Random recent drinking

2010 Ch La Tour blanche 14% (sauternes)
80% Semillon, 15% Sav Blanc, 5% Muscadelle, 130 g/l rs
A chateau that overdelivers on bang-for buck, there is stonefruit, barley-sugar, just-ripe apricot and cumquat. Oak plays in the background and this is delicious.
93 points, and irresistible to 2025, or longer.

2007 Joh Jos Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese AP29,  7.5%
Ripe red apple, petroleum, minerals.Crunchy, some fruit rind notes too on the palate, bracing, lovely tingly, pebbly drive.
The 2007 Mosel Rieslings have emerged from their shell and are providing rewarding hedonistic drinking
92 points, and drink to 2030 or beyond

2004 Ch Climens 13.5%, (Barsac)
Glue smells accompany apricot cream and almond. Very sweet, but with a some bitterness too. It had the misfortune to be contrasted with the next wine, and while this half-bottle was eminently drinkable,
86 points. Perhaps an underperforming bottle.

2005 Ch Doisy-daene 14% (Barsac)
Another VFM producer, and the wine shows nutmeg and cinnamon spices, pineapple and vanilla. Classic palate length, with sweetness and acidity just right.
93 points, and drink to 2028.

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1988 Chateau Coutet 14%

The picture shows the cork inside the bottle – my technique with the ah-so failed.

IMAG0726

Bright medium gold colour (excellent for age); this is not the richest Barsac you will encounter, but it provides plenty of drinking pleasure. It’s still showing freshness after nearly 30 years, and while beginning to dry up, its full of interest thanks to its lovely balance. Botrytised fruit, oak and bottle age are in harmony.

This wine is a blend of 75% semillon, 23% Sauvignon blanc and 2% muscadelle, 100% barrel-fermented in new French oak – detailed in the informative Chateau Coutet website. 1988 was an excellent year in Sauternes and Barsac with widespread botrytis.

Medium bodied, and not as sweet as its modern counterparts, it’s clean and shows tropical notes (mainly pineapple) and orange rind. The palate is more oriented to barley sugar and quince paste, with some raisined, and glace fruits; plus a bit of marmalade and syrup fills the picture. A light touch of oak is present to contribute further mouthfeel and aid its complexity. Lively acidity really proves its class.

My only bottle, a speculative auction purchase – drink to 2020, although some bottles will live much, much longer and 92 points

One from Pfalz, and a Ch Filhot retaste

2005 Bassermann-Jordan Forster Jesuitengarten Riesling Spatlese 9%

A wonderful year in Germany, this wine provides extravagant drinking pleasure, even though its from the less-regarded Pfalz area. It still retains a bright lemon colour, and ripples with energy. Lemon zest, apple and flint thrill, with some brown pear and semi-tropical fruit added on the palate. Plenty of time ahead.

2005 basserman spatlese

93 points, and delicious drinking now until 2025

2005 Ch Filhot 14%

I tried this a few months ago, giving it 92 points and a drinking window to 2025.

The wine tasted last week was still a bright amber colour with lemon citrus, nectarine, vanilla bean and quince battling joyously. It is amazingly lush without betraying its origin, and clearly came from a very ripe year. This time – and this bottle- I was wishing for a touch more acidity  as the overwhelming sweetness edged towards, but avoided cloying. No regrets, as this is an authentic Sauternes style, but not scaling the heights of the previous tasting.

Drink to 2020, 90 points.

 

 

Two from Barsac (14%) and a fortified

The two sweet white wines were served masked,  both from 2005, and were Chateau Filhot, and Chateau Coutet. Both are Semillon dominant (Filhot 60%, Coutet 75%, each with a smidgeon of Muscadelle, and the rest Sauvignon Blanc.  The Filhot was authentic to style, with barley-sugar, lime-juice, some candle-wax, and light phenolic characters. The Coutet was darker in colour, but brighter.  Orange-blossom was its main character with some supporting pineapple. The Coutet was certainly more powerful, richer and sweeter. Its texture was a delight – supple and mouthfilling. Its weakness was that there was some bitterness, and some coarseness. My impression was there was some errant rot as well as botrytis.

2 2005 sauternes

The Filhot was more straightforward, but highly enjoyable, and it represents fantastic value. I have previously pleasantly surprised by the 2001 Ch Filhot, and the common factor is that these were both excellent years for sweet wines from Bordeaux. I will watch for 2009 and 2010.

2005 Ch Filhot – drink now-2025, score 92

2005 Ch Coutet- drink now-2025, score 87

1993 Stanton and Killeen Jack’s block Vintage fortified 18.6%

Dark ruby colour, my key observation of the wine was its slinky, and gentle. It’s a drier style but clearly Australian. Its packed with fine chalky tannins and flavours running from cocoa, fruitcake and dried fruits, dark berries and light mocha flavours. The spirit is appropriate and balanced. This wine is an outstanding example of an aged vintage fortified, with plenty in reserve for the future.

Its from Rutherglen, 90% Shiraz with some minor contributions from Durif and Touriga, a terrific wine made by the late Chris Killeen.

Drink to 2025, score 95 points.

a few Sauternes and Barsac

laf and doisy

Bill Blatch has a marvellous site on this wine style http://bordeauxgold.com/bill-blatch/

2001 Ch lafaurie-peyraguey (sauternes 13.5%)

from half-bottle; 90% Semillon, 5% sav blanc, 5% muscadelle. Quite an advanced dark gold colour; waxy, “skinsy”, smoky oak and nuts over ripe apricots, lemons some bitterness present, and another example from an excellent year for sweet wines.

Drink to 2022; score 91

2005 Ch Doisy-daene (barsac 14%)

From half-bottle; 95% Semillon, 170 g/l rs. Lighter colour, lighter elegant style; barley sugar, prominent acidity, passionfruit and orange blossom. Amazingly, seems not as sweet as the L-P, but  all in balance. More time will be rewarding.

Drink to 2025, score 92+

roumieu

2010 Ch Roumieu

A producer I haven’t tasted before – these two wines were served blind.

Bright light pale straw colour, syrupy sweet, tropical fruit, stonefruits and pineapple, with an overlay of green nettles, almost a celery. Tightly wound with abundant cleansing acidity.

Drink now-2025, score 90

1970 Ch Roumieu

Colour suggests the wine is clearly older, and exudes some petroleum and light toffee characters. Some waxiness on the palate and there is still fruit and acid, but slimmed down. While this wine has seen better days, the contrast is quite enjoyable. Seems about 25 years older.

Unmasked, same company but 40! years older. I’m amazed at this.

Drink now, score 87 (I have not added any points for surprise at its drinkability at such an age)

1989 Chateau Coutet Madame

100% Semillon from barsac. The Madame is not made every year- indeed it seldom appears.

1988 coutet a

I was looking forward to trying this after tasting the standard 1989 Ch Coutet in 2012, but the cork deity decided otherwise. The wine was faintly but definitely adversely affected by TCA. Underneath were layers of orange blossom, marmalade, spearmint and clean acid. What a shame that cork taint made this wine unenjoyable – at least for me.