Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Generosity in 2010

It must be more than co-incidental that wines end up being served and tasted in pairs.  And often the wines share a similarity when their provenance can be so different.  Such was the case at dinner with the AllyHelly couple and the I-Spy Man.  SWMBO and I put up the white, and the couple brought along the red.  Sure, the wines came from the same country and same vintage, but from regions miles and miles apart, with different soils, aspect etc.  They shared the trait of generosity.

The 2010 Olivier Leflaive Chassagne Montrachet 1er ‘Clos Saint Martin’ was obtained after a tasting from the Olivier Leflaive stable.  I thought the Puligny 1er Cru finer, but this more flavoursome, but a bit coarser, but then it was significantly cheaper.  This night, it was deliciously up-front, rounded and sweet-fruited, with white and yellow stonefruits, nuts and complexing flinty lees and sulphides in the background.  There was no trace of rusticity, and if anything, it was modern and nearly New Worldly!  This went down a treat, as often the tautness and delicacy of white burgundy can leave you a bit disappointed.

By nature the wines of the Rhone Valley are generous.  It’s that abundant sunshine and warmth, especially in the south.  The 2010 Domaine Giraud ‘Grenaches de Pierre’ Chateauneuf-du-Pape captured that with its black-red colour and super sweet and luxurious, supercharged dark raspberry and black berried fruits.  The ripeness is clear, the wine almost has porty notes, but it is Grenache pushed to its edge.  Unctuous and viscous, no doubt some of the textures from 100 y.o. vines, and underneath it plenty of alcohol power.  The label says 15.0% alc.  It may be understated.  Then the complex detail of garrigue, florals and a touch of jam.  Deliciousness and power.  Generosity, but style, if somewhat a caricature of Chateaueuf at its boldest.

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