The wines popped last night were clearly in a stage that provided much pleasure as we drank them. That being said I feel there would be no risk putting them, even the relatively humble Saint-Joseph, in the cellar for a reasonable period of time.
I don’t drink sweet white Bordeaux that often but, [link2post id=”4181″]as I have ranted before[/link2post], it is the bargain wine from Bordeaux. This bottle of Climens was stunning – very sweet but with a surprisingly high acidity level for a 2003. I intended to drink half the bottle with our guests and follow the remaining half’s development over the next few days, but we enjoyed it so much the bottle disappeared in double-quick time. On the subject of acid, the Berncasteler Doctor did not disappoint.
All three of these wines can be obtained from The Wine Society.
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Riesling Kabinett Berncasteler Doctor 2009, Wwe. Dr Thanisch (Erben Thanisch)
Oh this nose is engorged with delicious peachy fruit as well as lots of lovely citrus aromas. There are complex mineral notes as well which make this nose not only extremely attractive but also seriously sophisticated. I’m finding this nose deeply foxy and fanciable – it is certainly well titted-out for a Kabinett. The initial impression the palate gives is one throbbing with ripe fruit and surprising sweetness for a Kabinett. That being said, when even the smallest amount hits your stomach you can feel the raw power of its acidity attempting to burn its way to freedom. Plenty of slate mineral character shows on the palate – I am in no doubt as to the serious class this wine shows. For all its sweetness and ripe fruit there is nothing to question about its harmony either. It is alive with lewd pleasure at this young stage in its development and shows that it will have an allure-charged future ahead of it. Clearly one of the best 09 Kabinetts I’ve been lucky enough to try.
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Saint-Joseph ‘Clos de Cuminaille’ 2007, Pierre Galliard
This Saint-Joseph is so flash it has a front label on both sides (which I reproduce above). There are shades of the fresh, accessible fruit one would normally expect to find in a St-Joseph, but also new oak hints and a rich, earthy complexity. Were I tasting this blind I could see it being a reasonably grown-up Crozes-Hermitage Yes, reasonably grown up based on this nose, I think the quality of the fruit seems up to the expensive vinification techniques it has had lavished upon it. The palate has a rigorous structure, enhanced by its woodiness, that is suffused with more than enough ripe and tasty fruit to keep it well balanced. Enough acidity is here as well, this is quite the model of sophistication for a StJo. Good, that is how I like them. I’m rather taken with this, I bet it’d be even better in five or so years.
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Premier Cru Barsac 2003, Chateau Climens
Yes, I am aware one cannot really smell sweetness, but as I stick my nose into this I know it is going to deliver staggering amounts of sugar when I feel brave enough to have a sip. There is an incredibly intense ‘peaches and cream’ Botrytis aroma here and also rather a lot of late-harvest candied orange tones. I’m not getting much in the way of oak, just super-powered-up ripe, sweet fruity-characters. Cripes! When having a sip it is indeed arse-bitingly sweet, but far more surprising (and ultimately pleasing) is its acidity level which is so impressive I can see delighting any fan of vinous flagellation. The balance between fruit, sugar and acidity is really doing it for me in a manner I’d not often expect Barsac/Sauternes to manage – this is a properly exciting drink infused with life and energy. Absolutely no rush to drink, it is a very sweet wine of the very highest order and it’ll age forever (if you are planning to live that long).