Friday, April 8, 2011

WINES of the WEEK, 8 April 2011

2007 Hatzidakis Pyrgos Assyrtiko, Santorini, Greece

An extraordinary wine – rich, dry, complex and thrillingly fresh. Only a few hundred bottles are made from Hatzidakis’s oldest assyrtiko vines grown in Santorini’s unirrigated volcanic-ash soils. It’s fermented very slowly with natural yeasts and is then aged in old oak. The result is a deep yellow wine which is honeyed, rich, creamy and spicy, yet dry, deeply mineral and fabulously clean and fresh. 14% abv. It’s one of several fascinating wines I tasted last week at Theatre of Wine in Greenwich, a shop owned by ex-actor Daniel Illsley and stuffed with exciting bottles. There’s now a branch north of the river, too – lucky Tufnell Park residents.

£29, Theatre of Wine.

2009 Vignoble Guillaume Pinot Noir, Vin de Pays de Franche-Comté, France

Xavier Guillaume’s pinot noir outshines most Bourgogne Rouge at the same price. Fragrant, supple and fresh, with crisp, summer-pudding fruit and a delicate, oh-so-burgundian, savoury, mineral undertow. Drink at the cooler end of the red wine temperature spectrum. 12.5% abv.

£11, Theatre of Wine.

2009 Domaine Philippe Gilbert Menetou-Salon Rosé, France

Lovely, aromatic, pinot noir rosé from the Loire. Fresh, crisp and elegant, but much more fruit and succulence than most pink Sancerres. Biodynamic. Not cheap, but it doesn’t deserve to be. 13.5% abv.

£14.50, Theatre of Wine.