Some highlights from the Eurocentric range
Eurocentric is the wine importing business of former journalist Neville Yates, whom threw in the whole writing-for-a-living shenanigans to travel the world to find great booze to import (or at least that was his plan).
Whilst Nev himself would admit that it has been a challenging exercise to turn the business into a profitable one, what has not been in question is the calibre of the wines, which have been impressive from the get-go. The range itself has evolved from a collection of German Rieslings and some unconventional kiwi wines into one that now includes cult South Africans, stunning grower Champagnes and some particularly good value Beaujolais and Red Burgundy, not forgetting stunning German Rieslings and interesting Kiwis (Nev also does the distribution for giant slaying Canberra winery Capital Wines).
Today I had a brief look at some of the latest Eurocentric releases, spanning a whole gamut of different styles, regions and flavours. It was a brief look, but some of the highlights really do warrant a mention (the price in brackets is the RRP).
Vouette et Sorbee Blanc d’Argile 2005 ($250 for magnum): Stunning Champagne. Powerful, dense, and creamy style with shedloads of acidity and no shortage of complexity. Wild, opulent, firm and complex, all at once. If anything it’s more like a sparkling Puligny than a Champagne (in the best possible fashion).Worth every cent. I want some. 18.8/95
Benoit Ente Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Gain 2008 ($150) What I most like about this is the spine of clean, almost Chablis-like, oyster shell tinged mid palate. It’s pretty much everything that you’d want in a White Burgundy actually. Or at least everything I want. 18/93 The Benoit Ente Chassagne Montrachet Les Houilleres 2008 ($89.95) is really not that far behind either. 17.5/91
Dupont-Tisserandot Gevrey Chambertin VV 2008 ($79.95) Typically the bargain of the range (in Burgundy terms at least), this carries a delicious, classically juicy red fruit nose over a firm palate. It’s a little too firm at present, but it all bodes well for the future. Value is very good, all things considered. 17.5/91+
Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Kabinett 2008 ($42.95) Superb Riesling. The reason why this hits the really high heights is that it gets the sugar/acidity balance absolutely perfect. I’d actually argue that this is an even better wine than the 2007 version, with the extra acid drive making for a very complete wine. Superb stuff. 18.4/94
Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Riesling Kabinett 2008 ($38.95) Another damn fine 08 Kabinett. It’s not quite as perfectly defined as the Willi Schaefer but shares the same firm acid drive through the back end. Clean, long effortless. Beautiful. 18/93
Sequillo Cellars Chenin Blanc blend 2009 ($44.95) Produced by cult South African winemaker Eben Sadie, this carries a creamy, complex and slightly wild expression that is sort of halway between a slightly out there, if cool, Stellenbosch Chenin and a layered and full white Chateauneuf (which is of little surprise given that Grenache Blanc, Viognier and Roussane make up the blend). The end result is nothing if not interesting. Good stuff. 17.8/92
Dada 1 2007 ($59.95) A blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Gewurtz, this is putting on a little weight now that it has had some more bottle time, making for an even more complex style of Bordeaux inspired dry white. It’s got a slightly rounded edge to the herbal, mealy palate that both works with and against this wine. Texture is spot on regardless. Nice wine. 17.7/92