Friday, 21 December 2012

Escarpment Kiwa Pinot Noir, (Martinborough), 2010

Tasted 20/10/12, 13% abv, cork closure. About £22 UK retail (Lea and Sandeman). Escarpment is a highly regarded up-and-coming winery in the new territory (for Pinot) of Martinborough. The entry level wine is widely available but the award winning Kiwa is much rarer. Quote: 'The Escarpment “Insight Series” allows individual vineyard expression from exceptional sites within the Martinborough Geographic Indication. This wine was grown on the Cleland Vineyard Cambridge Street, Martinborough from 29 year old vines'.
This is huge wine. We tasted one bottle from the case but have now decided to put the rest away for a while. This is not like an old world Pinot Noir by any stretch of the imagination. It is a big, tannic wine, with a large mouth feel of red fruit, spice, pimento and vanilla. However, it is clear that there is great potential here for development. This wine has real depth and elegance. It needs to be re-tasted in 2014, or so! From 2015, 18/20

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Brut Champagne 2002

Tasted 08/12/12. 12.5% ABV, cork closure. About £35 UK retail. Thanks to Chris Tew for bringing it back from France at considerable below UK retail price. Paillard's reputation is well earned and this 50 / 50 pinot / chardonnay blend really hits the spot. The nose is creamy, apply patisserie, with a pleasant yeastiness. Good acidity but very well balanced with many years left. An elegant wine. Drink 2010 - 2020. 17.5 / 20

Taylors Terra Feita Single Quinta port 2001

Tasted 11/12/12 at CFWS Christmas Meal, 20% ABV, cork closure. About £25 UK retail. Single Quinta port (from a single estate in a non-declared year) at this level is about twice the price of LBV, but well worth it. This is 11 years old and drinking well now but would pay for some longer keeping. Dark purple, beautiful 'Taylor's Nose' of violets and blackcurrants. Rich and elegant with a long finish, tight tannins - a slight dry style, as you'd expect from Taylors - great fruit, damson and blackcurrants with a raisiny finish. Superb value for money. From 2012, 17.5 / 20

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Vinalba Malbec Reserva 2009 (Mendoza)

Tasted 12/12/12. 15% abv. Cork closure. About £10.99 UK retail. Vinalba has an increasingly high reputation and of their three mainstream malbec wines - the reserva sits between the entry level and the Gran Reserva, I think this one strikes the best balance between price and quality. I tasted the '09 Gran Reserva and wasn't impressed. The Reserva also shows that it pays to keep good South American red wine for a few years.
This wine was just right - 5 years old and at its peak. Beautiful deep purple colour, coffee and dark fruits on the nose and a creamy mouthful of dark fruits - it screams malbec but a well made one. From 2012, 15.5 /20

La Réserve de Léoville Barton 2006 St-Julien

Tasted 8/12/12 with Sara, Beata and Jean-Marc. 13% ABV, cork closure. About £25 to £30 UK retail. This wines shows that France still comes up trumps on most occasions. This is the second wine of my favourite chateau from my favourite Bordeaux commune. Like its daddy, this wine is superb value for money. It is a typical Left Bank blend of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc but with some merlot in the mix too.
Though '06 might be a bit too much like young drinking for some tastes, this wine is superb now. It's elegant, balanced, with silky tannins and rich, beautiful cassis on the nose, with a hint of 'cigar box', and berry fruits on the palate and a fine finish. Great little wine. From 2013, 17/20