The start of the week can be a difficult time, so the Woolwich team decided to ease its passing with a few glasses of wine.[image image_id=”2680″ link = “true” align=”right” title=”Moss Wood Semillon 2007 – uncomplicated drinking”]
Semillon 2007, Moss Wood
This has a very grassy nose, seems very like its oft-blended companion Sauvignon Blanc on a quick sniff. There is some waxy fatness to it as well, which is more Semillon in character. Just by sniffing this at cellar temperature I’d never guess it was 14%, there is nothing at all overblown or blowsy about it. It has a lot of lemon fruit on the palate, which is pleasingly fresh, and good acidity which keeps it nice and lively even though there is a shade of corpulence here. I don’t really mind corpulent Semillon, though, it is varietal character after all. Not the most complex of palates, but it as an undemanding Monday evening drink I am not going to lash into this with violent vitriol. We have established this wine ages remarkably well, this bottles shows it has an accessible drinking profile.[image image_id=”2698″ align=”left” title=”Crozes-Hermitage Jalets 2006, Paul Jaboulet-Aine”]
Crozes-Hermitage les Jalets 2006, Paul Jaboulet-Aine
The first proper vintage under the new regime at Jaboulet. Surely we all hope for a return to quality for this historically great name that has been sloughed in a morass of mediocre winemaking for far too long? I’m not entirely convinced with the ‘re-imagined’ labels, though. Perhaps the plan is to make a clear break from the wines of the difficult decade, but those old labels had more history behind them than just that regrettable period. The Swiss Claret geezers who are now at the helm are certainly not afraid to charge for their wines; I await an analytical tasting of Crozes Thalabert and Lash (aka Hermitage La Chapelle) with much interest so see if they are worthy of the prices.
It would be good if they could begin to approach the heady heights of quality attained during the late Gerard Jaboulet’s day. As a young wine lover it was an exceptional pleasure and profoundly memorable experience to meet the great man – every time I pop a bottle of Lash ‘95 I recall him candidly expounding its qualities with imperturbable self-confidence as we deeply appreciative acolytes tried a cask sample.
So, the Jalets: Lots of crunchy dark fruit to the nose, with some pepper and a hint of leafy greenness as well. And yes, I will say this has a hint of cheap cologne to its nose, as all decent Crozes should. This smells like Crozes to drink without putting on one’s hyper-punctilious hat. But then, that is what les Jalets should be like, drinking Crozes that just slips down a treat. And this does slip down a treat. Its tannins are ripe with shades of spikiness and it has obvious fruit which is completely transparent in terms of its fun value. There is more of the freshly ground pepper character and hints of leafiness making this a deliciously quaffable palate. Sure, this wine will never make my underwear strain with the massive volume of my engorged excitement, but it is a Jalets that delivers the basic Crozes experience with adroit proficiency. I don’t think Gerard would be ashamed of putting his name on this bottle.[image image_id=”2705″ link = “true” size = “medium” class = “alignright” title = “Morey Saint-Denis 2004, Domaine Dujac” – It is ace!”]
Morey Saint-Denis 2004, Domaine Dujac
Oh this is the kind of nose I like: it pulses with gorgeous, cultivated, slightly floral fruit of elegant beauty and graceful charm. The complex, stylish aromas are highly attractive and, if I may continue to be voluptuary, they are transporting me to a remarkably scintillating domain of sybaritic pleasure considering this is a mere village wine. But then, as copious tasting over the past decade and a half (many thanks, Jeremy) has made profusely clear, I feel no Dujac wine should ever be prefaced with the word ‘mere’ – this Morey villages is proper Burgundy that flashes with class and sophistication, not to be sniffed at in any company. The palate is finely balanced with appealing fruit intertwined with refined tannins and a lively dose of acidity. At this moment in its development the palate seems charged with energetic liveliness, its pleasures stand proudly tumescent for all to appreciate. Yet I do feel this wine has a real future ahead of it for those who like their Burgundy experiences in the poised idiom. Clearly good stuff; not big, powerful or overwhelming, but charged with a delicate, exquisite beauty which just enchants the antipsychotic-enhanced tits off me.
I am afraid, unlike you, I really despise the new Jaboulet wines. Offensively over-priced, anodyne and dull. Give the vineyards to someone who is interested in making rhone wines. Even in the dark days of jaboulet there was still character. Poor, poor and weak. And expensive (did I mention how much they cost?). Hilariouly the most recent vintage on offer here is the same price as the 1990.
I’ve only really had one significant taste of new regime Jaboulet, the wine above, and that seems good enough to me. Good enough for Jalets, certainly. I’ve got some Thalabert which I will try with with my most pertinacity hat on and get back to you.
All Hermitage, apart from the bargain-tastic Colombier, is priced out of my league these days. Chave 2005 was more expensive than 1995 when I got a bottle as a birthday present. I don’t feel they are really worth that much.
Good enough for Jalets? since when was that good enough for the elitist? Even if you are right. Hmm! Let’s face it, it was always something in between the rhone and beaujolais. It is picnic wine. And you could find many, many more interesting wines for less fun vouchers.
It cost a fraction under a couple of ladies, at that price it performed just fine.