WineWriting.com & French Mediterranean Wine
Richard Mark James' wine and travel blog

10 October 2010

Wines of the moment: France, Hungary, Chile

2009 rosé from France (organic): Domaine Saint-Julien Les Vignes, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence - nice classic style Provence rosé with pale pink/orange colour and fresh floral, red fruit aromas/flavours; understated yet lively and juicy with crisp dry and elegant finish. About €9 for a half-bottle in Hippopotamus restaurant, Chartres.
2009 white from the Roussillon: Dom Ici Chardonnay/Macabeu vin de pays Cotes Catalanes, Dom Brial/Vignerons de Baixas (13%) - well made "modern" unoaked style with appealing mix of white peach and citrus fruit, floral almond edges vs lightly lees/buttery texture; medium bodied and rounded vs zesty and crisp/bitter finish. €3.80
2003 Szamorodni (sweetie) from Tokaji in Hungary: Dániel, István Szepsy (13.5%) - caramel, demerara, raisins, dried apricot and honey with spicy citrus undertones; luscious dried fruits vs lemon, weighty and rounded with super sweet caramel flavours vs some cutting acidity; developing very nicely although lacks a bit of real zest. And here's what I said about this Szamorodni four years ago (from a trip to the region: much more on that here): 1 year new Hungarian oak. Voluptuous tropical honey, vibrant pure and concentrated; very light chocolate oak tones, subtle freshness v lovely fruit; drinking nicely now, maybe lacks a bit of bite.
2009 red from Chile: Casa Mayor Carmenère Single Vineyard Reserve, Bodegas Santo Domingo in Colchagua Valley - quirky mix of roasted vegetables, soy sauce and herbal red pepper (touch reduced even?) vs dark burnt/smoky damsons, peppery and punchy too; similar on the mouth with those wild herby notes coming through vs lush almost "tar" like texture, contrast of crunchy vs dried fruits giving attractive "sweet/savoury" flavours; a touch of grip and acidity add bite, quite powerful too (the label says 14% alc. but I'd say it's higher). Next day: still quirky although attractive with it, with a combo of bitter chocolate & roasted coffee beans vs ripe almost stewed fruit lending raisin and prune flavours vs tarter finish. It works though somehow! About €6.

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