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Fine Wine Tasting – My Picks

Following on from Jeremy’s post Friday 14th November…

I often get asked by friends what I do for a job, and when I tell them I work for Majestic, the response is generally ‘you get paid to drink wine’. To an extent, this is true, although I must point out that we taste rather than drink.

On Thursday (13/11/08) we held our first ever dedicated Fine Wine Tasting here in the Fine Wine Centre based at our St. John’s Wood store in North London.  The day started early, with Jeremy, Nick (our Fine Wine Buyer) and myself going through and tasting all the wines (all 41 of them) to make sure there weren’t any duds. Its usually quite difficult to go through and taste a lot of wines, as your palate can sometimes get shot to pieces by fierce tannins, or the high acidity in some wines. On this occasion though, it was a delight to try a great range of ‘drinking wines’, something which also pleased Jancis Robinson MW (see link, although it’s a subscription site).

Here are my top picks from the days tasting.

Veuve Clicquot Rare Vinatage 1988 – A refreshing nose of stewed apples, dried lemon peel and flowers paves the way for the rich and unctuous palate. Rich, dense but so unbelievably pure, the palate reminds me so much of lemon curd on toast, it is elegant, tangy, and rich. It is beautifully structured, and finishes really long in the mouth. It is so morish, that you can help but take another gulp!

Sancerre ‘Cuvee Edmond’ 2006, Alphonse Mellot – It has to be said, that this is the bees knees of Sancerre’s. An intense bouquet of pear drops, limes, flint and wet grass. The palate is unbelievably rich, but kept in balance by the limey acidity. Pears and green apples dominate on the palate, with the tongue tingling acidity and flavour of limes following up. Unbelievably refreshing and palate cleansing, the wine finishes long and clean.

Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Clos de La Mouchere’ 2006, Henri Boillot – This is, without question, the white wine of the tasting. This is beautiful and pure White Burgundy that delivers an elegant nose of white flowers and vanilla infused poached pears. There is such harmony, the rich and full flavoured palate comprises of toasty oak and lashings of fruit. Its silky texture gives the most wonderful mouthfeel and a finish that seems to be endless. More please!

Chateau Poujeaux 2000 – From the appellation of Moulis-en-Medoc comes this absolute gem of a wine. The nose of blackberries, blackcurrants, mint and saddle leather is rich and concentrated. The palate is luscious, multidimensional and very sexy! Black fruits dominate on the palate, dusty tannins bringing it altogether. This is a very stylish wine that has extraordinary length.

Chateau La Croix de Gay 2002 – Ooh la la! This wine has a knockout nose of raspberries, espresso and asphalt. On the palate, the wine has even more to offer. Rich and full bodied, there is an abundance of raspberry and cherry fruit intermingled with the delicious flavours of espresso coffee. There are also nuances of licorice and tobacco on the very long and pleasurable finish. This is a fantastic Pomerol for the money. Ready to drink now, or stash it away for 4 – 5 years and treat yourself in a few years time.