Monday, January 18, 2021

Three Outstanding European White Wines

 In a recent tasting of examples of 8 different white wine varieties, three wines stood out. The move in Germany to designate some sites with GG (Grosses Gewächs), and imposing some regulations for these, has clearly been successful. The example in this tasting was the 2015 A. Christmann Koenigsbacher IDIG GG Riesling. 

From a warm vintage, this wine is now showing some age, but also complexity which has generally not been seen say, a decade ago. This is an aromatic and rich wine, with a blend of citrus and honey flavours. A little sweetness is kept in check by unobtrusive acidity. This is a very balanced wine from a producer who can't do wrong.

Score: 95/+++

The second wine was the 2013 Louis Jadot, 1er cru, Meursault Genevrières.

The tasting was blind, but it was immediately clear this was a Burgundy Chardonnay due to the obvious oak treatment of this wine. As a result, the wine was creamy with some toast on the palate, but at the same time, the wine showed pineapple fruit and minerality. This is quite an intense wine with a long and persistent finish.

Score: 94/+++

The third wine was a Chenin Blanc from the Loire. The Loire Valley is quite complex, with different subregions and varieties. This example came from Savennières, specifically the famous Coulée de Serrant vineyard of Nicolas Joly. This 17ha 'monopole' has been planted by Cistercian monks in the 12th century originally, and still includes old vines on ungrafted rootstock.

The 2011 Nicolas Joly Coulée de Serrant Chenin Blanc is based on biodynamic vineyard management. It is a dry version of Chenin Blanc and shows an array of flavours: lemon, apple, herbs, ginger, walnut, and perhaps sherry. I sometimes struggle with the 'salad' of flavours in Chenin, but this is a balanced wine of very good maturity.

Score: 94/++


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