Tasting - The French One - Jan 2017


 Behind the scenes with the WD team...

WINEDOG went French for our second event - another sold out extravaganza of fine wine and good people! We delved into 8 wines from 8 of France's most fascinating wine regions. With a good mix of classics (Champagne and Bordeaux) as well as some up and coming stars like the Jura and Jurançon. We tasted wines from 11 different grape varieties across 20 years of vintages from 1997 Burgundy to 2015 Jurançon! The wines all scored very highly with a huge average of 7.8/10 from the tasters. Notes on all the wines can be downloaded here and wine scores from the night are at the bottom of this post.

 The joy of 20 year old Grand Cru Burgundy...

The clear winner of the night was our oldest wine, the extremely elegant and evolved 1997 Grand Cru Burgundy: Corton-Bressandes from Domaine Follin-Arbelet. Scoring a huge 8.7/10 from our tasters for its beguiling mix of strawberry and raspberry, combined with complex savoury notes of meat, wet leaves, porcini mushroom and black truffle! It was awesome to try such a mature example from one of the world’s greatest wine regions.

 Epic snacks from the boys @ Palmers!

Second place went to our beautiful dessert wine finale - Caubeigt, from Domaine Castéra of Jurançon. This gem from this wet and rural region of the Western Pyrenees showed how good these sweet wines can be. A wonderful balance of sugar and acidity with a plethora of fruit, sweet spice and even gingerbread.

#3 came from Domaine Zind-Humbrecht with their 2007 Riesling Brand Grand Cru. It was great to see the often unappreciated Riesling grape getting a lot of love, scoring 2 perfect 10s! Off-dry in style (8g/l of sugar), with complex sweet spice (ginger, vanilla) mixed with honied floral, apricot and tropical fruit. Charming.

 Bordeaux gems...

A classic Right Bank Bordeaux from the extraordinary 2010 vintage came 4th, with Château d'Aiguilhe scoring 7.7/10 for its ripe blackberry, dark cherry, clove and cedar. At £28 a bottle, this is a cracker.

#5 was the 2005 Domaine Gauby Rouge. From a warm vintage, up to 125 year old vines (!) and one of the region’s top producers; it wasn’t a huge surprise to find this was stuffed full of red fruit, sweet spice and mocha.

Next was the extremely enlightening 2015 Jurassic Chardonnay from Domaine des Marnes Blanches. This showed the full spectra of citrus, green and stone fruit with a lovely mineral acidity to balance its rich creamy palate. Bravo!

#7 (but still with a solid score of 7.3!) was our opening wine, the 2010 Terre de Vertus Champagne from Larmandier-Bernier. A brilliant Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay), showing buttered pastry (croissant!?), honied fruit and some great minerality.

Last place with a respectable 7.2/10 was the 2006 Domaine Clos des Cazaux Gigondas La Tour Sarrazine from magnum. At just £35 a magnum, this was a classic mature Gigondas - blackberries, cherries and plums elevated by notes of black pepper and smoked meats. Lovely.

 Organised fun: Wine Options

We finished up the night with two rounds of the wildly popular Wine Options blind tasting game. The first was an unoaked White Rioja, which I must say was a pretty esoteric wine to identify, so well done to our dual winners! Next up we had the honour to blind taste a magnum of one of the world's greatest wines - a 1999 Château Mouton Rothschild (!!!), kindly brought along by one of our tasters.

Thanks a bunch to everyone who came along and made the evening such a success. We look forward to seeing you for The Australian One on 18th Feb!

Keeping it classy - Blind Tasting #2...

RESULTS: (average scores out of 10 from the tasters)

#1 1997 Domaine Follin-Arbelet Corton-Bressandes Grand Cru - 8.7

#2 2015 Domaine Castéra Caubeigt - 8.3

#3 2007 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Brand Grand Cru 2007 - 7.9

#4 2010 Château d'Aiguilhe Rouge - 7.7

#5 2005 Domaine Gauby Vieilles Vignes Rouge - 7.6

#6 2015 Domaine des Marnes Blanches VV - 7.3

#7 2010 Champagne Larmandier-Bernier Terre de Vertus - 7.3

#8 2006 Domaine Clos des Cazaux Gigondas La Tour Sarrazine - 7.2

Jonny Orton