I was at the Glasgow tasting event last night with a friend. It was pretty well attended I thought, with about 60 there, which I think is about as many as a seated, tutored tasting could run with properly.
Some brief observations on the wines below for those interested - clearly my subjective opinions, and as usual there was a diversity of views.
Light colour, fresh, redcurrants. Slightly harsh on palate initially, light and a bit one dimensional. Decent enough PN for this price, but not as good as their Chardonnay
I didn’t like this one. Off putting chemical smell on the nose (could have been the glass?) which did dissipate over time. I found it rather hollow and characterless, without much fruit. Some others liked it though.
I’ve had this before and enjoyed it. Deeper colour, perfumed cherries on the nose, smoother, with a slightly sweet finish, but not jammy. Very drinkable. Best one for me in the under £15 flight.
Jan Stodden Spatburgunder, 2017, Ahr.
Not in stock any more.
Light in colour, quite dilute I thought, but with some decent tannic grip. Similar to an Alsace PN for me. Fruit not terribly evident. I think this would be a decent enough food wine, with lighter dishes even fish. However, not really a £20 plus wine.
Deepest in colour of this flight. I was pleasantly surprised by this one, as I haven’t been a great fan of the small number of SA PN I have tasted. I was expecting it to be oaked which it isn’t apparently.
Some tannic grip, balanced by quite good fruit on the palate. My favourite of the £15 to £25 flight.
Mid colour (not as deep as 5). Good bouquet of forest fruit. More burgundian than I expected, probably reflecting cool climate. Slightly drying tannins, and faded a bit on the finish for me, but it was a close run thing between this and 5) for the best of this flight.
Lightish colour. Muted on the nose. Again, quite Burgundian for me. Quite a delicate wine, with fruit not as evident initially, but a bit more complexity.
Mid colour. Quite dumb on the nose, gentle, slightly sweetish on the palate but fruit lacking which is unusual for Bellene wines. I think it’s shut down, and was probably better a year or so ago and may well be in a year or two. Toby commented along the same lines later. Apparently, it had drunk really well about 4 months ago when they were putting together the list for these tastings. I have this and the 2011 at home and will leave this one for a year or so I think.
Santa Barbera, Au Bon Climat 2016
Appears to be out of stock at present.
Pure, redcurrant fruit on the nose, beautiful bouquet which I kept coming back to. Doesn’t quite follow through on the palate, but still a lovely, very fruit driven wine. For drinking now. My preferred wine of the £25-40 flight.
Marlborough, Greywacke 2016
Another one which is out of stock.
Deep colour, Syrah like.
Nose was quite offputting for me, in a way I couldn’t quite place. Oak? Fermentation yeasts? Who knows.
However, it was much better on the palate than the nose, with decent grip, and some acidity to balance the fruit. I suspect it will last quite well.
Definitely the exception to Toby’s view that PN is 70% on the nose. I enjoyed this one, but 9 just pipped it for the wine of the flight due to the lovely bouquet.
Note that it was the 2010 that we tasted.
Complex bouquet, earthy notes for me. A lot of tannic grip at first (quite cold) and a smokey flavour. Fruit was very restrained, with a slightly burnt, caramelly note suggesting maybe overextraction?
It came out it’s shell a bit as it warmed up, but it was quite hard work for me anyway. Might need a bit more time?
Domaine Maume, Mazoyeres-Chambertin 2013
Very deep colour. Bouquet a bit closed initially (quite cold) with a sort of tarry note that I couldn’t place. However, it really opened up in the glass, and the bouquet developed into the most complex of the night for me, with forest fruits, earthiness which just kept going on…Grip on the palate but also quite smooth, with a long long finish.
This has quite a long future as it should at the price! (Not for sale by WS though).
Wine of the night for me in absolute terms but not on a Quality for Price basis, where I thought that 3, 5 and 9 all stood out.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable and well organised night. For me, I think that there are some better examples in the lower price bands. The Hungarian Ostoros PN for me is better than the Californian in Flight 1, whilst the Martin Wassmer Spatburgunder is better, albeit quite different style, than the one shown in Flight 2.
I also think that there are better NZ Pinot Noir in the £20-40 bracket such as Mount Koinga and Prophet’s Rock, whilst I think that Oregon has PN worth showing. That said, the Au Bon Climat was excellent.
The New World PN were, with maybe a couple of exceptions, for early drinking in my view. Unfortunately, one, maybe two of the Burgundies were closed up for me. I know that the Bellene wines have lovely fruit and it can be frustrating when they go through that closed phase. Maybe a younger wine from Marsannay or Chorey Les Beaune, St Aubin or similar would have worked better in the £25-40 range, but Toby did allude to low stocks being an issue.
Good to say hello to fellow community member @MYCHONG too!