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Tim York

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WTN: Three off-dry whites; 1 Loir chenin & 2 Rieslings

by Tim York » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:42 pm

OK, officially all these would be considered "dry" but, for me, they are off-dry, a term which I rarely use because different people mean different things by it (I have even seen a Loire moelleux described as off-dry :shock: ). On the first the RS was sufficiently prominent to affect the pairing but the third passed as subjectively dry because of superb balance.

Jasnières Calligramme 2006 – Domaine de Bellivière, Éric Nicolas – Alc.13.5%. The Bellivière website says that this wine normally contains about 6g/l of RS but the back label states “Ce vin présente à la déustation un caractère sec”. Much as I admire many of Éric Nicolas’ wines for their bright focus and minerality, I felt some disappointment here. Body was medium/full with roundness and “gras” but it was aromatically very subdued both on the nose and palate and both minerals and acidity were far less lively than usual. Perhaps as a result I was far more conscious of the RS than the back label suggested. I give this the benefit of the doubt and ascribe the dull performance to a closed phase. As it is now, just good 15/20.

Alsace grand cru Wineck-Schlossberg Riesling 2004 – Meyer-Fonné – Alc.13%. Unlike the recent Riesling Pfoeller 2001 which was oxidised, this was in fine form. The colour was golden but less dark than the Pfoeller’s. Riesling white fruit aromatics with mineral and hydrocarbon touches were in full bloom. The palate was quite opulent with some RS, about 6-8g/l I guess, but unlike the Jasnières above, there was lots of lively acidity with the result that the overall impression was drier, but far from bone dry, and more food friendly. Very good 16/20++.

Uhlen “B” Blaufüsser Lay 2001 – Heymann-Löwenstein (back label Winningen Uhlen Riesling QbA) – Alc.13%. Good though the Wineck-Schlossberg was, this one over-trumps it by its incredibly beautiful bouquet, length and refinement. I repeat my TN of a year ago –
Colour was veering towards gold. The nose was deliciously fresh and fragrant with white fruit, flower and mineral elements beautifully melded together. The palate was medium/light, linear and long with a backbone unusual in Mosel and was definitely dry, if not bone dry (I would guess 5-6 g/l RS). The fruit, minerals and aromatics were delicately complex, the acidity mouth-watering and the whole superbly focussed; 17.5/20.
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