Sunday, September 4, 2011

Edgy Drinking

This was not a session where we drank to the edge, but rather, a couple of edgy wines, edgy for various reasons. SWMBO and I regularly keep in touch with Lazza, but haven’t shared a few good bottles of late. It was the perfect opportunity to try out a few wines.

Opening the score was a 2005 Dirler Alsace Riesling ‘Belzbrunnen’, a rarely seen label here, but always worth the search. The Beret had obtained it in a recent visit to the family biodynamic domaine. This was the second bottle I have tried recently, this one broader and shyer than the first, with some toasty development and a touch of gentle oxidation. Quite soft and mellow.

So onto two Pinot Noirs from the same vintage. A 2008 Fromm ‘Clayvin Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, already showing plenty, and surprisingly so, as this label can be reticent, though not as quiet as the sister ‘Fromm Vineyard’ wine. Ripe dark plums, red fruits and dark red florals, with a plumpness and soft, roundness. Delicious stuff indeed. The 2008 Drouhin Griottes-Chambertin GC showed the cooler vintage with elevated acidity and fruit flavours with riper violet and dark cherry and some herb-stalk hints. It was the reduction that polarised us. Combined with the spicy oak, Lazza and SWMBO loved it. I was a little less impressed, but it grew on me. Certainly on the edge of ripeness, the 2008 burgundies need care in choosing.

Dinner was needed, and hearty duck, beef and venison made it onto our plates. Here we had a peppery, spicy, fleshy 2007 Heart of Gold Gisborne Syrah/Tempranillo. Its soft approachability and resolving tannins made it an easy pleasure. What a novel blend for N.Z. Followed by a tight 2009 Terrace Edge Waipara Syrah. This didn’t show much initially, but as usual, by the bottom of the bottle, it began to show aromatics and spiciness. There are some warm spots to grow Syrah down south, and Terrace Edge may be one of them.

Not needed, but opened anyway were two sweeter wines. The 2005 S.A. Prum Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese was everything good about Mosel wine. Poised with intense floral, slatey fruit, luscious sugar, creamy texture and cutting, refreshing acidity, all complexed with some toasty-kero. The bottle was drained with SWMBO as its champion. We did not disagree. Lazza gave a big plug for the 2004 Ch. Climens Barsac as well. Nougat was the overriding impression, and definitely more rich and fulsome than other Barsacs from this vintage. I love the 2004 Sauternes for the elegant proportions.

We all had a glass too much in the final analysis, but we were nowhere near the edge.

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