Some notes on ten wines tasted recently, everything from Champagne through to Port. I will also file these notes on the Winedoctor profile pages where appropriate.
Vincent Pinard Sancerre Rosé 2009: A good salmon-pink hue in the glass, with a faint orange tinge in the background. The nose is very clean and fresh, with a stony reserve that brings to mind delicate red summer fruits rubbed against white pebbles, with slightly fatter, if rather leafy-herby elements, coming in later. The palate has a good and very dry substance, remaining very well defined, with lots of vigour and punch through the middle, with some creamy red fruit favours coming out from behind the lively structure. This is substantial, with an appealing, minerally depth to it in the finish. Attractive wine. Alcohol 14%. 16/20 (January 2012)
Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2009: From the hands of the late Marcel Lapierre, this wine has a dark yet vibrant character in the glass, the aromatics possess brilliant fruit, fresh and beautifully poised on the edge of ripeness. There are hints of blackcurrants and a raspberry tartness, intense and concentrated but not sweet or creamy. It has a perfumed, floral, crunchy-skin style which lends it a wonderful vibrancy. There is some super savoury-edged fruit, an intense backbone of vibrant acids, and overall a supple, lively, vigorous and vibrant midpalate leading into a linear, crunchy finish. Super stuff. 16.5/20 (January 2012)
Caiarossa (Toscana IGT) 2007: The blend this vintage is Cabernet Franc (25%), Merlot (25%), Sangiovese (16%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (14%). Small quantities of Petit Verdot (8%), Syrah (6%) and Alicante (7%) make up the balance. Dark and dense matt hue. The nose combines a lovely freshness, redolent of just-ripe red cherries and cranberries with the richer tones of oak, suggested by aromas of smoky-smouldering charcoal and caramel. A rich and polished texture on the palate, ripe and with sweet fruit, although with a heavy oak influence over the top, all spiky tannins and charcoaly caramel. The finish is filled to the brim with oaky grip. This needs a good few years in the cellar for this wine to fully integrate, but it holds promise, which I particularly find in the freshness of the underlying fruit. Good. 16.5/20 (January 2012)
Croft Late Bottled Vintage Port 2004: A dark, richly coloured wine. The nose possesses sweet fruit in a very clean and expressive style, with black and a touch of blue fruit, smoky-smouldering embers too. There is not a hint of spirit to it, and it has an admirable brightness and freshness despite the depth off aroma. On the palate it shows a great texture, rich and sweet, with moderate tannins but also bright acidity and although the alcohol comes through here it seems wholesome and in keeping with the sweet, plush, ultimately simple but nevertheless very welcoming fruit layer. I find some more savoury elements in the finish, the only suggestion of a deeper complexity. All the same this is a really lovely composition; it is not an intrinsically great wine but one that has been very well put together, it offers great value, and is a real step up from the wines of the Croft of old. 16/20 (January 2012)
Delaforce Vintage Port 1985: The cork here behaved just as it did with my last bottle a few years ago, crumbling into a myriad pieces. Port tongs would have been the better option. In the glass this wine has really faded, and these last two bottles don’t reflect the potential I saw in one bottle many years ago. At the centre it has a tawny-toasty hue, with very little red pigment, and there is a wide and watery rim. The nose is gently spicy and aromatic, with soft sandalwood, baked figgy fruit, leather, earthiness and a little spirit. Attractive sweetness at the start, and this is maintained through the midpalate, but around that there swirls some firm alcohol. There is a pretty layer of leafy-earthy fruit as suggested by the more savoury aromatic tones, but the wine is still showing the bones of its structure underneath. With three data points now it is pretty clear that this wine is heading downhill and unlike some 1985s, which are still going strong, I would advise drinking this sooner rather than later. 16/20 (January 2012)