After all the years and all the bottles, it never ceases to amaze me how subtle forces play on your perception and appreciation of wines, even those you have tasted many times. Dinner with Grunter and the Wandering winemaker was particularly mellow, as the other halves were a delight and fun. It made for a softly, sweet and easy evening. And the wines seemed that way too.
Nautilus Cuvee Marlborough Lot 602 is a bit of a mini Bollinger as far as I'm concerned. SWMBO has ensured a supply for all occasions. Tonight the dosage appeared much higher and the yeasty autolysis far more subdued. Delicios nevertheless, but more a Louis Roederer of old! And the under-the-radar 2009 Te Mata 'Zara' Viognier. In a world where explosive, high octane examples rule, 'Zara' tends to get left in the wake. And unfairly so. Over a lovely dinner it shone with its more delicate richness, lovely oily texture and hidden power that emerged in the glass. We would not have drunk so much of a show-stopper for sure, and we made it the wine of the night. And then a 2006 Hyperion Cabernet Sauvignon from Romania! First whiff - full of brett. Danger signal. But strangely it came and went, sort of like the topics of conversation. A touch dried out. But then great with cheese. The ripeness was good, the oak a little rustic, but it was 'fine' to drink.
To be aware of these subtle forces is important. We can see their effect, but also it is great to go with the flow. It makes life easy and enjoyable if you do.