Working With Wine Highlights: Sweet Wines Flight 1
It seems like the second half of 2016 has passed by in a flash. Year. Gone. It’s only now, however, that I’m finally in control of things. Kinda.
Anyway, I’m going back to July here, for Seminar Two of this year’s Negociants Working With Wine seminar series (Seminar One is here). As ever, this is one of the best tastings in the country, with the highest calibre wines and the best guests. In this Seminar the guest was Sandrine Garbay, the cellarmaster of Chateau d’Yquem – AKA sweet wine royalty. Sandrine also brought with her a whole swag of d’Yquem – she can come again.
For the first bracket the focus was on sweet wines of the world. This lineup is largely defined by the Negociants portfolio but, as you can see, the breadth of styles was damn good and the quality of wines seriously excellent.
Smiles all round.
These notes were as written on the day and were a bit hurried. It’s hard when you’ve got exciting wines as the excitement grows and then before you know it everyone is talking about the boring wines.
I’ll follow up with Flight 2 tomorrow, then Flight 3 & 4 later after that.
Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Auslese Riesling 2011
Golden yellow. Intensely concentrated nose an palate. Great contrast here between the quite decadent, yellow apple and honey ripe fruit and some more exotic tropical from botrytis. Fantastic acidity despite everything. Hard to fault really; everything an Auslese from a ripe vintage should be. Very full. 18.7/20, 95/100.
Yalumba FSW 8B Botrytis Viognier 2015
Green straw. Wonderfully evocative nose of peach and apricot skin. Tastes of apricot and peaches in juice too. Ripe and full, if a bit simple. Lots of flavour. Not cloying but very fat and full – no barrel influence here? Chugs along through the finish. Nice and joyous if simple jam. I quite like this for its juicy joy and vibrancy. 17/20, 90/100.
Hugel Gewurztraminer Selection Grains Nobles 2005
Quite golden and with hints of brown. Toffeed and quite advanced nose, complete with volatility. Volatiles a bit distracting for mine, though the length is excellent. Low acid and some phenolic grip. Quality, but I can’t but feel it would have been better earlier. Sweetness on the finish lifts it up. Others liked this much more. 17.5/20, 91/100.
Royal Tokaji Wine Company Blue Label Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2009
Golden orange with hints of deeper orange. Raisins and date. Very rich – perhaps the most honeyed and very thick wine in this line. Extremely thick, raisined and rich. Curiously it pulls up a bit short on the finish, but the bombastic grape concentration is quite beguiling. 18/20, 93/100.
Antinori Vin Santo Chianti Classico 2010
Caramel mud. Lots of volatile and oxidative characters stick out. Aldehydes and oak give this more interest. The length is outstanding and this fulfils a special place. Is it a superstar? Not yet. Hard to ignore the aldehydes here. Gee it is a satisfying drink though. I could drink plenty of this late at night with Tim Tams. 17.7/20, 92/100.
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