'Merely' really good at first, with rich Grüner fruit, some oily textural elements and gentle spicy notes on a medium weight frame. Michael Lewis advocates giving this a lot more air and when we revisit after an hour it's quite stunning; the fragrance is more peppery, herbal and savoury, and there's a lot more depth on the palate with the fruit, spice and mineral elements coming together seamlessly. Fantastic wine.
A knockout from the first sip. At first it's an array of fresh pear, citrus and riper, almost tropical fruit flavours that seem to be carved out of a mountain of stone, and with air more flamboyant floral and roasted almond elements develop. Even though it's fairly ripe and intense, there's amazing lightness and focus on the palate, and a finish that's all mineral and a mile long.
This is all about freshness. How often will I get to write that about a 40+ year old wine?!! It's a light amber/gold colour, looking and smelling rather mature with a fragrance combining mature honeyed, green tea and smoky aromas with golden Chenin fruit and wooly elements, but there's remarkable freshness and vibrancy in the mouth with a chalky mineral aspect beneath the fruit and really bright acidity keeping everything really lively and fresh.
Definitely the most enjoyable orange wine I've come across. I've found a lot in this style more interesting than really fun to drink; complex but lacking something to keep me coming back for more - but this one has it all. Elegant, complex, seamless and incredibly fragrant with an array of savoury scents I can't begin to list. Delicious.
A fragrance full of smoke and petrol leading into a palate full of bright fruit that might have been chiseled from stone, accented by fresh herbal and leafy notes and developed savoury, creamy and smoky flavours. Drinking wonderfully now with gentle, restrained sweetness, powerful acidity keeping it amazingly precise and vibrant, just wow.
France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru
Great stuff. Powerful yet elegant; dark fruited and savoury with fantastic depth and balance, still a little tannic on the back end with the structure and the freshness suggesting this is still rather youthful, but what a pleasure to drink now.
France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
That Rayas magic again; 14% alcohol Grenache, and yet it has the refinement, finesse and delicate touch of a great Burgundy. Gorgeous fragrance of white pepper, pure red fruits and mature leathery and earthy elements, so elegant and silken on the palate and showing amazing purity, presence and persistence.
An iron fist of a Cornas; powerful, rich and intense with ripe red and dark fruited flavours, olives, sauvage meaty/leathery notes and a saline element all coming together in a fragrant, seamless whole. This is still quite youthful but drinking wonderfully with a decant, perfectly balanced, long and just flat out amazing.
That old school "they just don't make them like this any more" Côte-Rôtie fragrance; meaty, savoury, bloody, iron/earthy notes, gentle red fruits and olives all coming together on a polished, medium weight frame; understated and complex, harmonious and mature and a thrilling wine to drink.
Still rather youthful with a core of rich, brawny dark fruited flavours, but starting to also show some developing smoky, meaty and leathery elements. With time it becomes increasingly fragrant and open, and like the Clape it's a wonderful pairing with the veal cheeks.
An insane fragrance; high toned floral and spicy notes, honey and a spectrum of Riesling fruit ranging from ripe citrus and baked apple to more exotic pineapple and other tropical flavours; so much going on here that it's hard to put into words. There's tremendous power, intensity and sweetness on the palate - just what I'd expect from a BA - but it has the same blazing acidity and precision as the '90 Domprobst Spätlese poured earlier, keeping it amazingly vibrant and fresh. Thrilling wine.
A wow from the fragrance alone. This is really something. Layers of nutty, saline, citrus zest and smoky elements around fresh fruit; amazingly complex, persistent and powerful and yet conveying flavour with a remarkable focus and clarity.