Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Comfortable in One's Skin

We're pretty relaxed and mellow with The Chairman and Marvellous Marie. Being taken to new sites and shops, enjoying some good food and drinking nice wines, we are in a comfort zone. When you're like that everything in life seems to be a little better. Certainly our hosts are comfortable in their skin. The wines that have appeared on the table have also been comfortable in their skin - they taste as good as they should, and even better.....

An NV Pol Roger Champagne served, looked as good any bottle from this house I've tasted. There have been a couple of disappointments in recent times, where the NV has been over-elegant. The 2000 Vintage last month was aldehydic and a bit brutish. Not this NV, it was rich, flowing with layers of fruit and autolysis, and showing substance in the nicest way. The Chairman said it was fresh stock too, rather than coming from rested stock in his cellar. It restored my faith in Pol Roger after some niggling doubts.

Then a 2007 Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spatlese #12, supremely pure, subtle, yet with gentle richness and sweetness. The Schaefers are operating at their modern best, everything consistent. When you know what you're doing, there is an extra element of seamlessness, and this bottle was that. Impressive delicacy.

The Chairman has been involved in wine production a very long time, and he can turn out nicely constructed wines or those that can be regarded as super-premium. A 2010 Miner's Folly Chardonnay from the Upper Hunter Valley came out too cold. I thought it a bit hard and distraught. Warming up, it settled into itself, to show a flinty, crisp, dry wine with length. Exactly what The Chairman wanted to create, a value-oriented, modern, Chablis-like style. He was confident and comfortable it would show that way, and it did.

There's always plenty of talk about how Bordeaux varietals overpower Sangiovese in the Super Tuscan genre. One of the originals, Tignanello has been doing it for over three decades and has got the formula down pat. The blend of 85% Sangiovese 15% Cab Sauv. with barrique aging, partly new works well with the fruit. Purists say its gone out of Tuscany, others say it's still there, in another guise. Whatever. It drinks well and is truly at ease with itself. The 2000 Antinori Tignanello was indeed a mix of Bordeaux flavour and tannin with sweetness, savoury cherries and good acidity that was Tuscan. While it was both, it was neither. Deliciously juicy, very approachable, but with restraint for food. The structure built in glass while drinking, keeping it very food-friendly. Its balance meant another decade in bottle was easily possible.

And then to match the after-dinner number we were shown a few nights before, out came a Seppelts 'D62' Museum Muscat. Lighter mahogany but still with green edges, the raisin, grapey, figgy, sultana decadence had a fiery, but fine acid cut, providing elegance, line and length. New material had been blended in, but there was no awkwardness at all. As complex as you'd ever want it to be, but just at another end of the spectrum in mouthfeel from the 'D64' Tokay the other night, with its acid zing and liveliness. We settled into a comfortable evening of sipping and solving the world's problems.....

No comments:

Post a Comment