Friday, February 17, 2012

Wines of the Week - February 16th

Time to dig up an old favourite, not yet time to discard an old timer, and a classy wine yet to hit its peak.

Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling 2002

As a young Riesling from a stellar Clare valley vintage, this was close to my all-time favourite Australian Riesling. Very fresh and pure, with intense aromatics and zingy acidity, it was great drinking for a year before it started to lose its youth. By that time, I'd had my fair share and then some, including at our wedding, and I wasn't reluctant to let it go. So I bought two cases, and put them down. And now it's time to get them out and party all over again. It's still remarkably youthful, with the acidity still fresh and lively, plenty of lime character mingling with the developing honey and kerosene characters. Well worth keeping, and probably good to drink for another ten years.

Pierre Bise Coteaux du Layon Beaulieu L'Anclaie 1997

A bit of a punt at auction as it was quite cheap for a good wine from a great year, this wine looked past it in the glass, well into brown. However, the nose was more encouraging, and the palate a revelation. The high acidity of the Chenin Blanc has kept this in good shape, and it remains a lovely dessert wine, with baked fruits and honey characters. I'm happy to have a few more of these to drink over the next year. (Two bottles tried - consistent).

Louis Latour Chateau Corton-Grancey Grand Cru 2005

In the best years, Louis Latour makes a Grand Cru blend from the Les Chaumes, Les Pougets, Les Perrières and Les Grèves vineyards in Corton. The wine is named after the old chateau and presshouse bought by Latour at the end of the 19th century. Chateau Grancey lies on the outskirts of the town of Aloxe-Corton. The wine is extremely pretty, with lots of strawberry and raspberry still very forward, but the structure is good and it has underlying hints of minerality and spice that hint at the wine it will become with another five years in bottle.

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