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Did you know that that there are more astronauts in the world than Masters of Wine? A recent tasting of wines from James Nicholson was instructive and showed the potential of Riesling’s great diversity. And they were delicious. Master of Wine Jane Boyce introduced the wines in her usual low key, knowledgeable way, playing down over thirty years experience in the trade and as a wine judge. This tasting concentrated on the subject of her MW dissertation – Rieslings, and she finished with some Pinot Noirs.
Pikes Clare Valley Riesling 2010 €20.99
Lovely fruit, some of it tropical, and nice acidity balance,. With a hint of lychee on the nose, as a young Riesling the petrol-type qualities have not yet developed, though it’s a flavour that comes early on in this region of Australia. This wine is good to drink now but has enough good acidity to last and develop more complex flavours.
Von Buhl Forster Jesuitengarten Riesling Spatlese 2006 €41.15
From Deidesheim in the Rhinepfalz area of Germany, this is a dessert wine that really can’t be called a ‘sticky’. It’s too elegant for that, and not too heavy for after a heavy meal. With no extra sugar added, there is some residual sugar, and the sweetness is gentle and makes a gorgeous mouthful. Lovely on its own when you need a lift and chocolate isn’t quite right.
Zind Humbrecht Clos Hauserer Riesling 2007 €41.25
The Alsace is the best region for Rieslings and this is a deliciously full mouthful of fruit. A fresh finish is reminiscent of lemon rind and its years have brought up a slight petrol nuance. From a vineyard that deserves to be Grand Crus, biodynamic cultivated wines, local yeasts, the temperature is not controlled. Nature is left to do its thing. Ready to drink now, but will keep another five years. Delicious.
Forrest Botrytis Riesling 2011 €21.20
Full fruity, honey, honeycomb, passion fruit pineapple come together in a rich dessert wine which is deal for lemon tart, passion fruit tart and to sip on tis own. In half bottles.
Jean Tardy Fixin 2008 €34.00
A young, talented winemaker, Jean Tardy is one to watch. With more savouriness and less meatiness than some Pinot Noirs, this is deliciously fruity with spice, redcurrant, rhubarb and raspberry on the nose. In French oak for 12 months it’s good with lamb and duck and tuna steaks.
Patrick Javillier Savigny Les Beaune 2010 €30.70
Quite meaty and more typical of French Pinot, this one is aged in oak for 12 months. Silky tannins, some citrus acidity and lots of strawberry notes, this one could do with a few years to allow it to smooth out.