I have been lucky enough to drink some lovely wines recently at tastings and from my own cellar (put together on a budget but turning out some excellent bottles). Highlights have included Hugel’s Jubilee Riesling (2005) and Guigal’s Cote’ Rotie La Turque (1996) pictured.
The Jubilee was a testament to Johnny Hugel who died this year. Full of complex lime blossom minerality and perfectly balanced, it was a joy. The Hugel website states that it is…
Made in exceptional vintages only, following severe selection during all the stages of its productions, this very fine wine possesses remarkable finesse and elegance. At its best after three to five years, it often develops distinctive “mineral” hints which further underline its exceptional complexity. It reveals its true character when served with a noble fish dish, or shellfish, in a cream or butter sauce.
I am increasingly fascinated by Reisling, not only from Alsace, but my main problem is letting them age for long enough because I can’t resist opening them. I have already been attacking my 2007s despite knowing they are nowhere near their peak. I have delay of gratification issues when it comes to these wines more than any other (except maybe 2005 Burgundys).
Luckily the Guigal La Turque had been cellared by Will and Bess Fine Wines (soon to replace Corkyswine) run by David and Caroline Gooder. I could never have resisted a Cote Rotie of this quality for over a decade if it had been close to hand. It is easy to see why Robert Parker is so fond of these wines but I just wish that they were more available to mere mortals. The 96 had a perfect cork and opened up over 30 minutes to fill the room with its perfume. It stood up to, and enhanced, a T Bone steak from the Ginger Pig with its amazing cassis and truffle notes. Bliss!
I am currently intrigued by the increasing popularity of Santorini which is now found on many good lists. Recently I tried an Assyrtiko (2008) at Aureole in Las Vegas care of Assistant Sommelier Adam. Despite the attractions of the amazing wine tower there (see picture), the freshness of the Santorini shone through. Also at The Square in Mayfair following a tasting from Haynes, Hanson and Clark, Katie ‘Sommelier on loan from Chez Bruce’ also recommended a Santorini whilst waxing lyrical on its very apparent merits. Decanter’s August 2009 issue had a tasting of Greek whites and I am not surprised so many were celebrated. Try a bottle of Santorini soon.