3 Dec 2006

"Love Potion"

TWO TOP Burgundies held my attention at yesterday's Oenotek tasting - the company owned by my wine importing confrere, Robert.

The Beaune 1er Cru a L’Ecu '91, Domaine Besancenot [around £17] had a frangipani nose with summer violets and, to personify, a delightfully feminine-feel (but with assertive alcohol). A “love potion” with a soft “downy pillow”-feel palate. Calmed “sunrise” tannins. Ripe raspberries played a deliberate, slow-dance alongside (though never overpoweringly intruded). Overall plentiful continental fruit bowl aromas. Not tired – not even yawning. “Washed rabbit fur”. No gaminess. Prospectively eight years to its peak and usher in some meat-shop/deer pen.

Clos de Tart Grand Cru '97, Mommessin, Dom. du Clos de Tart – Monopole [£80] is a “monument of Burgundy”. Polished chestnut in colour. Crème fraiche was stirred into the focussed, almost initially Central Otago nose with a classic, classy structure. Costly oak was present, but manipulated with mastery. Spirit of ABV (13.5p/c declared) was almost mentholated. Quite a hard, brawny, masculine Pinot compared to the L’Ecu. Persistent, glass-furnace warming aftertaste.


In addition, the opportunity to taste the legendary D’Arenberg 'Dead Arm’ Shiraz '01 [£23.50, Oddbins] revealed a wine of impregnable purple with a delightful (full) ‘Pez’ tablets feel. Very impressive, some ribena, but much more than simply that. What a pleasure from a semi-necrophiliac vine!