2009 Poderi Luigi Einaudi Dolcetto di Dogliani
13% abv. Unlike some other tasters I didn't sense any oak in this. Ripe and sweet fruit, but with a nice savoury tang. Well structured: surprisingly acidic for this grape which I usually feel is more tannin than acid driven. Rich fruit, but with such a structure that it doesn't bother me. After everything I had read about this year, I was ready to hate this. Instead, surprisingly, I find myself enjoying it tremendously.
2010 Weingut Jürgen Leiner Spätburgunder Handwerk
13% abv. Very pale colour. This was not a good time to open this wine since it seems pretty wild and shows some aspects that I dislike in PN and shows others that I really like but which aren't as expressive as I hope they would be - perhaps a classic case of a wine being shut down? So first the negatives: a slight hint of coffee-like oak aromas and a pretty harsh, piercing aroma of cranberry. The positive: it does have an attractively vegetal/savoury/earthy style of pure Pinosity. The palate has wonderful crispness and high acidity coupled with purity of fruit. I think I might like this, but that would require that some of the aromas would calm down. Promising enough that I am sorry this was my only bottle so I can't experiment with ageing this wine.
2009 Domaine Bernard Defaix Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Léchet Vieilles Vignes
13% abv. Quite a neutral aroma, but ripe and fat. Lacks the citric bite and minerality I hope to see. Not quite flabby but certainly a bit on the plump side. Lacks bite and ultimately seems rather too neutral. Difficult to dislike, difficult to like, difficult to remember. Extended exposure to air does bring out a more classic Chablis profile of oyster shells and more noticeable acidity, but I still miss a bit of raciness. Turned out ok in the end but I did hope for something far better than ok from a producer of this stature.
(d.) de blanes
We've had (d.) de blanes's dry Muscat (good, sometimes very good, but rarely IMO on the level of Treloar) available here for some years. We've also had blanes's Le Clot Syrah available, but I've never kept my problems with Southern Syrah a secret - I only seem to like the grape in a cooler climate. But I still had enough positive experiences with those two wines that I was very happy to try a few more from the producer. And they seem good in the same way as Treloar and Riberach: structured and refreshing rather than just boringly fruit-forward.
2011 (d.) de blanes Côtes du Roussillon Impressions Blanc - France, Languedoc Roussillon, Roussillon, Côtes du Roussillon (8/12/2012)
13% abv; Grenache blanc & Macabeu. There is no colour to the wine: it looks like water. A nutty but unoaked aroma; rich palate but good acidity, very fresh for a southern white. This seems like a wine that really needs age, but I have no idea how these Roussillon whites age! But this is serious stuff that seems to hold most of its stuff in reserves. Hold(?).
2010 (d.) de blanes Côtes du Roussillon - France, Languedoc Roussillon, Roussillon, Côtes du Roussillon (8/14/2012)
13,8% abv. Quite a reductive wine; dark fruit, some savouriness, it smells like it has plenty of Syrah in the blend (GSM base + Carignan(?)). Very rich and concentrated, but refreshing and lively. Ripe but not at all a sweet style of Roussillon. It's quite lovely but everything about it seems to indicate that more age would be required.
2010 (d.) de blanes Maury - France, Languedoc Roussillon, Roussillon, Maury (8/10/2012)
16,5% abv. The cork was leaking so I opened it fearing the worst. Purple colour. Young, very primary aroma. On day one there is nothing but strawberry sweetness and tannin. On days two and three the strawberry aroma gains some savoury, earthy character and becomes complex instead of boringly primary. It is still tannic, but it morphs from an unpleasantly tannic wine to one where the tannins are palate-cleansing - always a nice thing in a sweet wine IMO. So this changed from being far too primary on day one to being a genuinely enjoyable wine on days two and three. I'm beginning to think I shouldn't have worried about the leaking cork and should have aged it a decade anyway.