2012 Felton Road Riesling 8.5%
Bannockburn, Central Otago, New Zealand. Screwcap, 64 g/l residual sugar. Lemon/gold colour, lime cordial and nectarine scents, red apple with a dusting of icing sugar; red apple again with some grippiness on the palate; flinty and convincing, even though the sweetness is spatlese-level.
Drink to 2025, 90 points
1996 and 1997 Ch Gilette Crème de tete (sauternes)90% semiilon,8% sav blanc, 2% muscadelle. A curio, as the chateau ages the wines in concrete tanks for around twenty years prior to bottling. I will seek help from the boffins to understand how the wine remains sound under the circumstances. No oak!
These were served as a blind pair, and I was confident that they were Sauternes from the late 1990s. Both gold in colour, I found the 1997 to be a bit cloying, medicinal and varnishy. Relatively light-bodied, grapey with muscat-like overtones, and some stonefruit beneath. The 1996 had more depth, and more acidity, with marzipan, marmalade and mixed nuts over ripe stonefruit and citrus.
Very different wines, with the “other” bottles of the 1997 apparently better. I went in search but found the contents had “evaporated”. Curios certainly, but still an exercise in intrigue.
Drink soon; I rated the 1996 at 92 points; the 1997 at 86 points.
2001 Taylors Vargellas Vintage Port 20%
Served blind, this was obviously Portuguese, with its floral rose, violet, and spice notes, backed up by dark plum and berry flavours and a dry, long, chalky profile on the palate. It didn’t quite have the finesse of a truly serious VP, so my thoughts ran to a “lesser vintage or house”, and I was speculating on a year in the 1980s. Wrong! Much younger, but a terrific result from an undeclared year.
Drink to 2030 and 92 points.