is not good. It has a cooked nose and a dry, foursquare taste with a big dollop of alcohol (~73p). On the other hand, the 2008 Camartina, Querciabella is a whole Another creature. This blend of 70% Cabernet and 30% Sangiovese has a fine nose with notes of sweet black cherries, Tobacco and new leather and a tight, focused taste with a fine character (~90p).
The 2010 Barolo, Andrea Oberto has a deep, refined nose with notes of rosehips, licorice and some coffee powder. The taste is young, tight and intense with young perky tannins. Very promising (~91p). Sandrone is one of my favourite producers, but the 2009 Barolo Le Vigne is no Winner. It has a big, mature (!) and earthy nose and a fairly dry, tight nose with dried red fruits and dry chocolate (~85p).
Next up is a classic young Bordeaux in the shape of 2010 Château Grand Tayan. It has a nice nose with notes of tobacco, black currants and fresh stables, while the taste is tight and elegant with velvety tannins. Should turn out very good (~90p).
2011 Boekenhoutskloof Syrah is a great example of juicy Syrah. The nose oozes hand pounded meat, crushed black peppers and a fine animal note. The taste is big and intense with black fruit, sweet tannins and lots of fresh pepper. This is awesome (~93p)!
Last out of the reds is the 2010 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is upfront with black currant jam, chocolate wafers and some autumn leaves. The taste is Young and seedy with lots of juicy black currants and soft tannins. Drinkable fron now (~88p).
Last up Before staggering home is two wines from Kopke. The 2009 Late Bottled Vintage has lots of sweet nuts and figs on the nose and a fiery, long finish. Very good (~87p). The 1984 Colheita is more structured yet creamy with an added complexity only age can achieve. This is really good (~91p).