Simple palates, Seriously

August 2010 Archive

The majority of wines here were savoured during my trip to Paris, Sancerre, Burgundy and Amsterdam.

7th August 2010
Domaine Bernard Gripa Saint-Peray Blanc Les Figuiers 2008,
Rh๔ne valley
28€. From Gripa's top St P้ray made from vines averaging 60 years. A blend of 60% Roussanne and 40% Marsanne. Lemon-gold colour, Youthful nose of lime blossom, bee wax and chalky limestone. A full-bodied white, 13% alc, flavours of lemon pith, citrus, red currants and a touch of minerality. Clean, ripe acidity. Long finish. Drink over next 3-5 years. 93/100.

Chateau Amour de Mondot 2006 St Emillon Grand Cru

100% merlot. Black purple colour, Black fruit, olive, iris, ink. Loads of tannins, medium acidity with minty, ripe blackcurrants. There is a sense of an oak block on the back palate making it difficult to access the fruit. But this was perfect with my agneau confit. 86/100. 

Philippe Gonet Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru 2002

12€ per glass. Made entirely from estate grown fruit in the Grand Cru region of Mesnil. Pale gold colour, plenty of bubbles, fine mousse. Clean with cutting acidity to deliver the lemon lime flavours, lemon pith texture. Long finish. 89/100.

Domaine de Marquis d'Angerville Volnay Clos des Ducs 1er Cru 2002

95€ per demi-bouteille. Ruby colour, aromas of oak musk and warm summer forest. Medium-bodied wine with plush raspberry, red berries and blackcurrants. Hint of mocha? The oak is resolving quite nicely. Drink now-15 years. 92-93/100. 

8th August 2010
Domaine Fouassier, Sancerre

Domaine Fouassier, Sancerre

Driving an hour north of Nevers and right past Puilly-Fume, I came to my first stop in Burgundy, the hilltop town of Sancerre. There was numerous cellar doors set up as shops in the town square. Very exciting to taste such high quality wines that were also low-priced (10-15€). The first shop I entered was Domaine Fouassier, one of the more modern wineries which made a good range of wines that covered various regions and were distinct stylistically. In particular, the first three wines I tasted were a great exercise and education on the distinct flavours carried by fruit as a result of bring planted on different soil types. The standout was their oaked Sauvignon Blanc that, despite the reasonable low price, still trumps all wines of that style made in Australia.

Domaine Fouassier Sur Le Fort 2008
8€. From a limestone vineyard. Pale lemon colour, lovely soft lemon citrus flowers, chalky limestone. Soft medium acidity, 12.5% alc, lemon flavours with a hint of green apple. 90/100.

Domaine Fouassier Clos Paradis 2008
8€. From a clay vineyard. Soft chalky limestone, lemon tart nose. Clean crisp fruit citrus flavours, high acidity, lovely soft sharp finish. 89-90/100.

Domaine Fouassier Les Chailloux 2008
8€. From a flint vineyard, 15-20 year old vines. Notes of apple blossom after the rain, generous apple flavours backed by lemon citrus acidity. 91/100.

Domaine Fouassier Melodie de Gustave Fouassier 2006
15€. This spent 13 months in oak to give it an extra dimension on the nose. Lemon-lime, sweet peppercorns, powdery talc. Lovely soft rounded citrus fruit flavours with an edge of limestone minerality. 92/100.

Domaine Fouassier L'Etounneau Pinot Noir Rose 2007
Pale salmon pink colour. 12.5% alc. Dry, certainly one of the fuller-bodied roses from this region.  Lovely concentrated strawberry tart flavours. 91/100.

Domaine Fouassier Pinot Noir 2005
Tank fermented. Medium-ruby colour with notes of warm earth and dark cherry. 13% alc. This is an elegant, soft, casual wine. 89/100.

Domaine Fouassier L'Etounneau Pinot Noir 2005
12€. Matured in oak for 12 months. Lovely vanillin nose, generous warm earth, strawberry, cherry candy. Medium-bodied wine but with depth imparted by the combination of rich velvety tannins and soft, cool weather red berry fruit. Brilliant value for this price. 91/100.

9th August 2010
Domaine La Moussiere, Alphonse Mellot Sancerre.
The name of Mellot can be traced back along the roots of history books to it's first mention in 1513. This was my second tasting stop in the town of Sancerre, and the road to the left of the store leads to a wonderful lookout point which gives you vantage of the valley below and the gentle slopes of vineyards. I noticed that there were several stores using the name 'Mellot' in the town square, no doubt all related by several times removed somehow and sometime; unfortunately I didn't have time to cover them all. The wines tasted below are all 100% Sauvignon Blanc.

Domaine La Moussiere, Alphonse Mellot

Domaine La Moussiere Pouilly-Fume EM 2009
13.50€. Pale lemon colour, notes of lemon rind, chopped herbs and sweet grass. Dry, high in acidity, lovely lemon citrus flavours. 89/100.

Domaine La Moussiere La Moussiere 2009
17€. Notes of chalky green apple and white flower blossom. This has soft acidity, which to me is a tad loose but makes easy drinking. 90/100.

Domaine La Moussiere Les Romains 2008
27€. Complex nose of pickled cornichons and meadow trodden grass. Flavours of waxy lemon rind, lemon citrus with a touch of residual sugar that I can't confirm. Brilliant. 92/100.

Domaine La Moussiere Satellite 2008
29€. Notes of Kaffir lime leaves and a bucket load of lime soften by a rounded element of chalky talc. Tight, tart acidity; 13.5% alc, has me thinking of pizza with anchovies for some reason. One for the cellar, ~10 years. 92/100.

Domaine La Moussiere Generation XIX 2008
30€. Bouquet of lemon tree blossom and apple with a touch of soft limestone minerality. Lovely fruit acids, bees wax and honey flavours in harmonious balance with each other. A complex wine, drink over next 5-10 years. 93/100.

Domaine La Moussiere Edmond 2008
Fragrance of delicate white flower petals, with lovely flavours of apple, raw bees comb, crushed lime leaf, green lime fruit and lemon candy. A fantastic offering. 94/100.

Alphonse Mellot, cellar girl

10th August 2010

Dopff Pinot Blanc 2008, Alsace Dopff au Moulin Pinot Blanc 2008, Alsace
Pale lemon colour with youthful, fruity aromas of lemon and unripe peach. Medium-bodied dry wine with high acidity and a mix of lemon and white peach flavours. Medium-length finish. 12.5% alc. 88/100. Worth the $13AUD from Dan Murphy's for a punt on something different.
Hetszolo Tokaji Furmint 2005, Hungary H้tsz๖l๖ Tokaji Furmint Blanc Sec 2005, Hungary
$18AUD at DM. Lemon colour, fully developed nose of petroleum, chalk stone and lime blossom. Edging towards a full-bodied blanc sec, 13.5% alc, flavours of lemon rind, limestone minerality, a touch of savouriness with a hint of sweet Brand's essence of chicken at the end. Overall a nice wine but lacks a back palate. Good with Asian chicken stir-fry. A touch pricey but you might be feeling like something more exotic. 87/100.

14th August 2010: A Mix n Match of the Valley and Vale
As more and more fruit contracts come off the books, smaller parcels of vineyards are now becoming available to be made into unique wines that display the variety of styles that exist in South Australia. However, I do have a concern that too much average wines are coming onto the market and that might dull the local consumer's palate. In such times, it is good to take stock of those who consistently deliver wines of high quality. From the list below, both wines of Haselgrove really stood out for me.


Rolf Binder Riesling 2010, Eden Valley
Clear pale lemon colour with a green tinge. Rich floral orange musk, lemon and lime peel. Lovely intense chalky lemon characteristics, very well balanced with crisp high acidity. Very nice. Drink now - 2013. 92/100. Tasted at Prince Wine Store June 2010.

Woodstock Riesling 2009, McLaren Vale
Clear pale greenish lemon colour. Chalky limestone with small lime citrus notes. A generous palate but is broad across and needs more crisp acidity. Still fresh but... Drink now. 88/100. Tasted at Prince Wine Store June 2010.

Murray St Viognier Marsanne 2009, Barossa Valley
Clear light golden colour, soft aromatics of Marsanne honeysuckle with a hint of apricot and unripe peach. Rich melon and citrus flavours. This is layered and complex, well balanced with youthful acidity. A delicate sweet wine, drink now - 2015. 92/100. Tasted at Prince Wine Store June 2010.

d'Arenberg Lightly Wooded Chardonnay 2008, McLaren Vale
Clear pale golden colour with aromas of lemon curd tart, soft calcic rock and hint of oak. Lovely citrus fruit flavours that are well-balanced by acidity. The is a trailing touch of creamy salted butter on the finish. Ripe and ready, drink now - 2013. 89/100. Tasted at Prince Wine Store June 2010.

Haselgrove Bella Vigna Chardonnay 2009, Adelaide Hills
Pale lemon colour, intense floral perfume of spring flowers and gingered lime fruit. Rich bitey acids with flavours of citrus fruit, lemon candy and peach skin. A lovely vibrant wine, drink now - 2014. 92/100. Tasted at Prince Wine Store June 2010.

Bethany Chardonnay 2008, South Australia
A blend of Barossa and Eden valley fruit. Clear intense lemon/green colour with a restrained nose of flint, citrus fruit, simple lemon juice sweetness with lime sharpness. Peach, stone fruit flavours, a very interesting blend to bring together the distinct characteristics of the regions. Drink now - 2015. 92/100. Tasted at Prince Wine Store June 2010.

Wirra Wirra Mrs Wrigley Grenache Rose 2009, McLaren Vale
Dark pink-purple, aromas of fine ground white pepper and red currants. Flesh red fruit of strawberry and black raspberry. Nice length, easy finish. Drink now. 91/100. Tasted at Prince Wine Store June 2010.

Landhaus The Sinner GMS 2008, Barossa Valley
Clear medium+ black ruby colour. This hasn't seen any oak so there is clean aromas of red currants and raspberry. Silky mouth feel, savoury fruit flavours. Easy and pure experience of the fruit. Lovely, drink now - 2020. 92/100. Tasted at Prince Wine Store June 2010.

Gibson Darling Merlot 2008, Barossa Valley
Clear intense dark blood-ruby colour, sense of hot red earth. Blackberries with a hint of spice oak on the nose. A balanced, full-bodied wine with soft acidity. Good rich weight of dark berry fruit and sweet oak spice. Drink now - 2015. 91-92/100. Tasted at Prince Wine Store June 2010.

Fox Creek Red Baron Shiraz 2008, McLaren Vale
Clear intense black-purple colour with lovely blueberry, blackberry, cherry and ripe plum spice on the nose. Ripe tannins and acidity. Black cherry compote, blueberry flavours are concentrated on the front palate, softer on the back. Drink now - 2016. 92/100. Tasted at Prince Wine Store June 2010.

St Hallet Blackwell Shiraz 2007, Barossa Valley
Clear intense black-purple colour, notes of oak, plum, blackcurrant liquorice, sweet spice. This wine had plenty of gobsmacking juicy fruit, plum, blackberry flavours with fine tannins (mainly from the oak). Soft acids keep the reins and hold the fruit in line. Drink now - 2015. 93/100. Tasted at Prince Wine Store June 2010.

Haselgrove Bella Vigna Shiraz 2008, McLaren Vale
Clear intense black purple colour. This is like a warm, sexy, curvy Latin American senorita watching the setting sun by the seaside. Black, spicy blackberry, currants, mulberry leaf flavours, sweet tannins, sharp fresh acidity. There is presence of vanillin from the American oak and the spice from the French oak. Drink now - 2012. 93-94/100. Tasted at Prince Wine Store June 2010.

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