Lovely chap, Peter, he brought two lovely wines and we have three more. It was interesting to watch some of these wines develop over the course of the evening; there were some great improvements to be observed.
Riesling Auslese Brauneberger-Juffer Sonnenuhr 2000, Weingut Fritz Haag
This was quite mature and petrolly on the nose. There was some good limey fruit and it smells really inviting. On the palate it was perhaps less sweet than Auslesen from riper vintages, but there was a great acid-fruit balance. The minerality was very pleasing. It had a good finish, but I did worry that it seemed quite so mature at only seven years old.
Hermitage Blanc 1994, J. L. Grippat
White Hermitage from the now retired Jean-Louis Grippat, I felt pleased to be trying a wine so rare. Initially this just smelled and tasted of glue, which seemed a bit odd. As this developed in the glass it became more floral with a distinct apple-core character to the fruit. It was incredibly mineral and really seriously complex. There was real power to the palate, but it remained easy to drink and very enjoyable. The length was most impressive. Quite ready to drink. This was a seriously kick-arse bottle of white Hermitage, I’m not sure I’ve had a better old white Hermitage than this. Very tasty, extremely enjoyable yet really rather serious.
Pommard Premier Cru Rugiens 2001, de Montille
I opened the next two wines because they had been described by some as ageing prematurely. They showed a degree of this character when first poured, but after a while in the glass really improved greatly. When fully open, the nose of this wine was quite beautiful; strawberry and redcurrant fruit with charming hints of soil. This smelled really rather Cote de Beaune-y. Initially the palate seemed a tad tough, and strangely lacking a touch of concentration, by by arse how this improved with air. It became terribly silky, elegant and highly refined. For a minor vintage this was a wine of complete beauty and I greatly enjoyed it.
Volnay-Santenots-Du-Milieu 2001, Domaine des Comtes Lafon
Lafon’s reds can be a bit butch, and this was my initial impression of this wine. Tannins were a bit tough and it seemed a tiny bit international. Once again, when it had breathed for a while it became far softer with the tannic structure more in harmony with the ripe, dark fruit. It had good length and was not short on concentration. Again, for a difficult vintage this was a very pleasing wine. Up for drinking now, just let it breathe.
Côte-Rôtie 1997, Bernard Burgaud
I [link2post id=”1206″]had this recently[/link2post]. I found this bottle to be a tiny bit dirtier than that one, but it still had an elegant palate with a great, fine tannic structure. Very good Côte-Rôtie.