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Sunday 24 November 2013

Wine Trust 100

A review of six autumn wines from Wine Trust 100

Wine Trust 100 sent me six wines from their autumn selection to review - long on current-vintage, good-value standards, rather than a trove of revelations or fascinatingly eccentric oddities, the wines are selected by MWs, so fault-free quality and typicity is pretty much guaranteed.

Unsurprisingly, all the wines here score at least a Good  - safe, classy, reliable, enjoyable drinking; so, unless you have some aversion to mainstream wines (no biodynamics, natural or qvevri wines), what's not to like?

2011 Calmel J Joseph‏ (Cotes du Roussillon) a dark purple in the glass, it has an expressive and complex nose of ripe black cherry fruit, pencil shavings, oaky spice and new leather.

Wonderful long palate - soft, mouthfilling texture and perfectly ripe tannins. Concentrated with good ripe fruit and fresh acidity. Lovely balanced finish with a savoury persistence.

Plenty of stuffing and feels like it will age. Very Good.

2010 Taltarni Tache Rose (Australia)‏ - from Australia and Tasmania, a very classical, elegant and composed cool-climate Champagne-style fizz - pale salmon pink, it foams enthusiastically.

Restrained yeasty-citrus nose; ripe white pear and white peach with redcurrant. Assertive, well-structured, linear acidity and leesiness. Savoury persistence on the finish.

Really poised and precise, it is drinking nicely now, but will repay a few years' cellaring.

A good picnic wine or Christmas-Dinner aperitif. Match with Boxing Day cold cuts or light starters, such as a seafood vol-au-vent. Good.

2011 Chardonnay Chamonix  (Franschhoek, South Africa‏) From vines with a bit of age grown at altitude for a more complex, cool-climate feel. Precise citrus nose, oak and muskiness. Sweet, ripe citrus fruit, layers of complex, oatmealy toasty oak underpinned with fresh acidity.

A classical, elegant Burgundian Chardonnay, it is long, balanced and thoroughly more-ish - it reminds me of how I first fell in love with oaky Chardonnay.

A highly versatile food match - try with roasted pumpkin risotto, seared tuna or tafelspitz. Good.

Lawson's Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand aromatic, pungent Marlborough Sauvignon; gooseberries, cut grass and lemongrass; ripe tropical fruit, crystal clear acidity and minerality. Perfectly balanced with no rough edges; good, persistent finish.

Part of me acknowledges that it is a very good example of a distinct style - and yet, and yet ... somehow, another part finds the rather predictable, textbook conformity a little constraining.

With a start, I realise the source of its dullness is the approachable, easy-to-understand nature - I feel like the worst of old-school wine snobs for denouncing approachability, but with this wine, I really would wish for more restraint, more ... elusiveness.

It's feels like a page 3 girl with a PhD: well, here I am, boys, what do you think of these aromatics?

Resampled over the course of the following week, the obvious elements start to fade and the more interesting aspects become more prominent - maybe, like a callow-but-beautiful 19-year-old, it just needs a couple more years to mature.

Match the racy acidity and aromatics to Thai dishes or tuna carpaccio with lemon and ginger. Good.

2012 Bodegas Borsao, Tinto (Campo de Borja, Spain) From the northern slopes of the Moncayo mountain range, cooled by the Cierzo breezes. Translucent purple with expressive aromas of morello cherries, plummy fruit, liquorice, leather, vanilla and spice.

The palate is juicy and mouthfilling, with a lovely sour-cherry acidity, more plummy and dark berry fruit with sweet vanilla, spice and roughed-up herbs. Soft, smooth texture, some gentle grip developing on the finish.

Match with darker game, such as pheasant stuffed with apricots, or spicy sausages. Great value for money.Good.

2012 Domaines Felines Jourdain, Picpoul de Pinet (Languedoc‏, France) Picpoul is typically a light, fresh wine to drink on holiday in the south of France for a few Euros - a sort of southern Muscadet. This, however, is a more complex and weighty example.

Golden sandy yellow; citrus and yeasty melon-skin. Crisp and fresh, but with honeyed weightiness and beeswax. Long and persistent.

A summery aperitif, but weighty enough for light starters and seafood mains. Good.

Other related articles
Nick Adams MW on Champagne at Alimentum

Wine Trust 100 - website, twitter

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