Ravishing Riesling and Buggered Burgundy

On Sunday we were delighted to host James Hardy, fellow ex-Captain of the Oxford blind tasting team and all-round top chap. If his employers are reading this you should take it easy on the poor fellow; he looked so tired. He said his lovely wife is even more tired dealing with their youngest son, so I imagine that means no more children for a while.

James brought a bottle of Riesling along and we opened Burgundy. Riesling and Burgundy – isn’t that all one really needs? Here are the notes:

James with Fritz Haag Riesling

Riesling Spatlese Brauneberger-Juffer Sonnenuhr 2002, Fritz Haag

When I saw this I was terribly happy; it’s one of the last properly good vintages from this producer before the next generation started making soulless wines. The nose was fresh with plenty of peachy fruit – quite ripe. It was reasonably nervy and direct, but did show the 2002 ripeness and weight on the nose. No problem with that, it smelled highly attractive! The palate had a bit of weight as well, and the fruit was slightly exotic, but there was plenty of acidity to keep the whole thing focussed. The minerality was lovely and slate-themed and its flavours persisted for a long time. It is perhaps one for those who like their acid-whipping dominatrices a touch on the well-upholstered side, but nonetheless an excellent Riesling. Drinking now with a lot of pleasure.

Volnay Premier Cru Les Taillepieds 2007 from de Montille

Volnay Premier Cru Les Taillepieds 2007, Domaine de Montille

De Montille’s Taillepieds is one of my very favourite wines, and after an excellent 2007 Beaune Premier Cru from them recently I was expecting olfactory ravishment. However, the nose was very reduced with a strong whiff of beetroot and something metallic to it. It smelled quite unattractive, and nothing like I’d expect from the vintage, producer or vineyard. When James sniffed it he said he’d had a couple of 2007s that had a slightly funky acidity, and when I tried it that description seemed to fit. It was very acidic, beetrooty and not in the slightest bit a sculpted lovely. We didn’t drink much. Sorry about that, James, but I really couldn’t have foreseen it.

I wondered if the reduced character would go if I let it sit in the bottle overnight. No. The next morning it was tart, acrid and very oxidised. Something clearly went wrong with this wine.

  • Ed tully

    *the horrid thing about James is that he barely looks a day older than he did  seventeen years ago. If we searched his house there would be a portrait in the attic. Pity about the burg. I can’t believe it is anything other than a dodgy bottle.

  • Tom Blach

    Annoying about the Montille. It sounds like a bad bottle to me as well, but you never really know unless you open another straight away.

    • I just had the one bottle, alas, otherwise another would have been opened at the first sniff. I didn’t open anything else as our dinner appointment was close.

      I look forward to trying the 2010 of this wine; I think the vintage style will be most harmonious with that of the wine.

  • James

    The Riesling was delicious though and at a good stage of development. Less knackered than me.

    • I felt for you, James. You’d been battling in the hot sun all day, the children are demanding and so is work… We should have had more to drink!!