We don’t get out much anymore.
Between looking after a small child, long days and lockdowns, restaurant meals have been few and far between for the Grahams in 2021.
So what a pleasure to go out to a real-life eatery (at night time!) and empty a few glasses of something tasty, and both of these worked. Not profound, but genuinely attractive dinner wines of charisma – the sort of wines where on a tasting bench you might not appreciate their nuances.
Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorées Blanc 2019
Beaujolais blanc is a rare beast, and mostly it’s just okay. Think Macon Blanc, but a little more rounded, in a golden Chardonnay mode. But this lo-fi version from top tier maker Jean-Paul Brun is nice stuff – it’s a sunny Burgundy, with nutty golden fruit, low acid and a honeysuckle generosity, plus layers of salt spray and sulphide funk over the top. A dig into the winemaking notes and it makes sense – 80-year-old vines, matured all in tank, the vibe more like a ripe Chablis. Actually, that’s a perfect analogy – a ripe version of AC Chablis or village Chablis from someone switched on. It needs to be drunk ice-cold as the acidity is low, but there is a great mid-palate generosity that is so drinkable. It’s not a wildly complex wine, but real pleasure and feels right and unforced. I like. 17.7/20, 92/100.
Domaine de la Roche Paradis St Joseph La Bergerie 2018
I like St Joseph a lot. The little brother northern Rhone appellation to Cote Rotie and Hermitage, yet the wines are often more approachable and much cheaper. I dig it. This red is good evidence too – there is the licorice, cranberry fruit and dandelion/peppercorn spice of Rhone Syrah backed by a surprisingly forceful palate. From organically farmed young vines, and made by Cuilleron’s long time viticulturist, this 100% Syrah is just a bit purple fruited and primary, even with a little bottle age, but there’s so much character and generosity here too. Nice wine. 17.7/20, 92/100.
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