TN: Crasto Thalabert Barroche Alonso Branaire

Lunch notes:

2007 Ch. La Garde – this white Bordeaux wasn’t showing significant sauv blanc character despite probably being predominantly that varietal. It was showing enough like chard to elicit a couple of guesses for that, and it had some colour to it and a lemon and stone fruit nose, fairly full on palate and finishing cleanly.

1999 Prince von Hessen Johannisberger Klaus Riesling Auslese – lovely golden colour, botrytis hints but not much petrol, sweet and long. Good.

2005 Antonin Guyon Beaune Clos de la Chaume Gaufriot Domaine Hippolyte Thevenot – wins prize for longest wine name this time. Quite pale with obvious pinot nose, with hints of nutmeg and red fruit, fruit only adequate, a lighter weight wine with a clean acidic finish. Has time but good now.

2003 Quinta do Crasto Old Vines Reserva – darker wine with plenty of cassis and blueberry fruit in the nose, fairly ripe and earthy, with raspberry coming in later, but low acidity.

2005 Jaboulet Dom. Thalabert Crozes Hermitage – Thalabert is normally a very long ager – perhaps the most of any Crozes, yet this one, which had a dusty black cherry nose, had a smooth entry, soft tannin, good weight and a sweet pleasing finish, and doesn’t seem to warrant more than a very few years more age.

2004 Dom. La Barroche Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Fiancee - rich ripe nose with some earth, middle weight, sweet and full, perfect right now. Not overly sweet in the finish, which I value.

2004 Alonso del Yerro Maria (Ribera del Duero) – I had seen some reviews of this saying it was getting on, and though I didn’t believe that was possible, I thought I’d open a bottle and see. Anyone that thinks this is getting on is either cellaring it in their hothouse or lacks a basic palate sense! Dark, ripe, with dark/black fruit nose, this presents as very concentrated indeed on palate, huge in the mouth and sweet with great length. I don’t plan on opening another bottle for 8-10 years!

1998 Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especiale - medium colour, an attractive nose with some floral violet notes, medium weight, tons of acidity, almost elegant. Not an outstanding Ygay but a decent one.

1997 Montecillo Reserva Rioja – mature colour with some browning at the edges, and the nose primarily a very pleasant caramel, showing nice development and good acidity. Very decent.

1982 Ch. Branaire Ducru – this mature claret was somewhat pale in colour, with a good classic cedar nose, was lovely and smooth across the palate and showed significant soft tannin. This wine has peaked but there would seem to be no rush.