Sunday, May 6, 2012

Stand Alone Stand Outs

We usually love tasting and drinking more than one wine at a time.  It’s about variety and making comparisons.  But sometimes a single wine stands out at a particular time, and you just don’t need to change your glass.  Two such tipples came our way recently.

SWMBO and I were invited to help Just A Sippy celebrate his Hawaii Five-O.  It was a fun and moving affair, and the special whole roasted pig was sensational.  We got started on a 2010 West Brook Marlborough Chardonnay early, and just stayed on it.  It was a cracker with the crackling, and the pork in general.  There’s something about the balance of this wine that gets it just right as a Chardy.  Lively citrussy fruit, excellent acid cut, and really attractive oaking – plenty but not too much.  It has some power, without being too big.  Flavour and personality plus, without taking centre stage all the time.  Why switch to something else?  It reminded us of the 2009 Charles Wiffen Chardonnay, the fruit from the same source.  The 2010 Charles Wiffen Chardonnay seems lighter than the 2009 and this 2010 West Brook, but still good.  Will it get better and take over, as the vintage was a beaut in Marlborough?

A lovely, hearty bangers and mash dinner with Maa and Treasure saw a bottle of 2002 Esk Valley ‘The Terraces’ come out.  A field blend, approximately one-third each of Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc.  Ripe fruit aromas and flavours filled our glasses.  Black fruits, plums, berries, chocolate and spices.  Very full and round, the wine ultra-soft, plump and seamless.  Maybe a little too accessible?  The acidity seemed low, and the structure not firm enough, but in reality so much packed into it that it’s not going to get too broad and flabby.  Sheer decadence will drive it for years.  But not this bottle.  It slipped down a treat and disappeared.


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