With the world aware of climate change and global warming, one would think there would be a whole lot more worry about the consequences. But it’s easier to bury one’s head in the sand, or leave the action to the next generation, when it’s quite likely too late to make an immediate difference. It’s only when there are clear and strong signs that directly impact us that we want to take action. Surely with wine, the slight, but gradual increase of growing temperatures in all the world’s vignobles show that the environment is changing significantly. I believe you can taste it in wines gown in what were regarded as ‘marginal’. Two wines tasted with Mr Magic were demonstrative of climate change to me.
Firstly the 2013 Dauvissat Chablis. Once there was a time, well only a short 15 years ago, when Chablis was steely, zingy and flinty with the harder edge of minerality the calling card. Don’t get me wrong, this wine is sheer beauty and purity. It is white stonefruits and flint personified. Think of those sea shells from aeons ago forming the limestone. But nowadays, Chablis has a roundness and softness it never used to have. There’s greater ripeness and richness in the wines. And now the wines lack that steely, cutting edge. Village wine looks like premier cru. And premier cru looks like grand cru. And grand cru looks like Cote d’Or. Not entirely a bad thing, but the goalposts are shifting.
Then the 2013 Clemens Busch Pundericher Marienburg ‘Rothenpfad’ GG Riesling Trocken. The Mosel was the hotbed for crisp, light, zippy, floral wines. It still is most of the time and wine. But then people such as Clemens Busch can make a warm and generous 12.5% spicy, earthy Riesling, sure in the dry style. But where’s the slatey minerality? There are minerals for sure, but from a warmer earth and seemingly hotter site. You could be excused for thinking Rheinhessen or more likely Rheinpfalz. This, too, like the Chablis was utterly delicious and stunningly delicious. But it isn’t the cool-climate shivering Mosel as we knew it 50 years ago. Again, no bad thing, but the world is a-changing.