|One lonely rosé|
Moët Vintage 2002 (Champagne, France) 12%
Proper Champagne this. Proper from the word go too, with a fine bead and entirely correct, bright straw colour to kick things off. The nose too is better than perfunctory, with a creamy overlay that suggests some judicious lees work, leading on to a dry, briny palate that is clean, correct and absolutely refreshing. It's a palate that ticks all the boxes actually, with vintage Champagne length and a purity of line that keeps you coming back for a second glass (even on NYE, when a second glass is never enough). Correct, efficient and absolutely classy Champagne that will look even better with a few years bottle age. Yes. 18.4/94
Charles Melton Rose of Virginia 2010 (Barossa, SA) 13%
This is typically my favourite Australian rosé, or at least it was up until recently, built in a style that is hardly going to fit into the pale, dry and textural Rosé Revolution mould, but is normally a carefully made, joyful bowl of fresh Barossan red fruit.
I can't say I'm taken with this 2010 version however, having liked it, but not loved it back in June and now following it up with a second bottle that looked frankly disappointing. The problem with this bottle is that it looked so one dimensional that you just couldn't love it. That dimension is normally what is the strength of this wine - namely a freshness of delicious ripe red fruit. But this looked like the freshness boat had sailed, with the caramel hints of early bottle age dulling the crispness, not helped by a lack of natural acidity and only a wack of un-natural stuff on the finish. It looked sweet too, candied, fairy floss residual sugar sweet, which really surprises me as I always thought that 'Charlie' deliberately built this drier to avoid such characters (which just don't seem to work in this wine).
In the end I (sadly) couldn't finish a glass and had to resort to a cleansing White Rabbit too settle my nerves. A bad bottle? Perhaps, and maybe heat affected if anything, but that still didn't quite ring true on the palate. Hmmm. 16.3/87