Friday, December 3, 2010

WINES of the WEEK 3 December 2010

2008 Weingut Eichinger Riesling Strasse Heiligenstein, Kamptal

Terrific Austrian riesling. Heady, floral, mineral nose and a palate that combines honeyed, textured richness with piercing lemon fruit and steely acidity. Long, dry finish. 13% abv. Drink now to 2018, with fish and shellfish, things in creamy sauces and lightly spiced dishes.

£263.88 for 12, armit

2004 Chateau Lalande Borie, Saint-Julien

Another 2004 red Bordeaux this week, but a Left Bank wine which, like a lot of middle-range wines from this (largely hype-free) vintage, has evolved early and prettily. That’s not to say it’s about to start its descent: it’s in its prime and will remain there for a few years. Sweet, cigar-box spice with some savoury richness; velvet texture with a gentle nip of acidity for freshness; soft, round and plump, rather than concentrated, and everything in balance. A good Christmas wine (or Christmas present wine), though perhaps better with a rib of beef or leg of lamb than an assault course of powerful, sweet and sharp sauces and stuffings. 13% abv.

£129.41 for 6, armit

2004 Quinta do Noval LBV port

An LBV port, but not the usual commercial style. This one, although delicious now, will mature in the same way as a vintage port, throwing a sediment as it goes. It’s also a single quinta LBV: all the grapes come from the estate and are trodden in lagars, whereas previously some grapes were bought in; hence the change of name to Quinta do Noval LBV, rather than just Noval. Back to the port: kirsch, plums, ripe figs and a hint of eucalyptus on the nose; deep, rich and succulent flavours of spicy, chocolate-coated fruitcake; fine-grained tannins. 19.5% abv. Apart from with the obvious Stilton and Stitchelton, it goes brilliantly with dark chocolate. Try the red-fruit flavoured one which Rococo created specially for it.

£17.99, or £14.39 in a mixed dozen, Oddbins; also Ocado and independents.