On my first night in Canada a group of friends gathered to share some nice wines. I think they deserve a write-up, although – as usual – notes and scores do little to capture the specialness of wines shared with good people.
Weinbach Cuvee St Catherine Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru 2009 Alsace, France
Taut, almost spicy and mineral, with a pithy density and lively notes of lemon. Bright and focused, this isn’t yet singing, but it’s still pretty impressive in an assured, restrained sort of way. 92/100
Zidarich Malvasia 2006 Carso, Friuli, Italy
This skin-contact white has a bit of age: my impression is that skin contact whites are often best younger, but this is still really interesting. Cloudy yellow colour, this is quite grippy with lovely tea, herbs, pear and peach notes. Fresh and vivid with nice weight. 92/100
Puzelat-Bonhomme La Tesniere Pineau d’Aunis 2012 Touraine, Loire, France
I’m going to buy some more of this. It’s not expensive, and it’s not a truly great wine, but it always tends to be the first bottled drained. So fresh and bright with focused cherry fruit. Sappy and peppery this has a bit of spicy bite, but it is just so pure and drinkable. 93/100
Valli Pinot Noir Waitaki Vineyard 2010 North Otago, New Zealand
I remember this wine from Pinot Noir 2013, when it was just so floral and pretty. Now it has got a little sulkier and meatier – maybe this is the screwcap? But it’s still a lovely wine, and I revisited it the following evening by which stage it had regained some of its prettiness. Lovely aromatic pure black cherry, spice and tar notes on the nose. The palate is bright and fresh with some grippy notes and hints of black olives, as well as lovely vivid fruit. 94/100
We also had another wine: a varietal Rufete from Castilla y Leon in Spain. It was vivid and intense with bright raspberry and cherry fruit, but also some leather and herb notes. At 10 years old, this was still quite tight. Unusual, though, and hard to rate.
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