Our first Koshu, and what a pleasant surprise! I was fearing lack of substance - and this isn’t the case here. Calling it ‘neutral’ won’t be fair, but it does its thing a la a Muscadet or a Chasselas - whispers softly softly in one’s ear. Japanese whispers! (Well, I was a Cure fan… )
Very pale lemon in the glass - almost watery, the nose brings to mind lime and yuzu (or maybe just the association?), pea shoots and cucumber (or maybe I’m going mad), with just a whiff of apple blossom.
Very fresh and yet a little lees-y and rounded on the palate, with delicate citrus notes, wet pebbles, a touch of green herbs and a nice slight bitterness on the finish. Acidity is not assertive in the slightest, and there’s a pleasant mouthfeel, I guess from the lees. It’s a wispy little number - a delicate composition for sure.
I’m going to look for another example to compare and contrast. I like this game!
Whilst in Paris a good reminder that northern Rhône Syrah ticks my boxes. I haven’t seen this in the UK but I don’t think Stephane Ogier makes a bad bottle, this is utterly delicious and all you’d want from a Syrah at this price point.
5 minutes later and that had dissipated. It tasted pretty good too, as youd expect, lemon pith and salt. Good length. As it warmed up it it took on a more fruity profile, like nectarine which i dont think is typical? Could that be the poor storage? It was pretty rich going by the second glass, oily texture. Very nice but not what i was expecting.
You can see from the colour that it looked old. Other than the first 5 minutes though it smelled fine.
All in all a lovely surprise. Would like to try a well stored version with age to compare but see the current vintage seems to cost £50. Ouch.
Usually an alcohol free day but in a nod to romanticism a half bottle of Sainsbury’s TtD Blanc de Noirs Champagne and it is very tasty indeed. Nice yeasty nose, in the mouth very full and rich with highish acidity. Would definitely buy this again.
Last night we shared a bottle of Castelnau reserve NV Champagne. I had seen this recommended a while back so bought a case in the pre-Christmas offer in December 2021. I opened the first bottle last February and found the acidity rather too much for my taste. However, another year in bottle has softened it and it is now drinking very well. Good value.
A couple of very different wines, but both showed blackcurrants big time!
The 2000 Vergelegen is in a good place. Mature, but still with a youthful energy and clear fruit and peppermint.
The Saransot-Dupre was a cracking example of a thrilling young white Bordeaux, with the blackcurrant leaf from the SB and, especially with air, the oily undertones of Semillon (very old vines, apparently). It did remind me a little of the fantastic Fieuzal 1988 from last week’s little drinks session.
Last night, for a wee Valentine’s dinner, I decided to open the first of six En Primeur burgundies, that have been maturing in the cabinet. It’s a Volnay 2016 from Domaine de Bellene. I looked up the EP notes, but they’re quite sparse: Volnay Grands Poisots 2016 £135
Ripe, smooth and unusually rich for Volnay. 2020–2026.
This was delicious. I followed the Burgundy advice of @Toby.Morrhall which was not to decant, serving around 16-18 degrees in a Pinot Noir glass. The aroma was one to be savoured. I was rather sad when it was finished. Thankfully, five more bottles to enjoy at future feasts!
I didn’t need a whole bottle, so I thought I’d broaden my horizons and try a glass.
The NV offers a slightly reticent nose of cola bottles, wiper fluid and otitis externa. The palate, by contrast, gives the impression of a cherry throat lozenge dissolved in tap water, both in terms of flavour and overall structure. It has a regrettably long finish.