Saturday, 3 October 2009

You can't take it with you...

The WSET Advanced Course, or my 'drinking class' as some people disparagingly refer to it, is now in full swing. We are motoring nicely through the French wine landscape: Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Alsace have been and gone in a flurry of ever more confident tasting notes whilst the book-work grind of classifications, grape varieties and terroir rolls on late into the night. I am not, however, complaining. My solitary drinking is now a fundamental part of my revision. Every cloud...

During our Burgundy session Karen, our fantastic tutor, insisted that we tasted six wonderful wines including examples from Chablis, Meursualt, Nuit St George, and Morgon: a selection of wines which mirrors about 30% of my own collection. This led on to a brief discussion regarding keeping wine and drinking wine.

Wine is temporal. The wine in my cellar has a finite life and, no matter what I think, its beauty will fade. As you can imagine, for a wine geek like me that idea of taking the collection apart is heartbreaking. Watching the gaps in the racks getting bigger does concern me, but I am comforted knowing that the feelings of loss and guilt which follow me up the cellar steps as a cradle the last of the 2000 Pommard (the case bought after a boozy Christmas lunch at Chateaux Montreuil in 2003) will soon be superseded with the wave of calm relaxation which only a glass of top-class wine can bring to me. But to reduce the collection like this is immeasurably more satisfying than finishing a tasting note with the phrase 'past it' simply because I am more concerned with the wine collection rather than the wine itself.

As Karen said, "You can't take it with you".

Provenance and price unknown. Available from Vininum at £34.00

After eight years in the bottle this white burgundy is now a clear deep gold wine. A clean and medium bouquet gives baked apples with liquorice hints but these are muted and lacking definition. Slightly off-dry with some acidity and no tannin, 13% alcohol, medium body and intensity adding a biscuity padding to the other flavours. Finishes with a long length and the warmth of the alcohol coming through. A good wine but most certainly past it. Shame I have another in the cellar, because it ain't going to get any better. This is what happens when you can't see the wine, only a collection of bottles.

Provenance and price unknown, and I can't find any more!

A clear and bright medium gold wine. Lovely fully developed clean nose, medium + intensity with apple pie, toasted almonds and vanilla notes. Ever so slightly off-dry with medium acidity and no tannins to speak of. The 13.5% alcohol together with its medium body brings caramel, smoke,and custard (!) to the underlying stewed fruit flavours. Finally a perfect length underlines the balance and complexity of this wine. A fabulous mature white burgundy currently right on the button.

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