Dinner party drinking

Some good stuff planned with dinner tonight.

Riesling Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Auslese 1994, Fritz Haag

This seems quite youthful on the nose. There is a great purity of fruit, but not much in the way of aged, petrolly aromas. The fruit and minerality are simply gorgeous, though. The palate is extremely elegant and refined, with great purity of flavour. For all its elegance you can tell this is an Auslese, it has the weight and ripeness. It is certainly less evolved than the ’96 last night. The wine is a picture of balance; the fruit, purity, lightness and density work together in perfect harmony. This is completely lovely, a joy to drink.

Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru la Garenne 2001, J-M Boillot

The nose is uncannily like Savennières, big, waxy and a bit damp. It smells quite oaky with some honey and nuts as well. I am not sure I really like the nose, it smells just a bit too dirty for decent white Burgundy. The palate is quite full-bodied, but it has really rather to much oak. The acidity is a bit hard work as well. This wine is alright, but not up to the standard any of us present would hope for from this producer.

Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru les Pucelles 2001, Domaine Leflaive

A beautiful nose of mountain flowers, minerals and nuts. It is restrained and beautiful. There is some oak there but it is by no means distracting. The palate shows a bit more of the oak, but the fruit is very present and there is a really nice minerality to it. This is a very beautiful, complex and charming white Burgundy that is drinking very well now; utterly charming. We decanted this for an hour before drinking and it certainly opened up a lot.

Hermitage 1997, J. L. Chave

A scented nose of prunes and violets, which is not something I’d normally associate with Hermitage. Whilst the nose certainly has some size, it doesn’t seem over-whelming; this is as pretty as Hermitage gets. The palate is full-bodied, but there is a refinement to the fruit and tannins that makes it seem a lot more elegant than Hermitage can often be. Chave used to produce the most beautiful of Hermitages, and this fits that mold. There is a bit of greenness to the tannins, but this does not distract from what is a really good, if perhaps not great, bottle of Hermitage. This is the last vintage of Chave Hermitage I purchased; the filthy swine massively put up prices and started producing wanky prestige cuvées rather than concentrating on producing beautiful, drinkable wines like this.

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