Alsace, Australia and Burgundy – top quality wines in return for services rendered

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I’ve been sorting out the neighbour’s wine fridge and recent purchases, they’ve got some good stuff. I’ve attached a picture of the fridge. You will note the coloured dots; the key is green dots for drinking soon and red dots for keeping with increasing numbers of dots for increasing quality. A simple system I would recommend when you have to arrange, as so often happens, the wines owned by neophytes.

The first two we popped from the store are jolly drinkable fare, one and two spots respectively and very much of those quality levels. In view of my hard slog moving bottles around I felt we needed to move up a spot to finish with. Cyprien Arlaud’s effort manifestly deserves my three-spot rating; as far as 2007 Burgundies go it is totally tits.

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Pinot Blanc 2008, Albert Boxler

A bright, fresh nose of peachy fruit and creamy minerality. This may be a basic wine but the care and attention of a fine grower shows itself on this nose; it is not a bog-standard Pinot Blanc by any stretch of the imagination. The palate also has a degree of class: good fruit with a pleasing mineral complexity and those flavours persist for an impressive period. For sure this is far from the grandest wine I’ll drink in my lifetime (nor, indeed, during the rest of the evening) but it slips down a treat and provides ample pleasure at its bargain-tastic price point. Quality exists at many different levels and should you be in Niedermorscwihr you could do worse than picking up a few sub-€5 bottles of this from M. Boxler.

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Riesling rs37 2008, Mac Forbes

Isn’t it great to see a residual sugar level on the label? I approve whole-heartedly. It smells delectable, classy lime fruit with a distinct stony character. Definite complexity on show with this nose and it is a refulgent beauty at that. I love the fizzing mineral style present on the palate, which is perfectly harmonious with its fruity sweetness and fine acidity. All the characters here are just enchantingly drinkable to the extent that I get a pang of misanthropic jealousy having to share the bottle. It is a delight that any lover of decent Riesling would be utterly smitten with – I know I am. And yet, seductive as this is, I get the feeling this is starting to close up, so drink within the next couple of months or come back in five or so years time. Wow, I am suggesting an Australian Riesling will improve with proper cellaring time, isn’t that one hell of a compliment?

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Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru Aux Cheseaux 2007, Domaine Arlaud

Oh charm, comeliness and come-hither hedonism on this nose. Lovely, lovely fruit of the simply gorgeous nature Morey can deliver. It also has a rich, earthy complexity as well that, with that damned-lovely fruit, makes sniffing this a distinctly lubricious exercise. This nose really shows that young Burgundy can deliver charm of such wanton delight that anyone who fails to grin when drinking it must have had some family issues about showing enjoyment when they were growing up. Of course, chez Elitistreview we revel in gratuitously pleasurable experiences rather than shy away from them, so our vocal enthusiasm for this entity of lewd sybaritism has got our Pinot-pimping neighbours grinning like tube drivers threatening industrial action. And they are right to be, this not only smells ravishingly captivating but also tastes totally tempting. There is a great interplay between ripe fruit, bright acidity and seductive tannins. This is why we drink red Burgundy – it is engorged with charms ready for all drinkers to luxuriate in.