So at last, on Monday I finally got out of the asylum and on Tuesday we left for France. After a moderately untroubled voyage via Folkestone and the Eurotunnel we made landfall at Montreuil sur Mer just an hour or so south of Calais. The idea was to pick up some wine from the Wine Society’s outpost there, but on Wednesday morning circumstances dicatated otherwise.
And so to Dijon, and the forgotten jewels of my cellar. The problem remains the same with my cellar, namely, that since I have actually been able to afford to buy wine, I seem to have bought too expensively, and too much to last, as it were. Thus, most of my wines are either not ready, or I just feel too mean to open them just like that. Nevertheless, there remain some wines to drink every day and so we tucked in.
Here is the week that was, mostly pretty good, quaffable and comforting. The only wine currently off message? Well, that Morgon 2009 was stubbornly inexpressive.
2011 Exhibition Pouilly Fumé The Wine Society:
Considerably better than I remember; pure sauvignon fruit, racy and quite light. No over exotic fruit and less of a bitter finish than I remember. I feel a little bored with New World Sauvignon Blanc at the moment, and this is refereshingly old world in its style.
2011 Cairanne Marcel Richaud:
A left over from Christmas, and still reliably jam-opacked with delicious up-front fruit and a lively structure. Would be good for a couple more years at least, but boo-hoo, it’s all gone. Tant-pis, I guess I will just have to buy in the 2012.
Tio Pepe Fino Ganzales-Byass:
A brave purchase for Carrefour’s wine buying team; I fear this is far beyond the ken of the average French supermarket buyer – the French just don’t get sherry – which is fine. It just leaves more for the rest of us. Fine, light, dry. As ever, the perfect apéritif. Hoover up some more.
2011 Exhibition Sancerre The Wine Society:
Again, far better than I remember. Perhaps an extra year in bottle has brought it together. Classic Sauvignon traits, but with extra richness that the straight Pouilly Fumé. A slightly oilier structure. Good.
2010 Tahblik Marsanne:
This remains a mystery. I cannot believe I bought a case of this, and worse that I still have two thirds left. Australia’s oldest winery remains a dud for me. This wine offers little individuality; and little beyond a slightly weighty middle palate. It comes from nowhere, and is going nowhere. All Marsanne and no tang, makes Tahblik a very dull wine.
2011 Exhibition Tasmainian Chardonnay The Wine Society:
The star of last Christmas, and again the star of the whites this week. I was happy to see this picked out as oustanding by Decanter, and it really is very fine. The nose, though less Jasmine than I remember is very charming. There is little presence of wood, and the wine has a fine wiight; it is cool climate light, with no heaviness. Must buy more; will age.
2012 Gato Negro Cabernet Sauvignon:
Elodie picked this up at the supermarket, and for five odd euros you could not ask for more. It needs to be served cool so the fruiti remains smooth and homogenous. its no great shakes, but as a mid-week wine it is fine enough. A classic example of what modern day industrial wine making should be: inoffensive, seamless, passive.
2009 Morgon Côte de Py Jean Foillard:
Curiously numb. There is some classic cherry, kirsch fruit on the nose, and the wine definitely has mass and structure. But the whole is inexpressive and closed. Best to come back in a couple of years. I guess next try will be the 2007 or the 2005. Or even that last bottle of 1995. A last memory of my honeymoon and our intrepid Fiat Panda.