CNY Dinner 2013 - Welcoming the Year of the Snake (William & Gina's): A very decent wine, but not great for a Taillepieds from such a strong vintage. The nose was extremely funky on first pour, with tons of earth and leather and spice, backed up by a slightly bloody twang of metallic mineral. Only with quite a bit of time did some black cherry aromas and a whiff of violets emerge from the funk. Thankfully, the palate was a lot more fruity and floral than the nose suggested, with a nice attack of black cherries and blueberries with a hint of violets at the edges. Very fresh and clear, quite pretty in fact, at least until one hits the midpalate, where firmish tannins and more funky earth and woody, peppery spice notes drifted out. The finish was decent, if not exactly long, with a drift of flowers bringing up the rear. All in all, decent, if not exactly delicious. It seems to be drinking okay now, but like quite a few 2002s, I do think it needs some time yet. One to try again in 2-3 years' time.
Volnay Elegance (The Universal @ Duxton): My goodness, this really "stinks". Manure,horse, leathery and barnyardish. This even had some chianti like cat's pee and shirazy black pepper. It reminds me more of a bordeaux than a burg but I do love the aromas. This is one weird experience. But on the palate though, this is very much back to burgundy with ripe sappy cherries, cherry skins and quite sharp acidity. Pretty tannic, this is the oddest one out of the whole bunch. However, nose for nose and flavour for flavour , this is quite an interesting wine but it does drop points on terroir reflection.
This was consumed over a lovely dinner at Buko Nero. It took quite a bit of time in the decanter to come around, but was absolutely lovely when it did - so much so that I almost feel that the first glass was rather wasted. Nice, complex nose kept developing - fine, gravelly mineral, chalk, earth and a little touch of sous-bois at first, like walking through the woods on a dry day. Floating above all that were fresh cut flowers and sweet cherries. All very pretty and high-toned, yet with a touch of body to it. Similarly high-toned on the palate, with really bright acid, sappy cherries, more of that stony mineral and a nicely resolved finish that was persistent and clinging with lots of perfumy notes. After time, mushroom and orange peel notes started appearing at different ends of the spectrum - so very Volnay! There was some strength and bite though, with some super-fine tannins giving a sense of backbone and lots of focus along with a little nippiness. That, together with just a little swirl of heat, the super-bright acid and typical 2002 minerally bittersweetness stuck out a little like awkward knees and elbows at first. Altogether almost a little biting. After time though, all the elements really came together, rounded out and integrated, with the bite becoming a wave of freshness and structure upon which the fruit and flowers rode. I was excited by this wine - it had such a great sense of transparency in its clarity of flavours and tranmission of terroir. Yummy.