Archives for posts with tag: Châteauneuf

Two sets of Notes for the price of one this month – A Tutored Tasting and an ICC Tasting I led on New Zealand…

A group of 11 W1NG members met at the Brigitte Bordeaux Wine Emporium on Bank holiday Monday, 6th May, for a Southern Rhone 2011,
Châteauneuf du Pape v Gigondas tasting. This was a wine society case purchased en primeur in September 2015.

1-Domaine du Cayron  Gigondas 14%  £18
78% Grenache, 14% Syrah, 6% Cinsault and 2% Mourvèdre
This had a powerful nose with nice volatile acidity. The palate was light with some liquorice notes. There was sour cherry and soft tannins. One of the group said this was their favourite and four would buy it.

2- The Society Châteauneuf du Pape £17.50 (Vignobles Mayard)
65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre
Nice acidity, more serious nose than last one, richer, non fruit flavours of liquorice and garrigue, thyme and rosemary.

3- Domaine Raspil-Ay Gigondas 15% £19
80% Grenache, 15% Syrah 5% Mourvèdre
This was very soft but with good acidity. Plummy fruit. Some port qualities.

4- Chateau Mont Redon Châteauneuf du Pape 15%  £20
60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 8% Mourvedre and others
Sweet orange peel, light fruit and a little spicy, vegetal, quite simple. The group’s least favourite overall.

5- Domaine La Bouissiere   Gigondas  15%  £19
70% Grenache 25% Syrah 5% Mourvedre
A little medicinal on the nose, mineral, tarragon, liquorice, not mainstream, more complex. Good. Two of the group’s favourite.

6- Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe 14.5%  £36
65% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre 5% Cinsault
Restrained style, good balance and good acidity. lighter than expected. Quite a closed nose, lots of red fruit flavours and very long. 8 of the group said this was their favourite but were not all convinced it was worth the extra money.

An  interesting tasting. Overall the Gigondas were maybe a little more rustic, less powerful  and simpler than the Chateauneuf du Pape’s but they stood up very well and in some instances were better. Thanks to Matt and Kathryn for opening Brigitte Bordeaux for us.

Plus Corkmaster’s thanks to John and Ann for sourcing the wines, conducting the Tasting and the above notes.


Ten days later, after my excursion to Jerez and Sanlúcar de Barrameda (see two posts ago…) it was my turn to lead a tasting of
New Zealand Wine: North Island v South Island. A tasting that had been near the top of the poll for Themes this year.
I decided to show three pairs of wines, all sourced from The New Zealand House of Wine. The wines were served blind and I tried to encourage expression of  simple preference before trying to guess which was which.

Here are my notes:

The first pair were a Marlborough and a Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc, each about £12.

WINE A had a nettle nose with some exotic fruit, later a hint of something in the Asparagus direction (I think of this as a fault). The palate had gooseberry and hgh acidity, grapefruit and a little green.
Ratings:    Voting: 10 preferred this wine.       My scores:    Quality:  14/20   Value:  15/20       

WINE B was darker but with slightly more restrained nose, the acidity was warmer giving a richer impression but more pliant and citric. Some chalky minerality at the end. Although a slightly bigger package it seemed more balanced and complex and therefore less boring.
Ratings:        Voting: 16 preferred this wine.       My scores:    Quality:  15/20   Value:  16/20


It turns out Wine A was from the South Island – 

KIM CRAWFORD 2017 (Marlborough)       

Wine B was from the North Island –




We then moved on to two Pinot Noir  each for about £17 – one each from Otago and Martinborough

Wine C had some farmyard and a herbal hint, with soft, even mashed red fruit. The palate had a slightly bitter “squeezed pip” quality and the whole package seemed soft and a bit grainy to me.
Ratings:    Voting: 10 preferred this wine.       My scores:    Quality:  14/20   Value:  14/20       

Wine D had more fragrant fruit, slightly sweet but less over-ripe. The palate had a crunchier sharper fruit and some clean tannic structure, darker fruit and a herbacious tinged tannic finish. Again a cleaner, better balanced more effortless package.
Ratings:    Voting: 18 preferred this wine.       My scores:    Quality:  16/20   Value:  16/20       


It turns out Wine C was from the South Island – 


Wine D was from the North Island –

PALLISER ESTATE 2016  (Martinborough)




The final pair were two £19 Syrah, again from Marlborough and Hawkes Bay:

Wine E had a nose of slightly pithy olive and black fruit. The palate was grainy but supple and structured with a black fruit acidity and a tinge of salinity. Quite a persuasive Syrah
Ratings:    Voting: 16 preferred this wine.       My scores:    Quality:  15/20   Value:  14/20   

Wine F had a much quieter nose with a palate of sweeter fruit, hints of blueberry and some soft tannins. A passable wine, with the lack of Syrah character a double-edged thing IMHO. However a simpler, slightly overdone wine.
Ratings:    Voting: 9 preferred this wine.       My scores:    Quality:  14.5/20   Value:  13.5/20       


It turns out Wine E was from North Island –


and Wine F from the South Island –

SERESIN ESTATE 2016 (Marlborough)      



So an interesting result. The majority preferred the North Island Wine of each pair – with a combined score of 50 to 29! I concurred with those preferences, strongly, and surprisingly so in the case of the Pinot Noir, of which the Martinborough was my favourite of the night. I also noted that of the first two pairs – the North Island Wine had lower alcohol and wore it’s heat and richness more lightly. The final wine was less clear to me – I find Syrah a bit grainy at the best of times – but the South Island wines all seemed a bit muddy, maybe over-extracted and somehow trying-too-hard… Of course this is a small sample, easily explained by individual grower or terroir factors.. However a bit of a surprise – and something to think about with future NZ sampling.

À Bientôt


On Monday 18th April Rob treated  the WING group to a tasting of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The tasting took the form of three blind pairs of wines – one from 2006 and one from 2007. The three pairs were: from Domaine Font de Michelle (near Bedarrides in the East of the Appellation; from Château Mont-Redon (from the North West); from La Roquette (part of the Vieux Telegraph stable, but from just North of the eponymous town, near the centre of the area).

In general the 2007 is rated (and priced) more highly of the two vintages, typically scoring 9 or 10 – as opposed to 8 for 2006. 2007 is often referred to as “classy and structured”, while 2006 juicier and more forward… We will see…

Here are my notes:

Domaine Font de Michelle
The 1st wine had a slightly duller and more brick-ish colour. The nose was open with over-ripe plums with a slightly vegetal note. The palate has fruit that is very sweet with a sharp undertow and a grainy finish – more Grenache seeming (although both wines are 65%-70% Grenache).
The 2nd wine was clear with a purple tinge. The nose more closed with black fruit and a Bordeaux-ish cedar hint. The palate is more tannic with structure containing long sweet – but not obtrusive – fruit. Very poised and balanced and with some development yet to go…
All indications showed the first wine was the more mature of the two, and so it proved:
Wine 1 was 2006, Wine 2 – 2007.

Château Mont-Redon
The 3rd wine had bright colour and a self-coloured rim.The nose with immediate wood and a spicy prickle. The palate is dry and quite structured with a tannic line right to the finish. The overall quite balanced with a more Syrah style: blackberry, drying, spicy, slightly brackish…
The 4th wine is very similar, maybe a slightly browner rim and a quieter nose. The palate is a little softer with red stone fruit and a warm undercurrent, some over-ripe fruit again but dry liquorice notes.
This is trickier but Wine 3 seems a little more “classic” and Wine 4 a little more mature. Again so it proved:
Wine 3 is 2007; Wine 4 is 2006.

La Roquette
The 5th wine certainly is a little more orange and has a very strong bottle stink – pickled onions and compost… Palate again has a brackish hint with a leathery note and tannic and acidity turning grainy and going into coffee quite quickly.
The 6th wine has a strong nose – dark fruit, a dusty hint and a medicinal note. This has a heavy tannic structure lifted by a ripe fruit-acid line. This seems more robust than the previous wine, and certainly has some time left.
As it turns out there is a fault in Wine 5, a slight oxidation yielding a shorter life and the fusty nose, and in fact it is 2007. Whereas the bigger longer-lived wine (of these samples) Wine 6 is the 2006!

A fascinating tasting which shows the different sorts of packages available within the appellation, although all are big and alcoholic (all 14.5%). As a pair I preferred the first:  Font de Michelle, with the 2006 more typical IMO: big fruity and supple. However the 2007 – more structured and subtle – is a great, although not all that typical wine, and my favourite of the night. The last wine (La Roquette 2006) is good but in a darker, grainier style…

Thanks so much Rob!

Until next time…

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