Top Riesling and boring Cote-Rotie at The Ledbury

Last night we had [link2post id=”218″]a brilliant meal at The Ledbury[/link2post]. The wine list was most keenly priced and we chose one top wine and one which was disappointing. Still, much fun was had; it is a great place to eat. Anyway, the wines:

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Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg Cuvée Sainte Catherine l’Inedit 2002, Domaine Weinbach

An explosive, decadent nose which just throbs with rich, ripe fruit and powerful minerality. Certainly a biggie, with concentration and power in spades, but not short on compelling, lovely charm (much like the winemakers themselves). It positively throbs with pulsing, thrusting life, no sign of oxidation at all. You’d have to be a pretty jaded Riesling drinker not to sniff this and chortle with mirth. The palate is also on the large-scale side. It has a powerfully rich fruitiness, a layered density of mineral flavours and searing but totally balanced acidity. What a palate! Big and weighty, for sure, but supremely harmonious. I’m charged up with aesthetic power after tasting this; to sip even the smallest taste is to love it and desperately want a bigger taste. Drink it now, boys and girls, its just scrummy.

Coter-Rotie La Barbarine, Gangloff Cote-Rotie ‘La Barbarine’ 2005, Gangloff

The fruit seems good and pure on the nose, but lacking a touch of the scented beauty I like in Cote-Rotie. Lacks complexity, too. It just seems a bit anonymous with nothing to really compel or draw you in to enjoy. The palate has a reasonable amount of fruit, but I don’t really go for the slightly over-extracted character it has. And those are pretty much the only characters the palate shows. It is short with no complexity to speak of. Deary me, a flat and boring Cote-Rotie from the great 2005 vintage, just what were they thinking when they made this wine? It didn’t take much thinking on our part to realise it was up to much. This ranks as ‘sub-interest’; if you want to buy good Cote-Rotie which is properly beautiful and complex stick to Clusel-Roch, Burgaud, Jamet or Jasmin.

  • Jeremy

    I think you would be surprised to what 24hrs of aeration can do to a wine like la Barbarine. Gangloff’s style of winemaking is quite reductive and the wines can be deceptive that way. Dumb of the Ledbury to put it on their list though as they are unlikely to be ever be able to give the wines enough air.