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Old & New World: bubbly, chardonnay & pinot noir

July 17, 2010

Kome was, yet again, the venue for another vinous dinner on 25 June 2010, when I chose to give up watching the Brazil-Portugal World Cup match  (thankfully it ended goalless) in favour of joining Kieron and friends, where we occupied the entire counter. A theme of bubbly / champagne / pinot noir had been specified, and we ended up with the following.

Pierre Peters Cuvee de Reserve Blanc de Blancs Brut (courtesy of Boon). Straw colored with plenty of floral lift, citrus, biscuits, walnuts and toast. Crisp and well-balanced, displaying excellent depth and body without being too dry. Superb, really. Tastes like a much more expensive wine than it really is.

2007 Planeta chardonnay IGT Sicilia (courtesy of PS). Very dense yellow, almost golden. Not much on the nose initially, the wine being served too cold, revealing just a hint of red apples, pure and refreshing with hardly any oak. It opened up later at the correct temperature to reveal honeyed citrus, toast and apricot. Deep, creamy and buttery with wonderful intensity and background minerality. Kept getting better and better with each sip. Trust the Italians…if there is such a thing as a “designer” wine, this comes close. Very lovely.

2004 Leeuwin Estate Art Series chardonnay (courtesy of Damian). This is probably the third or fourth occasion I’ve had this, but each experience is stunning. Pale straw colored. Overwhelming bouquet of delicate lifted citrus, honeydew and rock melons, almost over-the-top. Quite deep but still primal, saturated with great chalky minerality, a wine of great focus and presence. Typically Australian in its brazenness, leaving nothing to the imagination, but no one’s complainng.

Rockford Black shiraz (2005 disgorgement). A perenial favourite, even amongst guys, not to mention the ladies. Deep ruby glow. Crisp, reflecting the great acidity, with deep notes of blueberries, red and dark fruits, and the hallmark liquer in the mid-body. Expands on the palate, becoming more open with time, developing some sweetness (but never threatening) and notes of raisins and redcurrants within the shiraz complex, showing great balance, delineation and focus, finishing with a persistent menthol note, finally becoming the distilled essence of Basket Press shiraz when the fizz had dissipated. This is probably one of the very best experiences I’ve had with the Black Shiraz. Only one more bottle remaining of the 2005.

We ended the evening with a pair of New World pinot noir. The 2007 Craggy Range Bannockburn Central Otago pinot noir (courtesy of Michelle) had a classic pinot tint, rather fruit-forward, displaying an abundnce of red fruits with a tinge of sweetness and a note of eucalyptus after some time, tapering to a stern finish. Quite a big wine, well-crafted, even with a semblance of delicacy and lightness of touch, but it still lacks real complexity. In comparison, the 2006 Littorai The Haven Vineyard (courtesy of Kieron), showing a slightly deeper color than the Craggy Range, was more “correct” in the pinot mould, displaying greater minerality and depth, aided by riper fruit and higher acidity. Structured and well-balanced, the background oakiness betraying its New World origin.

One Comment leave one →
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