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19 February 2011

Darting Estate Riesling vs Rhone Villages "Terre des Garrigues"

They've nothing in common, actually, apart from both being 2009 vintage (good year in both regions, it seems) and both picked as a couple of my random "wines of the moment." Darting's Dürkheimer Michelsberg (luckily absolutely nothing to do with Piesporter Michelsberg "wines" of old - Darting is in Bad Dürkheim in the Pfalz, different region for a start) Riesling Kabinett trocken (13% alc.) is a lovely example of "new Germany" with plenty of charming zingy peachy citrus fruit and ripe lime / kiwi / melon edges, fairly rounded mouth-feel at first actually, for Riesling, with zesty mineral streak / subtle acidity lending class and off-dry finish. £8.49 at M&S. Nice with prawn risotto made with spicy, but not hot, Thai green curry paste.
Whereas this sumptuous Cotes du Rhone red is made from Grenache and Syrah (13.5% alc.) by the Compagnie de l'Hermitage (aka "SCA Les Coteaux") in Visan in the southern Rhone Valley. Still a bit young and definitely more attractive after being left open for a day, this combines food-friendly (lamb steak or lean mince in a garlic tomato sauce perhaps) solid dry yet nicely coated / coating tannins with a very light touch of underlying oak (?), chunky peppery black fruits and savoury hints too. €5.38 at Leclerc supermarket, Bayeux, France. Oh, it was "unfiltered" too in that fashionable word on the label way. Roll your own Rhone maybe?
Photo from darting.de

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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.