Château Musar is a property that divides opinions: some love it, some it. Full credit to them for their pioneering work making intriguing wines in Lebanon. The white is, in my opinion slightly more odd than the red; but it works better. The flavours come together in a way that only a few old white wines can achieve; nutty, oxidative, but still with a lively freshness and harmony. It is delicious in its own off beat way; at least, this bottle of 2001 was.
Always a treat to try Bollinger’s Vielles Vignes Francaises: a very special bottle of bubbles. And the 2000 lives up to the delicious wackiness I expect. Made from very old, un-grafted Pinot Noir vines from two tiny spots on the Bollinger estate, this wine has a unique density and flavour-profile; the old vine Pinot Noir add to the solidity one expects from Bollinger; and the profundity of the fruit gives even greater leeway for the funky off-beat weirdness that I love about the nose and palate of Bollinger’s wines. Perhaps not a bottle for somebody searching for clean-cut, pure, fresh Champagne; but if you want to see off-beat quirkiness done the old-fashioned way, and with amazing quality base-wine, this is an unique experience. Incredibly profound, complex, long, and with all its technical quirks coming together perfectly. I love it.
mmmm… delicious, yet mouthwateringly tangy and bracingy. That is the beauty of classic Muscadet. Château des Cleons 2008 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie also has a slightly surprising, yet deliciously appealing, stony fruitiness, granny smith and lemon-lime, with a linear linger on the palate. A refreshing and invigouratingwhite, with a twist of intrigue; and at a ridiculously appealing sub-$10 price. A gem of a discovery.
Allegrini Valpolicella D.O.C. 2008: just yummy. Loads of character, in a soft appealing wine. Not deep, not sophisticated; but a delicious bottle, packed with mildly off-beat, intriguing flavours; and the bitter-cherry savoury fun beautifully off-sets the smooth drinkable mildness of the palate. Cool to find so much off-beat character in such an unpretentiously priced wine. I look forward to my next bottle.
Pieropan Soave 2008 - another wine that just hits the spot when you need something intense yet delicate, refreshing, dry, yet classically off-beat; savoury, almost nutty yet still refreshing and appetising; a great alternative to the fruit-driven aesthetic that dominates much of the sub-$20-retail category.