A to Z (USA, Oregon) Pinot Gris 2006
Having just featured A to Z in my major report from Oregon it's very nice to be able to annouce this Pinot Gris with over £3.00 off in the sale. A year or so of bottle age hasn't dulled the lemony zest of the nose too much, and there are still quite complex nuances of smoke and grassy herbs and a touch of oatmeal. There's a crispness and focus on the palate here, in a dry style of Pinot Gris with a bit of weight and mouth-filling texture. Much more Alsace than Italy in style, this finishes with a savoury grip and a decent tang of orange acidity. Was £10.49, now £7.34
Marc Colin (France) St Aubin "La Fontenotte" 2006
Saving the best to last, this is a 2006 that is still in its youth. This white Burgundy from one of St Aubin's superstars is an example of the tight, lean, mineral style and is, I must say, terrific. The nose has a subtle creaminess and suggestion of richness, but otherwise this is all about minerals and salts, focused apple fruit, the surface barely ruffled by subtle oak. On the palate there is lovely fruit sweetness and energy - but forget tropical fruits and flamboyance, this stays pure and linear into a reasonably long finish. A great bargain at the sale price. Was £13.79, now £11.03
Alamos (Argentina) Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Alamos is a joint-project between Bibendum and the excellent Catena winery in Mendoza. This Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits a touch of leafy greenness, but there's also good Cabernet black fruit, a touch of menthol and a cedary background. In the mouth it is a wine that has a failry tight, focused character. The blackcurrant fruit is good, and though there's an edge of Cabernet austerity and the final impression is just a little lean, the sweet fruit and savoury quality would probably win through with food. Was £7.07, now £5.49
Domaine Le Cazal (France) Minervois 2006
From a family estate in the Languedoc, this is a blend of equal parts Grenache, Carignan and Syrah, with some of the vineyards 80-years-old. This cuvée was aged in oak. The nose is atractively aromatic, with spices and Sandalwood to the fore, some bloody notes, and a deal of rich, bramble fruit. Despite the use of only older barrels, I find the oak rather prominent on the palate, with woody spice notes and a certain drying quality to the tannins. The fruit does come through, and indeed it has vitality and energy to it, with a tight, dense finish and good acidity. It finishes with fruit and spice in combination. Was £9.35, now £7.01.