Thursday, 26 April 2007

My annual pilgrimage to Canterbury

Ten wines at the Canterbury tasting: the Domaine des Anges 2005 Blanc showed very well. Crisp, fruity and refreshing - as always, a welcome alternative to all the Chardonnays and Sauvignons without being too off the wall. The Domaine de Mourchon "Tradition" seemed a little too young this time but the other 2005s, both from Rasteau - Domaine Bressy-Masson's "Paul-Emile" and Domaine des Côteaux des Travers' "Prestige" - were both surprisingly forward and delicious. The former has already put on a little weight revealing some lovely ripe fruit, slightly Burgundian in character but at the Grand Cru rather than Village level (and only a tenner!); the Prestige has some well-judged oak supporting the sweet, red/black fruit. These two Rasteaus, both at £10 show just how good this village has become at putting out top drawer wines at affordable (dinner party) prices and both these wines can be drunk now or aged a few years if this is wanted.

By contrast, the 2004s all seemed to need further ageing but Laurent Brusset's Cairanne "Les Chabriles" is, as always, a real star. Oakier than usual (I have never noticed the taste of oak before) and more elegant than the slightly burnt 2003, this is very drinkable now but I can see how it will be even better after a couple more years. I had a 2000 recently which was fabulous. The other 2004 which really impressed me was Raymond Usseglio's Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Give it a couple more years if you can - I think it could be the best vintage I have tasted from bottle (I have tasted both the 2005 and 2006 from the barrel!)

Monday, 23 April 2007

Perrin et Fils' CDRV Rasteau "L'Andeol" 2004

In advance of my now annual (for as long as they'll have me) tasting in Canterbury (this Thursday), I wanted to re-taste the Perrin Rasteau "L'Andéol" from the 2004 vintage. I don't
usually include the Perrin wines as they are technically negociant wines but I want to focus on 2004 and 2005 with the emphasis away from Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The wine is almost pure Grenache, or so I believe, and clearly old-vine with concentration and texture like this. The nose is quite perfumed - not sure how to describe it - but the palate reveals some oak lurking in the background and tannins sitting alongside. Masses of fruit here but my instinct is to lay it down a while longer. It will make an interesting contrast to the 2005 Rasteau wines I am going to show on Thursday which are more forward and also to the other Villages wines.