I hope it’s OK if I start off with last week’s specials. It was our anniversary, but I arrived back in the UK having left my laptop power supply in France. Not to worry - new one duly bought. Anyway, we had -
Michel Arnould, Champagne, Verzenay, NV I love this wine the more I try it. It is a blanc de noirs from Verzenay fruit exclusively. More subtle and multi layered than the more in-your-face pinots from Bouzy or Ambonnay, it really benefits from a couple of year’s bottle age before broaching.
2015 Circe Pinot Noir, Gippsland, Victoria (Not the standard Yarra Valley edition). Although I enjoyed this - it’s a well-made wine - it still rather lacks the extra layers of complexity I expect at this level. Maybe I’m being picky, or perhaps it needs more time, though I’m not aware of Australian pinots which really don’t show all they have at the outset.
1996 Champalou Vouvray (Moelleux), Trie de Vendange Mmmm! Spot on. I don’t think there’s any point holding on to this any longer - it shows a lovely balance between the sweet late-harvest notes of chenin along with bottle-aged maturity.
Right - that was last week. Slight change of plan this week as reported earlier. Yesterday we decided to have a classic chicken in tarragon,with a creamy tarragon sauce (a French classic), so we went for -
2014 Hautes Cotes de Beaune, “Sous Éguisons”, Caroline L’Estimé This punches way above its lowly appelation, though sadly the price reflects the quality, so it’s not some insider tip to save money. But it’s good and interesting. Caroline L’Estimé is the owner/winemaker of Domaine Jean-Noel Gagnard.
Finally we had the threatened red burgundy, suitably chilled -
2011 Cotes de Nuits Villages, “Terres Nobles”, Dom. de la Douaix Jolly good minor burgundy! The nose was sensational and all you could wish for. The palate was open for business, and whilst this isn’t going to compete with the big Cote des Nuits reds, it’s no slouch either. Good structure and balancing acidity, and developmentally in a good place, showing both young vigour and some notes of maturity.