jamie goode's wine blog

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ampelidae and a Jurancon

Two impressive white wines tonight. First, one of Frederic Brochet's Amplelidae wines - the 'S'. [See my review of his wines from last year.]

Ampelidae Le S 2006 Vin de Pays de la Vienne, France
This Sauvignon has a fresh, assertive nose of grassy, green herby notes. But on the palate these green notes are joined by some lovely rich melon/tropical fruit notes. The combination is really attractive. It's also a beautifully packaged wine. When I tried this last year it was a bit reduced; it's resolved a bit since. 90/100 (£9.99 Waitrose)

Second, a sweet wine from Jurancon. It's a little unusual, but delicious.

Domaine Castera 'Cuvee Prestige' 2006 Jurancon, France
Sweet, citrussy and herby with nice spiciness and hints of vanilla accompanying the peach and pear fruit. There are also some notes of crystalline fruits. Rich and sweet, yet fresh at the same time, with a hint of pithy structure. Lively and intense. 90/100 (£14.95 Great Western Wine)
Must go to sleep soon - it's the first day of the International Wine Challenge tomorrow, after which I'm taking younger son to see AC/DC at the O2 arena.

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Portugal and southwest France

Two rather good white wines tonight.

Quinta de Covela Branco 2004 Minho, Portugal
A blend of white varieties including Avesso and Chardonnay, from the Douro region of Portugal, except that this bit of the Douro doesn’t have the more usual schist-based soils, but instead the granite that’s more common to northern Portugal. The soils make a difference. This unoaked white is lean, very minerally and has appley, lemony fruit. It’s tart, fresh and delicious, with a grapefruity tang and a savoury sort of character. Very classy stuff that’s also beautifully packaged. Very good+ 89/100 (UK availability Corney & Barrow)

Vitage Vielh de Lapeyre Jurançon Sec 2003 Souhwest France
From a parcel of old vines (40 years) planted with Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng and Corbu fermented and aged in 600 litre barrels. As you’d expect from a top Jurançon, this is a striking wine, with notes of herb and dried straw accompanying fresh lemon fruit and vanilla. It’s complex, savoury and long with a spicy, almost tannic finish. Delicious, thought-provoking stuff. Very good/excellent 92/100 (UK availability Les Caves de Pyrene)

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