Thursday, May 13, 2010

WINES of the WEEK, 14 May 2010

2006 Oorain Victoria
This weird and wonderful sweet red wine from Eric Fabre’s Château d’Anglès estate in La Clape, Languedoc (see Wines of the Week, March 26) is aromatisé à l’érable naturel – delicately sweetened with maple syrup. But it’s not fortified (unlike vin doux naturel), so the alcohol is only 13%. It’s syrah with a little grenache, tastes of dried figs, rich fruitcake and spice and is rounded and velvety. It’s medium-sweet, rather than intensely sweet, and is delicious with dark chocolate (66-72% cocoa solids). The idea came from Fabre’s cousin, chocolatier Olivier Oorain.
£19.99, Essentially Wine

2004 Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs, Grand Cru
A great follow-up to the 2002 (Wines of the Week , December 18 2009). Honeyed macaroons, cream and sweet oranges on the nose; pure, chiselled fruit on the palate with biscuity, nutty, brioche richness and a backbone of fine acidity. Five years’ ageing on its lees and six months in bottle before release. Another star from this small and perfectly formed co-operative. 12% abv.
£30.99, Waitrose

2008 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, Sartarelli
Light, fresh perfume – hints of lemon, peach and almond; a softly textured but briskly fresh palate with a sappy, citrus-peel flavour and a crisp finish. An ideal medium-bodied summer aperitif or something to accompany simply cooked shellfish. 12.5% abv.
£8.99 (£7.19 by the case), Oddbins