Archive for the New Zealand Category

Lunch with Jamie Goode and musings on Chave.

Posted in New Zealand, Rhone, Tasting Notes on September 19, 2008 by AB

Today saw a daytrip to London for lunch with Jamie Goode of Knowing that Jamie is a fan of New Zealand, I pulled out a bottle of older NZ Chardonnay, whilst, ever generous, Keith brought a 1983 Chave.

Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay 1998

Deep yellow in colour. Rich nose showing lots of sweet fruit, perhaps a touch of hay and vanilla and a touch of savoury oak in the background. On the palate there’s serious weight and richness – indeed the wine seems almost sweet. Lots of buttery, tropical fruit flavours too. This bottle is marked as 15% alc, (something I spotted too late to find anything more afternoon friendly) so I was expecting something of a bruiser. Surprisingly though, the alcohol is pretty well integrated with just a slight burn on the finish.

Hermitage 1983, Jean-Louis Chave

Deep ruby with pronounced brick edge. Full, spicy nose (English mustard) with peat smoke aromas and a suggestion of strawberry fruit. Later there was perhaps a hint of rubber too – something I’ve noticed before as a marker of some Crozes-Hermitage and Hermitage (rarely though have I found it offensive) – and some polished wood. The overriding impression on the nose is of a mature, savoury wine. Relatively dense and firm in the mouth, the wine still has a good tannic structure and seems less evolved than either the colour or nose would suggest – I suspect revisiting in a few years would be interesting. Deep, smokey, spicy flavours. Very Good Indeed/Excellent

Chave Hermitage 1983
As an aside, it was interesting to make a mental comparison with a bottle of Chave 1982 tasted last October (note below for information). It struck me that the ‘83 was far less evolved and more masculine than the ’82 but that there is a very consistent style emphasising elegance, finesse and savoury characters – in many respects this wine seems Burgundian in character. This is in marked contrast to the richer, denser, often sweeter fruited style that to me typifies Jaboulet’s La Chapelle.

Hermitage 1982, Jean-Louis Chave

Smokey nose (peaty almost) – lots of bacon fat too. Some notes reminding me of mustard and cress along with some spice and a slight burnt rubbery note. Very savoury and dry on the palate – very fine and linear. Hints of menthol, star anis, soy and smoked meat on the palette plus a touch of raspberry fruit. Overall much more poise and finesse than either of the Jaboulet wines but perhaps a touch harder to love – a size zero model here rather than Sophie Dahl, albeit very aesthetically pleasing.