I’ve spent much of the last week on holidays in sunny (not this time) Perth. As a result, drinking has been frequent, tasting has been occasional, leading to a deficit of tasting notes and plenty of blurred impressions.
However, there were a few wines that did stick in my mind (please excuse the somewhat vague, self indulgent nature of these tasting notes):
Bernard Defaix ‘Cote de Lechet’ Chablis 1er Cru 2007
I amazed at how often a lean modern Chardonnay is described as ‘Chablis like’ when there is really nothing else that smells and tastes like Chablis. The secret is all in the much heralded Kimmeridgian limestone soils, which really do stamp a serious terroir imprint on the wines produced there (the good ones at least).
This has that Kimmeridgian cream, on the nose at least, with a suitably lean and stony palate that will only build with time in the glass. I like the combination combination of both richness and prominent acidity that makes this work, even though it probably doesn’t have the palate density of the finest vineyards. Good stuff. 17.8
Grosset Clare Valley/Adelaide Hills Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2009
This is a real favourite in our house, as a few bottles always sneak in with my Grosset Rizza purchases (and rarely last very long when they do). The only challenge with drinking this before Christmas in the year of its vintage though is that the citrussy acidity can be almost fiery in it’s intensity.
I actually drank this bottle over 2 nights, and on the first night said acidity clashed somewhat with the simple creamy seafood, but come day two it was more expansive, with melon characters sneaking in with the lemon lime flavours. When matched with spicy thai olives it worked a treat, the acidity the perfect foil for a bit of chilli heat.
I’m going to try and write a more descriptive tasting note for a subsequent bottle, but based on this one I’d have no qualms about recommending a purchase. 18
Wolf Blass Grey Label Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
I really wasn’t expecting to like this, as the OTT Wolf Blass red style is not my favourite. But it surprised me by a)not being too overripe, b)still being in good shape. The most obvious character on this wine was the overt moccha oak (really overt – like coffee powder) but the fruit underneath appeared well ripe and the structure assured. Nice to see some Langhorne mint in there for good measure. Nice. 17.6