11:23am Saturday 16th June 2012
By Mike Tipping
ONE of the joys of wine is opening a bottle and finding it exceeds expectations.
This, I find, is relatively rare. Frequently a wine tastes how I expect it might but quite often wines are not as good as I had hoped.
In between the capable examples, the OKs and the downright dulls are the stand-outs. Wines in the latter category are obvious in my notebook.
In an attempt to describe what I am drinking, I scribble considerably more tasting terms than for other wines.
This week’s trio all stand out.
A couple of years back I wrote about wine sales and marketer turned winemaker Katie Jones, who bought a small vineyard near her home in the south of France.
Since then, Katie’s wines have received much acclaim and, most recently, gold in the International Wine Challenge for her Domaine Jones Fitou 2010.
Katie’s Fitou is indeed a solid, very well made red but Domaine Jones Blanc 2011 is the standout wine for me.
Made from grenache gris, it has a creamy texture, with very long flavours of pear, melon, white pepper and herbs. It is dry but not overly so and has quite a pronounced minerality with smoky notes too.
Clos de Los Siete is an old Tipping’s Tipples favourite and the newly released 2009 vintage is a stonker. It is predominantly malbec but with merlot, cabernet, syrah and petit verdot in the blend, hailing from the Mendoza region of Argentina. Full, concentrated and balanced, it shows juicy berry fruit, with violets, dark chocolate and spice.
South Africa has a reputation for great chenin blanc but I’ve found an impressive, flavoursome Kiwi take on the grape in Esk Valley Chenin Blanc 2010.
It has rich flavours of ripe citrus, orchard fruit, peach, honey and a refreshing lift of acidity on the finish.
• Domaine Jones Blanc 2011, Côtes Catalanes, £14.95 from The Wine Society 19/20
• Clos de Los Siete 2009, Mendoza, £13.29 from Waitrose and Majestic 18/20
• Esk Valley Chenin Blanc 2010, Hawkes Bay, £11.25 from Nidderdale Fine Wines 19/20
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