This tasting was well attended; I counted 17 of us, including local star Alain Chabanon, and there were 10 wines. There’s no theme to the wines people bring so the resulting selection can be pretty eclectic.
- Ballade en Straminer (Gewürztraminer) 2007 Domaine de Bachellery.
Aromatic but fresh and quite racy. At the grapefruit end of the Gewurtz spectrum that I like. Alsace on steroids – only on revealing the bottle were the more tropical flavours apparent.
- Malaga Blanc, Thailand Unlabelled bottle.
Can’t recall a wine with so little colour. Dry, strange herbs and minerals. The panel though it could be Muscadet. Clearly needs some spicey Thai food. Apparently Louis XIV gifted the Malaga vines to the King of Siam 200 plus years ago.
- Picpoul de Pinet 2007, Domaine St. Martin de la Garrigue
Full straw colour. Sweet oak nose (despite being no use of oak....), dry elegant acidity. Bitters finish with a touch of pine. Certainly surprised everyone.
- Domaine de la Petite Gallée, "Vieilles Vignes” (Gamay), Coteaux du Lyonnais
On to the reds. Garnet colour. Firm fruit, metallic mineral, redcurrant. Good structure but straight. Could well be worth ageing. Apparently made from gamay vines planted in 1896.
- Domaine du Grand Crès 2002 (red), Corbières
Ripe blackberry fruit leaps out of the glass. Delicious liquorice palate. Everyone heaped praise on it. I though it very much like Domaine Barroubio Cuvée Marie Therese
- Domaine Saparale Casteddu 2006 (red), Corsica
Mulberry fruit. Hot, tannic, noticeably alcoholic. A bit edgey, almost clumsy, perhaps needs time to settle down – or is it just rustic?
- Domaine Croix de St Privat ''Cuvée du Papé Laurent '' 2007, Aniane
Quite rubbery with some mineral. Peppers and cassis, brazil nut sweet ripeness. By now most peoples palates were becoming a little disorientated (Aniane is only a few kms away)
- Gigondas Cuvée Prestige 2006 François Arnaud
More constrained nose than the predecessors. Soft berry fruit, quite hot finish. Food wine. I would keep this.
- TMV Syrah 2006, Swartland South Africa
Spicy and leathery, smokey. Fine tannins and good balance. Not obviously Syrah – one taster suggested Cinsault.
- Teófilo Reyes Crianza 1996, Ribera del Duero Spain
Browning red. Sweet ripe farmyard. Mature, long and flavoury. À point now, but old enough to be from anywhere hot.