Sometimes you fancy something different, happens to us all, and so you shop outside your normal parameters. Of course, this is a path fraught with danger and the peril of heinous suffering. We all do it anyway. The Albarino was the only white wine, beyond Sherry, I have found I could reliably manage to tolerate on my jaunts to Spain. As I am sure stomach churning experience has taught you Spanish whites are generally of a quality that makes them unfit even to clean the toilets in particularly unkempt dysentery wards. But I felt reasonably safe with this.
I got a recommendation to try the Seresin from a normally reliable source. Whilst it was far from cheap it seemed a good risk; I am a firm believer that New Zealand can produce properly grown-up Pinot, Larry Mackenna can certainly do it. I hoped this would show some of the allure and lubricity that make Pinot the obvious red wine choice for enlightened lovers of fine things.
Albarino 2010, Pazo Senorans
Bloody hell, does this smell of anything at all? If I strain my most acutely trained and finely honed of tasting faculties I think I might be able to discern a suggestion of yeastiness and maybe even something, that with the application of my active and slightly unhinged imagination, could have a vague resemblance to fruit. But sweaty tests to that! This nose is bland, torpid and tedious, matched only in anodyne character by the wit and erudition displayed in the lunchtime banter at a Trappist monastery. Arse, it is staggeringly dreary. The palate pushes back the boundaries of insipid, anaemic boredom. So devoid of character is it that I am more able to detect the flavour of my tonsils than the wine. What really worries me is that I have drank at least several bottles of this wine, indeed exchanged actual money I could have used for Burgundy or fizzy cherry sweets to get it, because it was preferable to what else was on offer. The staggeringly noisome qualities of things worse than this lacklustre contrivance so perturb me that the trip to Spain has been burnt from my diary with a laser and I’ll go and visit my chum Jeremy in Burgundy this October with the instruction that any appearance of Spanish whites will result in the agonisingly severe application of my Singapore Judicial. If, most likely given threats of having to drink something as execrable as Cava, I were forced to endure such a soulless entity of woe just to satisfy my white wine requirements the only path open to me would be to repeatedly force cocktail sticks violently into my sinuses just to prevent sensory deprevation. I must make it luridly clear that spending money on this wine will only leave you weeping with bleak depression; mind-bendingly sub-interest. Get some Sherry, it is cheaper and better.
Pinot Noir ‘Rachel’ 2008, Seresin
This has a nice, fruity nose of strawberries and raspberries, but that, I’m afraid, seems pretty much it. They claim some expensive oak influence but I don’t see it. Sure, it’ll please, but it will ask no questions and deliver little stimulation. The palate is much the same. I like the fruit, the acid level is refreshing and there is what approaches a convincing approximation of structure. It is a simple quaffer, and over-priced at that. Only buy if you like your vinous conquests to be of extravagently easy virtue and most definitely hanging around the embarrassing end of the ‘gifted’ pond.
-  Guy will remind us of when, moving onto to white wine number two at one of our little gatherings, I annouced it was rather aroma free. Much laughter ensued as he pointed out I was sniffing the swill of water I poured to clean my glass. I did feel a bit of a large, unsightly arse. ↩