Saturday, June 27, 2020

Three Taste Expanding Wines

During a blind tasting, I encountered three wines, two wines, one Champagne, actually, which delivered an unusual and very exciting flavour profile. The Champagne was a dry blanc de blanc from the grower Ulysse Collin 'Les Enfers'. In my simplistic way of thinking, I would normally characterize Champagne along a freshness/acidic/yeast spectrum. This one was quite floral with delicate pear and apple notes - very unusual. The wine was delicate, but with piercing intensity. There was a lot of complexity on the palate. Small and slow rising bubbles confirmed the quality of this drink.

Score: 95/+++

The wine of the night was a 2014 Keller Abts Erde GG from Rheinhessen. This area is flat to undulating as opposed to the river facing vineyards of the Rheingau and Moselle. It comes from a small block of the Westhofer Brunnenhaeuschen vineyard. The history of this esteemed limestone and ironstone vineyard goes back to the 14th century. When the highly regarded Kellers purchased this vineyard in 2001, the stars aligned. The texture of this wine is aristocratic Riesling, and the nose and palate is quite unique. Quince and yellow fruits on the nose are enticing. On the palate, there is peach, apple, grapefruit, passionfruit, and tight minerality. This complex flavour is hardly that of a typical Riesling. There is a good drive on the palate, without the wine being linear. Superb! The quality of this wine is only matched by its price.

Score: 97/+++

The third wine's story is altogether different. The 2013 Bressan Schioppettino frum Friuli tastes like nothing I have ever tasted before. This is a special wine, to start with, due to its history. The Schioppettino grape, also known as Ribolla Nera, was nearly extinct. Bressan collected the last vines, and established a new vineyard of this indigenous variety. Strong peppery notes and a cherry and wild berry bouquet jump out of the glass. On the palate, pepper and exotic spices are the main game. Underneath, raspberry, plum, candied fruit, and mossy flavours deliver an unusual sensation. I will not forget this for some time.

Score: 93/+++    



Anonymous said...

Hi, great to hear about some exciting wines. Interested in your thoughts on if these wines would improve with age and, if so, what the flavours would evolve to?

Alontin said...

The Keller wine will go on for a long time and develop even more complexity over time. I would expect some nutty or toasty notes over time, but the wine will retain its freshness for some years.

The Schioppettino will be great for another five years I would think. However, you do not want to miss the primary fruit in this wine. I would drink it now plus two years.

The Champagne was so unusual, I have no idea.